Bromeliad Invertebrate Communities on Saba, Netherlands Antilles

We sampled tank bromeliads and censused their invertebrate fauna at four elevations on the small Caribbean island of Saba. We expected that invertebrate communities would show a strong response to the elevational gradient, as found on the larger island of Puerto Rico, but there was no difference in overall animal abundance, species richness, or biomass in bromeliads at the different sites. A weak rainfall gradient and relatively recent anthropogenic disturbance may be reasons for the lack of elevational response. The structure of the community in dry forest bromeliads was different from those in the wetter forests, due to the dominance of the larvae of one particular species (Forcipomyia antiguensis). The aquatic larvae of some bromeliad-specialist genera (e.g., Monopelopia, Corethrella, Wyeomyia, and Scirtes) common in other Caribbean and mainland sites were absent from Saba. Their absence may be due to the target island effect, which reduces the chances of successful immigration and survival on small islands.

Data type
Scientific article
Research and monitoring
Geographic location