Tropical Ecology and Conservation [Monteverde Institute]

Alternative Title

Patrones de abundancia del pecíolo y diversidad de los escarabajos de corteza (Scolytinae) de los árboles de Cecropia en Monteverde, Costa Rica


Sonali Gandhi



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Publication Date

August 2008


Cecropia trees regularly shed their woody, large petioles year round. This provides bark beetles from the family Scolytinae with a dependable and stable microhabitat. Bark beetles bore into the petioles, lay their eggs, and feed on the pith (Wood 1983). This study was conducted in Monteverde, Costa Rica. It examined the abundance and diversity of bark beetles between Cecropia polyphlebia in the Monteverde Cloud Forest (1550 meters) and an intermediary phenotype at Bajo del Tigre (1400 meters). It also investigated the percent of petioles colonized, species richness, evenness, and the influence of petiole moisture and length on the abundance and diversity of beetles. I analyzed 90 dead, woody petioles from the ground and from hanging vegetation from each site. Petioles were dissected and beetles were removed and identified by one of six Scolytinae morphospecies. Differences in the abundance and diversity of beetles between the two species were then compared. This study suggests that there was no difference in species diversity between the two tree species (p > 0.05). However, a difference in abundance between the hybrid phenotype and C. polyphlebia was observed. The hybrid phenotype possessed a higher abundance of beetles. Also moisture content (ANCOVA, F = 4.93, df = 2, p = 0.0083), the species of Cecropia (ANCOVA, F = 11.2, df = 1, p =0.001), and petiole length with Cecropia species (ANCOVA, F = 5.16, df = 1, p = 0.0244) had an influence on the abundance of beetles. The higher abundance of beetles in the hybrid phenotype could indicate differences in interspecific competition due to phenotypic traits of the Cecropia species. Differences in moisture content and petiole length between the two Cecropia species may reflect petiole preference and favorability of tree hosts. Furthermore, the higher abundance of beetles in the lower elevation hybrid phenotype could indicate that the majority of bark beetles may not be affected by climate change unlike many other species of animals and plants that are being severely impacted by the increasing temperatures. Este estudio se realizó en Monteverde, Costa Rica. Examinó la abundancia y la diversidad de los escarabajos de corteza entre Cecropia polyphlebia (1550 metros) en el Bosque Nuboso de Monteverde y un fenotipo intermedio en el Bajo del Tigre (1400 metros). También investigó el porcentaje de pecíolos colonizados, riqueza de especies, igualdad y la influencia de la humedad del pecíolo y la longitud de la abundancia y diversidad de escarabajos.


Bark beetles--Behavior, Escarabajos de corteza--Comportamiento, Interspecific interactions, Interacciones interspecificas, Climatic changes, Cambios climaticos, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve (Costa Rica), Reserva Biologica Bosque Nuboso Monteverde (Costa Rica), CIEE Summer 2008, CIEE Verano 2008


Student affiliation : Department of Biology, University of Southern Indiana Born Digital

Subject: topical

Bark beetles--Behavior; Escarabajos de corteza--Comportamiento; Interspecific interactions; Interacciones interspecificas; Climatic changes; Cambios climaticos; CIEE Summer 2008; CIEE Verano 2008

Subject: geographic

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve (Costa Rica); Reserva Biologica Bosque Nuboso Monteverde (Costa Rica)



Holding Location

Monteverde Institute MVI



Patterns of petiole abundance and diversity in bark beetles (Scolytinae) of Cecropia trees in Monteverde, Costa Rica



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