Bromeliaceae is a family of Neotropical plants that retain water between leaves of a rosette arrangement. Each water-retaining tank is referred to as a phytotelma. This particular system is important to consider in the understanding of biodiversity because it creates an ecosystem of its own, providing a habitat for many invertebrates and larvae. In this study, the relationship between environmental factors such as water quality and the biodiversity of invertebrates in epiphytic bromeliads was examined in two different settings. Sample sizes of ten bromeliads were taken from the primary and secondary forests of the Las Cruces Biological Station in Coto Brus County, Costa Rica and compared. Prior to extraction from the trees, temperatures of the water in the inner phytotelmata of the bromeliads were recorded. Parameters including pH and phosphate concentrations in each bromeliad were then measured using approximately 15 mL of bromeliad water, the Testratest Laborett water kit, and the Hanna Instruments phosphate kit. Trends approaching significance were found between the number of species within the bromeliads and maximum tank volume (p=0.06608) as well as the total number of invertebrates within each bromeliad (p=0.06903). The number of species was however correlated to bromeliad distance from the ground (p=0.03215). The number of invertebrate species in bromeliads of the primary and secondary forest was not correlated with the water temperature (p=0.1420), pH (p=0.2826), or phosphate level (p=0.6954), however, these parameters should still be considered in the analysis of invertebrate biodiversity within bromeliads.
Navarro, Maya E.
"The Effects of Environmental Factors on Bromeliad Invertebrate Biodiversity,"
DePaul Discoveries: Vol. 4
, Article 11.
Available at: http://via.library.depaul.edu/depaul-disc/vol4/iss1/11