American Journal of Applied Sciences

Arthropods in Natural Communities in Mescal Agave (Agave durangensis Gentry) in an Arid Zone

María P. González-Castillo, Manuel Q. Escalante and Gabriela Castaño-Meneses

DOI : 10.3844/ajassp.2011.933.944

American Journal of Applied Sciences

Volume 8, Issue 10

Pages 933-944


Problem statement: The arthropods have a very important role in the arid zones due to their interactions with many organism and because they constituted an important element in the structure of the plant community. Nevertheless their importance there are few knowledge about the community of arthropods associated to vegetation in arid zones in the North of Mexico. The present study had the objective of determining the abundance, richness and diversity of arthropods in three localities where there are natural populations of mescal agave in the State of Durango, Mexico. Approach: In order to know the structure community of the arthropods associated to the mescal agave, we perform a sampling schedule during March 2008 to November 2010 by direct collection, using transects in three different localities with the presence of mescal agave. The relative abundance, species richness, Shannon’s diversity index, Pielou’s Index of evenness, Jaccard’s similitude and Simpson’s dominance indexes were determined. Results: A total of 4665 individual arthropods associated to mescal agave corresponding to 39 species were found. El Mezquital had the highest abundance and relative abundance (44.1%) with 29 species. The mean species abundance was not significantly different between localities using Turkey’s test. The highest density per unit of area was found in El Mezquital (La Breña had the highest species diversity (1.89), evenness (0.61) and dominance (0.78). At the taxon level, Hymenoptera had the highest number of species represented (14), followed by Coleoptera (9) and hemiptera (5), with the remaining taxons with four, two and one species each. Conclusion: The greatest similitude was observed between La Breña and El Mezquital (46%) which shared seven taxons, while the least similitude was observed between El Venado and La Breña (29%). Dominance/diversity curves are presented for each locality. The species Caulotops sp., Acutaspis agavis, Chilorus sp., Scyphophorus acupunctatus and Peltophorus polymitus were the ones with highest relative abundance. Although the diversity values are above the minimum, previously unreported arthropod species associated to mescal agave were recorded. The results can be useful to know the dynamic in the community associated to agave, in order to development best conservation and exploit management of that important plant.


© 2011 María P. González-Castillo, Manuel Q. Escalante and Gabriela Castaño-Meneses. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.