Tropical Ecology and Conservation [Monteverde Institute]

Alternative Title

Los efectos alelopáticos sobre la hojarasca en invertebrados Dicksonia gigantea (Polypodiopsida: Dicksoniaceae) y Cyathea caracasana var. meridensis (Polypodiopsida: Cyatheaceae)



Download Full Text (915 KB)

Publication Date

May 2007


Allelopathic chemical release may affect many aspects of plant and soil ecology, including community composition, diversity, and richness (Ferguson 2003). The effects of allelopathic chemicals in tree ferns D. gigantea and C. caracasana var. meridensis on the biodiversity of leaf litter invertebrate communities were examined in the Monteverde Cloud Forest. In total, 15 sites were surveyed, where a paired sample of one tree fern and one non-fern tree were collected, filtered and invertebrates were analyzed to morphospecies. When examining the local communities under tree fern and non-fern trees, no significant difference in N, S, H', Smarg and E was found. However, there was a significant difference in the H' of tree fern and non-fern trees (Modified T-Test, t = -2.52, p < 0.05, df = 2075), as well as observed differences in N, S, Smarg and E, on the metacommunity level. All indices were found to be higher under non-fern trees. Seven invertebrate species were also observed having a ≥20 % change in abundance, suggesting that certain species may be more affected by the presence or absence of allelopathic chemicals. These include springtails (Order Collembola), one spider morpho species (Order Arachnida), one beetle morpho species \(Order Coleoptera), insect larvae (Class Insecta), silverfish (Order Zygentoma), angel insects (Order Zoraptera), and caterpillars (Order Lepidoptera). Allelopathic effects on bottom-up trophic level interactions are a plausible explanation as to why changes in the abundance, richness and diversity of leaf litter invertebrates may occur under tree ferns.


La liberación de las sustancias químicas alelopáticas pueden afectar muchos aspectos de las plantas y la ecología del suelo, incluso la composición de una comunidad, su diversidad, y su riqueza (Ferguson 2003). Los efectos de los productos químicos alelopáticos en los helechos del árbol D. gigantea y C. caracasana var. meridensis en la biodiversidad de las comunidades de invertebrados de la hojarasca fueron examinados en el Bosque Nuboso de Monteverde.


Invertebrates, Forest litter, Allelopathic agents, CIEE Spring 2007

Palabras claves

Invertebrados, Basura del bosque, Agentes alelopáticos, CIEE Primavera 2007


13 pages

Geographic Location

Monteverde (Puntarenas, Costa Rica)

Holding Location

Monteverde Institute


English; Spanish

Media Type



Digital Only





Allelopathic effects on leaf litter invertebrates under Dicksonia gigantea (Polypodiopsida: Dicksoniaceae) and Cyathea caracasana var. meridensis (Polypodiopsida: Cyatheaceae), May 2007



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.