Volcanism and arthropods: a review

Luciana Elizalde


Ecología Austral, 24:3-16 (2014)

Las erupciones volcánicas son disturbios naturales que imponen múltiples cambios en los ecosistemas. Los artrópodos se ubican entre los organismos más diversos del planeta y desempeñan un papel clave en el funcionamiento de los ecosistemas. Sin embargo, la información existente sobre los efectos de los disturbios volcánicos sobre ellos es dispersa. El objetivo de esta revisión es identificar generalidades en las respuestas de los artrópodos al vulcanismo. Principalmente, (1) ¿qué efecto tienen las erupciones volcánicas sobre los artrópodos?, (2) ¿qué características hacen que ciertas especies sean más resistentes al vulcanismo?, (3) ¿cómo se ensamblan sus comunidades después de una erupción? Los artrópodos terrestres y acuáticos muestran respuestas similares al vulcanismo, que afecta a sus poblaciones y comunidades, y los ecosistemas a través de las funciones que los artrópodos realizan. La mayoría de los estudios que evaluaron el efecto de la ceniza volcánica encontraron efectos negativos sobre la mortalidad y diferente susceptibilidad entre especies. La mortalidad en una misma especie varía según la cantidad de ceniza y la forma de exposición (contacto con el cuerpo, alimentos contaminados, modificación del hábitat), y la humedad relativa. En las pocas comunidades de artrópodos donde se estudiaron los efectos de las erupciones volcánicas, la riqueza, composición y abundancia de las especies son afectadas de alguna forma. Identifiqué rasgos morfológicos, fisiológicos, comportamentales y de historia de vida que parecen importantes para determinar respuestas de las especies al vulcanismo. Sin embargo, los conocimientos actuales son limitados y acotados a pocas erupciones volcánicas. Los estudios de eventos volcánicos pueden proporcionar una validación a escala del ecosistema de las predicciones sobre cómo el cambio climático y los cambios inducidos por el hombre, como una mayor concentración de partículas en suspensión o de emisión de gases al ambiente, pueden afectar a las comunidades de artrópodos.

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