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Forests 2012, 3(4), 986-996; doi:10.3390/f3040986
Article

Diversity, Vertical Stratification and Co-Occurrence Patterns of the Mycetophilid Community among Eastern Hemlock, Tsuga canadensis (L.) Carrière, in the Southern Appalachians

1,* , 1
, 1
 and 2
1 Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA 2 Forest Service, Forest Health Protection, 200 Weaver Boulevard, Asheville, NC 28804, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 August 2012 / Revised: 22 September 2012 / Accepted: 26 September 2012 / Published: 24 October 2012
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Abstract

Over 400 species of insects have been found in association with eastern hemlock in the southern Appalachians. Eastern hemlock stands provide an ideal habitat for all life stages of mycetophilids. However, the diversity, distribution and co-occurrence patterns of these species throughout the tree canopy are unknown. This study was initiated to evaluate abundance, species richness and species composition within three designated strata in the canopy of eastern hemlock, assess species for vertical stratification patterns, and determine if co-occurrence patterns of mycetophilid species are random or non-random. During this study, 24 species representing 14 genera were identified and evaluated. Mycetophilid abundance, species richness and composition differed among the lower, middle, and upper strata. Unique assemblages were identified in each stratum, indicating vertical stratification. The upper stratum of the canopy had four exclusive species, the middle had six exclusive species, and the lower stratum had nine exclusive species. The co-occurrence pattern of mycetophilid species in the canopy of eastern hemlock was non-random.
Keywords: Mycetophilidae; eastern hemlock; canopy arthropods; co-occurrence; vertical distribution Mycetophilidae; eastern hemlock; canopy arthropods; co-occurrence; vertical distribution
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Coots, C.; Lambdin, P.; Grant, J.; Rhea, R. Diversity, Vertical Stratification and Co-Occurrence Patterns of the Mycetophilid Community among Eastern Hemlock, Tsuga canadensis (L.) Carrière, in the Southern Appalachians. Forests 2012, 3, 986-996.

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