Research Grants/Fellowships/SBIR

Assemblage Structure and Species Richness of 'O'hia (Metrosideros polymorpha) Canopy Arthropods: Preliminary Results and Future Directions

EPA Grant Number: U915007
Title: Assemblage Structure and Species Richness of 'O'hia (Metrosideros polymorpha) Canopy Arthropods: Preliminary Results and Future Directions
Investigators: Gruner, Daniel S.
Institution: University of Hawaii at Manoa
EPA Project Officer: Jones, Brandon
Project Period: January 1, 1996 through January 1, 1999
Project Amount: $102,000
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1996) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , Fellowship - Ecology and Ecosystems



The objective of this research project is to determine the relative influence of evolutionary and local processes to the structure of arthropod assemblages in Hawaii.


The Hawaiian Islands are an excellent model for community and ecosystem studies. The islands represent a well-defined time series; from the northernmost and oldest island of Kauai to the southernmost and most volcanically active island of Hawaii. The fauna and flora of these islands are depauperate (i.e., they fall short of natural size) compared to their continental tropical counterparts; thus, it is possible to study communities in their entirety without arbitrarily ignoring taxa. This investigation focuses on the arboreal arthropod community of the tree Metrosideros polymorpha, which exists on all of the major islands in monodominant stands. Comparisons will be conducted of community structure across historical (among-island) and ecological (within-island) gradients. To examine the regional component of diversity, quantified, standardized canopy fogging will be conducted to obtain arthropod samples. Guild structure and species diversity will be compared among sites and islands. A combination of sampling and experimentation will be employed to examine the relative importance of predation and resource forces in shaping local herbivorous insect communities. Quantitative branch-clipping samples will be collected, and insect abundance and diversity will be correlated to leaf attributes that may vary among treatments. Simultaneous exclosure experiments will be conducted to determine the effects of predators on the insect assemblage.

The results of this research project will be used to assist the Hawaii Biological Survey in recording and describing the complete fauna of Hawaii.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, Hawaiian Islands, Kauai, Metrosideros polymorpha, assemblage structure, evolutionary processes, arthropod assemblages, Hawaii, HI.