Trophic structures of the arthropod community of Treetops of tropical ecosystems

Trophic relationships are difficult to determine, especially in the highly diverse habitats of rainforest canopies with complex food web structures as can be found in the lowland rainforest of Jambi Province (Sumatra, Indonesia). The lowlands of Sumatra are subject to massive landscape transformation to the benefit of rubber and oil palm plantations. Therefore, it is crucial to examine the trophic structure of food webs and how they are affected by land-use change.
Compound-specific analysis of amino acids (CSIA) is an emerging tool to disentangle complex food webs, since δ13C and δ15N values of amino acids can be used to determine trophic positions and basal resources. In this study, amino acids of consumers (Blattodea, Hemiptera and Collembola) from different land-use systems (rainforest, ‘jungle rubber’, rubber and oil palm) in two landscapes (Harapan and Bukit Duabelas) in Jambi Province are examined to investigate trophic changes along a gradient of increasing land-use intensity. Stable isotope (13C) fingerprinting is used to detect the origin of carbon in amino acids of consumers to identify their basal resources; 15N values of trophic and source amino acids are used to determine trophic positions. This study will help to understand in what way trophic structures and relationships are influenced by land-use change in order to protect biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in a changing world.