Vespas parasitoides em capítulos de Asteraceae: caracterização da fauna, distribuição e padrões de associação no cerrado do estado de São Paulo
Nascimento, André Rangel
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This is the first and most complete study of parasitoid wasps fauna associated with endophagous herbivores reared from flower-heads of Asteracea. A total of 36 remnants of Cerrado were sampled around São Paulo states, Brazil. 15,372 specimens of 192 species of parasitoid wasps were reared from 74 species of family Asteraceae. The subfamilies Eulophidae (Chalcidoidea) and Braconidae (Ichneumonoidea) represented most than a half of parasitoid wasps species. In addition to presenting a rich fauna of parasitoids, this study also addresses ecological issues regarding the main determinants of the parasitoid species richness from Brazilian savannah. The availability of food resources has crucial role in determining the species richness of parasitoids. In the first chapter of this thesis, we verified the role of geographical distribution of plants on the accumulation of natural enemies of their endophagous herbivores. In the second chapter, we verified through a path analysis which was the effect of local richness and phylogenetic diversity of plant species and their herbivores endophagous of flower-heads on local parasitoid species richness. In the third chapter we tested through an analysis of randomization if the patterns of the proportions of species of three trophic levels were consistent or stochastic. We conclude that both plants and their associated herbivores play a key role in determining the species richness of parasitoids in the Cerrado biome and the principals determinants of parasitoid wasps species richness were geographical distribution of plants, plant and herbivore richness, and the phytophysiognomy where species live. Due copyrights, all chapters of this thesis can be found published online in Neotropical Entomology, Insect Conservation and Diversity and Biota Neotropica magazines.