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Tuesday, January 30 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Poster Display. Different Management Practices Affecting Arthropod Diversity in the Kakamega Rain Forest

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AUTHORS: Alexi Luedtke, Bowling Green State University; Chris Kefa, Eco2Librium; Andrew Gregory, Bowling Green State University

ABSTRACT: Arthropods are indicators of forest health as they are abundant, have rapid turnover and are frequently key ecosystem engineers. Moreover, many arthropod species are highly sensitive to ecosystem degradation and fragmentation. Due to their fast life cycles and large population sizes, arthropod community dynamics in ecosystems can serve as a proxy for other species. The Kakamega Rain Forest in Kenya is an ecologically sensitive forest of high importance as both an endemic biodiversity hotspot and as a source of resources for local people. The forest is managed by two government agencies: The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and The Kenya Forest Service (KFS).  KWS manages ~20% of the forest and prohibits all harvest from the forest with strict enforcement. KFS manages ~80% of the forest and allows selective use of the forest with a permit, and enforcement is lax. In this study, we were interested if different management practices had an impact on arthropod diversity in the Kakamega Rain Forest. We collected arthropod samples using pitfall trap transects at 36 random locations throughout the Forest. We also sampled 14 locations using Winkler traps. Pitfall traps are most suitable to assess abundance and diversity of common arthropods species, whereas Winkler traps sample more rare species. Because our goals were to assess total diversity and functional diversity both methods were appropriate. Diversity was assessed as the Shannon Diversity Index(H) and Species Richness(S). We found that KWS managed areas had significantly higher species richness than KFS managed areas. Similarly, KWS areas had significantly higher arthropod diversity(H) than KFS managed areas. These results highlight the importance of management of overall community diversity and suggest that more restrictive management regimes do in fact better conserve diversity.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 6:00pm - 9:00pm CST
Ballroom C & Foyer

Attendees (2)