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Studies of community assembly have emphasized snapshot comparisons of spatially replicated samples from "natural" assemblages. Agro-ecosystems are characterized by relatively little habitat heterogeneity and no dispersal barriers for actively flying insects. Therefore, dynamic patterns of species segregation and aggregation are more likely to reflect the direct or indirect effects of species interactions. We studied the temporal organization of a guild of 21 congeneric species of Anastrepha that colonized fruit orchards in Monte Alegre do Sul, São Paulo, Brazil. This assemblage also included the introduced Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata. One hundred six consecutive weekly censuses (11 Jan 2002-16 Jan 2004) of flies in guava, loquat, and peach orchards revealed a pattern of minimum abundance during the coldest months of each year (June and July) and a maximum abundance during periods of flowering and fruit ripening. Overall, phenological overlap was greater than expected by chance. However, conditioned on the pattern of seasonal abundances, temporal occurrence and abundance matrices exhibited patterns of significant species segregation and anti-nestedness. In each year, the 3 orchards contained a small number of species pairs that exhibited statistically significant temporal segregation or aggregation. Most aggregated and segregated pairs reflected seasonal shifts in species presences that were not related to variation in air temperature. Most of the significant pairwise associations involved C. capitata: 8 of the 11 segregated pairs and 2 of the 7 aggregated pairs. These results suggest that species interactions between introduced and native species can be an important determinant of species associations in agro-ecosystems.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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© 2015 Lopes et al.



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