Rainforest Collembola (Hexapoda: Collembola) and the insularity of epiphyte microhabitats


Denis J. Rodgers, Science, Environment, Engineering and Technology Group, Environmental Futures Centre, Griffith University, Nathan Campus, Nathan, Queensland 4111, Australia. E-mail: d.rodgers@griffith.edu.au


Abstract.  1. This study compares species composition of collembolan (Collembola: Hexapoda) assemblages associated with rainforest soil, forest floor leaf litter and epiphyte-associated leaf litter deposits, canopy foliage and bark surfaces in a subtropical rainforest in southeast Queensland.

2. The results of analyses of similarity show that in both winter and summer, the species composition of collembolan assemblages differs significantly between each of the microhabitats studied. These results also confirm earlier work showing vertical stratification of species composition in collembolan assemblages associated with leaf litter suspended in epiphytes.

3. Many of the species occurring in leaf litter suspended in epiphytes were not found on intervening bark surfaces. This supports a hypothesis suggesting that epiphytes within rainforest canopies can be thought of as habitat islands for arthropods.