Environmental impacts from human activities affect the diversity of the Odonata (Insecta) in the Eastern Amazon


Land use influences the biodiversity of stream systems by changing the chemical composition of the water and the physical structure of the habitat. The present study evaluated the influence of these processes on the diversity metrics of Odonata at regional and local scales, testing the hypothesis that the two odonate suborders Anisoptera and Zygoptera will respond differently to habitat and landscape variables. The study focused on 13 sites in the municipality of Barcarena, Pará, Brazil. We found no significant impact from regional factors, although anisopterans were more affected by water temperature and Habitat Integrity Index (HII). The HII indicated that the local forest was stable, but anisopteran richness was negatively correlated with HII. It was indicating that these species favoured open areas with less riparian cover. Even though zygopterans did not exhibit a similar systematic pattern, the reduced abundance of Chalcopteryx rutilans, a species associated with better-preserved habitats, may indicate that some sites lack the habitat integrity necessary to establish populations of this species. These findings highlight the importance of preserving the riparian forest to maintain the health of the stream systems. We recommend more studies that focus on the broader geographic and temporal scales to account for factors such as the anthropogenic gradient and historical land use patterns.

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