Considering canopy cover in Ecuador

Jason Tylianakis

Jason Tylianakis

Loss of canopy cover in rainforests—compared to the other fragmented habitats in Manabi in southwest Ecuador—leads to a region-wide loss of diversity in species interactions, said researchers from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. As Jason Tilianakis and Etienne Laliberté reported in the June issue of Ecology, the food webs and interactions between parasitoids and their bee and wasp hosts were simplified and homogenized across habitats. As it turns out, land use was not the major contributor to this loss of interaction diversity: The researchers proposed that the lack of canopy cover in the managed and abandoned coffee agroforests and pasture and rice fields allowed for easier access as parasitoids searched for their bee and wasp hosts. In this edition of Field Talk, Jason Tylianakis discusses his findings, the fragmented habitats of Ecuador and the Homogecene era.

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