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We assessed the effect of geographical distance on insect species turnover in a situation where other major environmental factors, including host plant species, altitude, and climate, were constant. We sampled ambrosia beetles (Coleoptera, Curculionidae: Scolytinae and Platypodinae) from four tree species: Artocarpus altilis, Ficus nodosa, Leea indica and Nauclea orientalis, at three sites forming a 1000 km transect in lowland rainforests of northern Papua New Guinea. A standardized volume of wood from trunk, branches and twigs was sampled for ambrosia beetles from three individuals of the four tree species at each site. Each tree was killed standing and left exposed to beetle colonization for 20 days prior to sampling. We obtained 12 751 individuals from 84 morphospecies of ambrosia beetles. We surveyed most of the local species richness at each site, predicted by Chao 2 species richness estimates. The similarity of ambrosia beetle communities, estimated by Chao-Sorensen index, was not correlated with their geographical distance. Likelihood analysis and Q-mode analysis using Monte Carlo-generated null distribution of beetles among sites supported the hypothesis that the assemblages of ambrosia beetles at different sites are drawn from the same species pool, regardless of their geographical distance. Tree part (trunk, branch, or twig) was more important predictor of the composition of ambrosia beetle communities than was the host species or geographical location. All three variables, however, explained only a small portion of variability in ambrosia assemblages. The distribution of ambrosia beetles among tree parts, tree species and study sites was mostly random, suggesting limited importance of host specificity or dispersal limitation.