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Arthropod community structure on bark of koa (Acacia koa) and `ohi`a (Metrosideros polymorpha)

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Title:Arthropod community structure on bark of koa (Acacia koa) and `ohi`a (Metrosideros polymorpha)
Authors:Peck, Robert
Banko, Paul
Stelmach, Matt
Keywords:foraging birds, native forest, Collembola, bole trap, branch trap
Date Issued:25 Jan 2016
Series:Technical Report HCSU - 050
Abstract:The arthropod community associated with tree bark contains a wide variety of taxa but is poorly described, particularly in Hawaiʽi. Our overall goals were to evaluate the abundance of arthropods available to foraging birds and how variation in bark substrates may contribute to arthropod distributions in native forests. Our study aimed to identify this fauna on the dominant canopy-forming trees koa (Acacia koa) and ʽōhiʽa (Metrosideros polymorpha) within wet montane forest at Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, Hawaiʽi Island. At two sites roughly similar in elevation and habitat structure, we deployed three trap types designed to intercept arthropods moving along bark within tree canopies: a bole trap based on a pre-existing design and two traps specially designed for this study. Bole traps were placed on koa and ʽōhiʽa while branch traps were established on large and small branches of ʽōhiʽa. In total, 15 arthropod orders were identified, with Collembola most abundant (number/trap-day) generally followed by Isopoda and Araneae. Differences in abundance were found in some instances, but overall, few differences were detected between tree species or sites. Relative abundances of arthropod groups were also generally similar between trees and sites and among different parts of ʽōhiʽa. These results indicate that bark-dwelling arthropod communities are similar on koa and ʽōhiʽa, and birds should not develop strong preferences for gleaning arthropods from the bark of either species of tree based on prey availability.
Appears in Collections: Hawaii Cooperative Studies Unit (HCSU)

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