Instituto Internacional de Ecologia, Brazilian Journal of Biology, (83), 2023
Abstract Acacia auriculiformis A. Cunn. Ex Benth. (Fabaceae), a non-native pioneer species in Brazil with fast growth and rusticity, is used in restoration programs. Our goal was to assess during a 24-month survey the pattern of arthropods (phytophagous insects, bees, spiders, and predator insects) on the leaf surfaces of A. auriculiformis saplings. Fourteen species of phytophagous, two of bees and eleven of predators were most abundant on the adaxial surface. The values of the ecological indexes (abundance, diversity, and species richness) and the rarefaction, and k-dominance curves of phytophagous, bees and arthropod predators were highest on the adaxial leaf surface of A. auriculiformis. The k-dominance and abundance of Aleyrodidae (Hemiptera) (both leaf surfaces), the native stingless bee Tetragonisca angustula Latreille (Hymenoptera: Apidae) (both leaf surfaces) and the ant Brachymyrmex sp. (adaxial surface) and Pheidole sp. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) (abaxial surface) were the highest between the taxonomic groups of phytophagous, bees, and predators, respectively on A. auriculiformis saplings. The ecological indexes and rarefaction, abundance, and k-dominance curves of phytophagous insects, bees, and predators were highest on the adaxial leaf surface. The preference of phytophagous insects for the adaxial leaf surface is probably due to the lower effort required to move on this surface. Understanding the arthropod preferences between leaf surfaces may help to develop sampling and pest management plans for the most abundant phytophagous insects on A. auriculiformis saplings. Also, knowledge on the preference pattern of bees and predators may be used to favour their conservation.