Bottom-Up Effects Alter Hemipteran Abundance and Diversity
MetadataShow full item record
Type of Work48 pages
ProgramEnvironmental Biology, M.S.
RightsAttribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
Phytophagous insects, specifically Hemiptera, are an integral part of the natural environment, serving as prey for a wide variety of predators and playing significant roles as herbivores. I examined top-down and bottom-up factors affecting hemipteran communities along the Potomac River in Washington, Frederick, and Montgomery Counties in Maryland. Insects were collected by vacuum sampling and in leaf litter collections and analyzed with simple linear regression. Greater vegetation diversity was related to a decreased hemipteran abundance, indicating that plant composition in riparian forests influences hemipteran life histories. The increased volume of coarse woody debris was negatively correlated with hemipteran abundance and diversity, which may be due to changes in vegetation and insect community composition in areas of increased woody debris. Top-down effects did not influence hemipteran abundance or diversity within this study system. These multi-trophic relationships are important to examine as they provide a greater understanding about the overall true bug community structure and functionality as it relates to conserving biodiversity.
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