Benthic boom: Understanding larval insect colonization in Moorea, French Polynesia
- Subject Areas
- Animal Behavior, Climate Change Biology, Ecology, Entomology, Zoology
- Moorea, French Polynesia, Chironomidae, Simuliide, Recolonization, Habitat Preference
- © 2017 LaPaglia
- This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ Preprints) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.
- Cite this article
- 2017. Benthic boom: Understanding larval insect colonization in Moorea, French Polynesia. PeerJ Preprints 5:e2678v1 https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.2678v1
Insects are important in assessing ecosystem quality and health. Current climate change models predict that in the next one hundred years, intense storms separated by long periods of drought will frequent French Polynesia. Variation in water availability may be difficult for many stream insects to cope with. Studying insect response after a disturbance as well as assessing their current distribution and abundance can help us understand greater ecological interactions and allow us to make predictions about future assemblages. The recolonization rate and habitat preference of Simuliidae and Chironomidae larvae were measured in a high elevation stream on Moorea, French Polynesia. Insect recolonization was measured 1, 3, and 6 days after an artificial disturbance event, and habitat preference was determined through the use of 3 introduced substrates: streamside moss, synthetic moss, and an empty control. Habitat preference was also evaluated through the comparison of larval densities across both experiments. Ultimately both Simuliidae and Chironomidae larvae were shown to return to baseline abundance 3 days after a disturbance event. Furthermore, chironomids preferred the synthetic moss substrate to all other habitats, while simuliids preferred the empty control compared to the moss treatment. This likely indicates that the chironomids live within the submerged moss while simuliids live on a rocky substrate. It also suggests that both species can live in a variety of environments and can adapt well to changing conditions.
This is a submission to PeerJ for review.