Phytotelmata (sing. phytotelma) are plant-associated reservoirs of rainwater and organic debris. These freshwater ecosystems are found in tree and bamboo holes, pitcher plants, and tank-forming bromeliads. Some studies suggest that anthropic disturbance (AD) may change the physico-chemical properties (PCPs) of the water retained in the phytotelma, and indirectly impact its biota. Hence, new AD-bioindicators could be found in the phytotelma biota. To test this hypothesis, three areas of Atlantic Forest were selected, distinct only by the level of long-term AD. In these areas, we monitored the nematode trophic structure and the water PCPs in the bromeliad Neoregelia cruenta during two years (eight seasons). Significant differences among areas were found in some seasons for total nematode abundance and/or the abundance of some trophic groups, but no pattern emerged relative to the level of AD. Anthropic disturbance did not impact nematode trophic structure possibly because the water PCPs remained fairly similar in all three areas. Our results do not corroborate previous reports that AD alters phytotelma water. On the other hand, our findings support previous studies suggesting that nematodes inhabiting bromeliad phytotelma are not good candidates for AD-bioindicators.

Frequenza di pubblicazione:
Volume Open
Argomenti della rivista:
Life Sciences, other