Odonate ethodiversity as a bioindicator of anthropogenic impact


The increasing use of dragonflies and damselflies as models in studies on biodiversity in the last decades has unraveled several features of natural processes and mechanisms for species conservation. Nevertheless, biodiversity is a polysemic concept that resolves multiple dimensions that, together, enroll what we observe as species and lineages diversity. One of these dimensions is Ethodiversity, which may represent the individual diversity of behavioral traits and higher organization levels. Hence, measures of Ethodiversity may be used as indicator tools to measure such dimensions of biodiversity. However, we still lack methods and protocols to measure this diversity. Therefore, here we addressed whether damselfly behaviors may act as indicators of environmental impacts. We collected behavioral data of 120 males in two sites, one in an ecological reserve and another in an impacted habitat. Our results show differences in behavioral syndromes and behavioral integrity when comparing populations in impacted and conserved environments. In conclusion, we hope that these results stimulate future endeavors to create a methodological framework to assess behavioral diversity.

Issue section: Original article