Studies of arthropod assemblages in the fossil record can provide information on how assemblages have changed over evolutionary time. Studies at the LEF provide a unique opportunity to compare extant assemblages to those inferred from fossil amber deposits in the Caribbean. Poinar and Poinar (1999, The Amber Forest: A Reconstruction of a Vanished World, Princeton University Press) compiled data on inclusion of arthropod taxa in Dominican amber, representing a tropical hardwood forest from 25 mybp. Their reconstruction of a Caribbean arthropod assemblage from a Miocene Era tropical hardwood forest generally resembled canopy arthropod assemblages from the extant tropical hardwood forest at the LEF, suggesting that forest arthropod assemblages in the Caribbean may have changed relatively little over this long time period.
Sticky traps, designed to resemble resin globules that eventually could become amber, were coated with adhesive and placed on lower tree boles or on logs at one non-gap site at the LEF for 5 days during June 2004, January and July 2005, July 2006 and July 2007 (total 35 samples). Samples were dominated by Diptera (89% of specimens), with phorids representing 60%, mycetophilids 16%, dolichopodids 4%, sarcophagids 2%, cecidomyiids and chironomids 1% each, and other Diptera 5%. Other collected taxa included Hymenoptera (6% of specimens), with chalcidoid wasps 4%, little fire ant (Wasmania auropunctata) 1% and other Hymenoptera 1%; Coleoptera (2% of specimens), with curculionids 1% and other Coleoptera 1%; and a variety of other insects, spiders and mites representing 3%. Two small Anolis lizards and a small Eleutherodactylus frog also were captured. Arthropod composition in sticky traps from the LEF and in Dominican amber were similar.
|Variables Descriptions||Data File||Date Range|
|Luquillo Understory Invertebrates Sticky Trap Totals||stickytraps-Totals.csv||2004-06-13 to 2007-07-20|
|Luquillo Understory Invertebrates Sticky Trap Samples||stickytrapssamples.csv||2004-06-13 to 2007-07-20|