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The community structure of arthropods in virgin and managed sites in the Kibale Forest, Western Uganda


, : The community structure of arthropods in virgin and managed sites in the Kibale Forest, Western Uganda. Tropical Ecology 37(2): 203-213

The structure of arthropod communities in the forest floor vegetation in five different forest sites in Kibale Forest, Western Uganda, was studied by monthly sweep net sampling during a 23 month period (June 1983 - May 1985). Additional samples were taken one year (Sept. 1986) and six years (Sept. 1991) later. The studied habitats included two virgin forest sites, two selectively logged sites and one exotic pine plantation. The community structure of arthropods changed relatively little through the study period. Nine groups (Araneae, Hymenoptera. Heteroptera, Homoptera, Coleoptera, Orthoptera, Lepidoptera), caterpillars (Lepidoptera and Hymenoptera: Symphyta larvae) form over 95% of all the arthropod individuals caught. Arthropod groups have different responses to seasonal rainfall. In canonical correspondence analysis over the seasons and habitats, Heteroptera and Araneae, Coleoptera and caterpillars, as well as Diptera and Lepidoptera are fairly close to each other in the principal component axes. When number of individuals in each group is used as a variable in the canonical correspondence analysis the intensity of forest management affects significantly the variation in the arthropod community structure; rainfall does not significantly affect the percentile makeup of arthropod populations, but affects significantly the total numbers of arthropods.

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