Scolytinae Species Distribution Across an Elevational Gradient in the Talamanca Mountains, Costa Rica

Natalie James, Logan Bruun, Dr. David Hoekman, Dr. Derek Rosenberger, Southern Nazarene University, 6612 NW 42nd St Bethany, OK 73008

Due to its inverse relationship with temperature, elevation is a driver of biodiversity (Röder et al, 2016). The effects of temperature and elevation on biodiversity in the tropics have gained considerable attention from ecologists, as the climate allows for fewer confounding conclusions to be drawn from biodiversity experiments across elevational gradients. Following a preliminary study by Rosenberger et. al, the abundance and diversity of bark beetles was observed across a 1000m elevational gradient in a primary montane cloud forest. Twenty traps were placed along two trails, every 50 meters in elevation from ~3050 meters to ~2120 meters in early 2020. The traps collected for a week, and this process was done twice to ensure a large enough sample. After a week, the beetles were retrieved and transferred to a preservative to be stored for future identification. Once all rounds of sampling were completed, the beetles were photographed and examined to identify each species that was present. A total of 776 beetles were collected from both rounds of collection, 260 from the first round, and 516 from the second. In general, fewer beetles were present at higher elevations. Species richness also decreased with increasing elevation. However, this may be a confounding result of the fewer beetles that we found at higher elevations. If there were a comparable number of beetles at high elevations and  low elevations, with differing species richness, a more definitive conclusion could be drawn concerning high elevation bark beetle diversity. While this sampling effort greatly increased the sample size of Rosenberger’s project, more work is needed to make definitive conclusions as to the range, abundance, and diversity of bark beetle species in Costa Rican montane cloud forest environments.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Natalie James

Institution: Southern Nazarene University

Type: Poster

Subject: Biology

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 3
Date/Time: Mon 4:30pm-5:30pm
Session Number: 3053