Host plants of insect-induced galls in areas of cerrado in the state of Goiás, Brazil


Acta Bot. Bras.




Most studies of the interactions between plants and gall-inducing (galling) insects have focused on the entomological aspects, few having addressed the diversity of galls in relation to the characteristics of the host plants. The objective of this study was to analyze the richness and composition of the community of host plants of galls in areas of cerrado (savanna) in the state of Goiás, Brazil. To that end, we inventoried the galls in different regions of the state and within various types of vegetation formations, between 2005 and 2007. We registered 80 gall morphotypes in 58 species of host plants (30 families and 47 genera). The host family with highest diversity of galls was Fabaceae, with 17 morphotypes, followed by Styracaceae, with seven. In the cerrado, Fabaceae is the plant family with the highest number of species. Our results show that the composition of a plant community is a determinant of the distribution of galling insects. At the family or genus level, the presence of certain taxa increases the species richness of the population of galling insects.

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