Don Cipollini (Committee Member), Thomas Rooney (Advisor), James Runkle (Committee Member)
Master of Science (MS)
Biodiversity in the tropics is especially diverse and describing species found in the tropics is important. Opiliones species richness is higher in the tropics than the temperate zone, with diversity highest in low latitudes. This study aims to catalog the Opiliones community in Cusuco National Park, Honduras, while estimating species richness and describing their abundance, distribution and community structure. Fifty hours of sampling at 6 sites yielded 18 morphospecies and 264 individual Opiliones were collected. This study added one new described species to the Opiliones fauna of Honduras, and fourteen morphospecies may represent new species. An estimated 43 to 112 species could exist in Cusuco Park. The contribution of beta diversity to Cusuco's overall diversity is significant. There was no significant pattern in the distribution of Opiliones along elevation or moisture gradients. Increased spatial and temporal sampling is needed to better assess the diversity and richness of Opiliones within Cusuco National Park.
Department or Program
Department of Biological Sciences
Year Degree Awarded
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