Vertical diversity of beetles (Insecta: Coleoptera) associated with Lithraea caustica (Anacardiaceae) in patches of sclerophyllous forest in Central Chile
Forest stratum are important ecotones representing transition zones between open, sunlit, and drier habitats rich in herbaceous plants and shady, cooler and more humid forests with woody plants and possibly rich in dead wood. Lithraea caustica (Mol.) an endemic tree of Chile, is the least disturbed taxon in these fragments, probably due to the presence of litrol, a highly irritant oleoresin, due to which its wood has not been used for fuel. This study evaluated the species richness, abundance and composition of the beetle assemblages in different strata (foliage, epigeum and hypogeum) at intervals of fifteen and thirty days, in a sclerophyllous plant formation in the Escuadrón farm, Coronel, Chile. Our results show that in the studied sector, 27 families, 57 genera and 69 species are associated with the soil under L. caustica, which represents 31.3%, 4.2% and 1.7%, respectively, of the total diversity of coleopterans known for Chile .
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