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Species Composition and Trophic Structure of
Insect Communities in Texas Prairies

Guy N. Cameron and Edwin H. Bryant


Abstract: Species composition and trophic structure of the insect community were compared between coastal and central prairies of Texas. Species diversity was higher in the coastal prairie, but average richness per habitat and among-habitat diversity were greater in the central prairie. Insect diversity increased as vertical (woody) components of vegetation were added to sites in both prairie types. As a result of such among-habitat differences, both taxonomic and trophic structure also varied among sites within the central, but not the coastal, prairie, and between coastal prairie and central prairie habitats. The central prairie contained a greater proportion of Hymenoptera and Orthoptera, a smaller proportion of Homoptera and Coleoptera, more unique species, and a lower proportion of predators and detritivores than the coastal prairie. Such among-site variation in community structure within an ecosystem must be understood to assess whether conservation plans can be ecosystem-based or must be site-specific.

Key words: community structure, conservation, entomofauna, prairie.


This resource is based on the following source:

Cameron, Guy N., and Edwin H. Bryant.  1999.  Species composition and trophic structure of insect communities in Texas prairies.   Prairie Naturalist 31(4):221-242.

This resource should be cited as:

Cameron, Guy N., and Edwin H. Bryant.  1999.  Species composition and trophic structure of insect communities in Texas prairies.  Prairie Naturalist 31(4):221-242.  Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.  http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/insects/txinsect/index.htm (Version 23OCT2001).


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Guy N. Cameron* and Edwin H. Bryant, Program in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology, Department of Biology, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204-5513
* Current address: Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221.
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