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Distribution patterns and diversity of leaf litter and soil-dwelling arthropods in a lowland rainforest in southern Cameroon

Research Paper | February 1, 2017

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Mbenoun Masse P. S, Yede, Mveyo Ndankeu Y. P

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J. Bio. Env. Sci.10( 2), 181-189, February 2017


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We investigated the effect of forest disturbance and leaf litter depth on arthropod group composition, abundance and density in a lowland rainforest in Cameroon. Arthropods were collected by hand collection and pitfall trapping, and litter depth was measured in two forest types (secondary and primary) from June 2015 to June 2016. A total of 1668 individuals belonging to five classes (Insecta, Diplopoda, Chilopoda, Arachnida and Malacostraca) and twenty orders were recorded in both forests. Insecta was the most abundant class that made up 61% of all captured animals, whereas Chilopoda was the most rare class (<1%). Hymenoptera and Coleoptera were the most abundant group among Insecta. Arthropod abundance and density varied between both forests, and appear to be related to the level of disturbance. The depth of leaf litter was correlated significantly with arthropod abundance in the primary forest. In both forests, Insecta and Diplopoda were dominant, but their abundance decreased significantly from the natural to the secondary forest. This suggests that these taxa are more sensitive to environmental change than others, and may be considered as useful for biodiversity assessments.


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Distribution patterns and diversity of leaf litter and soil-dwelling arthropods in a lowland rainforest in southern Cameroon

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