Abstract

Cuantificar la variacion de la biodiversidad es un objetivo importante de la biologia. Sin embargo, debido a que tales inventarios, en especial para la biodiversidad marina, son costosos, dificiles y consumen mucho tiempo, hay un gran valor en indicadores simples que permitan determinar la biodiversidad de una region determinada de manera eficiente. Hicimos un inventario de las conchas usadas como casas moviles terrestres por los cangrejos ermitanos (Coenobita compressus) en la Peninsula de Osa, Costa Rica, un “punto algido” de biodiversidad. Se registraron 41 especies, el mayor numero registrado en cualquier poblacion de cangrejos ermitanos. Proponemos que la “diversidad del mercado de vivienda” en los cangrejos ermitanos puede proporcionar un indice de biodiversidad ecosistemica conveniente, lo que podria facilitar las comparaciones entre sitios. ABSTRACT Quantifying variation in biodiversity is an important goal of biology. However, because inventorying biodiversity, especially marine biodiversity, is costly, difficult, and time consuming, there is great value in simple metrics that can reliably indicate a given region’s biodiversity and that can be efficiently gathered. We inventoried shells used as portable houses by terrestrial hermit crabs (Coenobita compressus) in Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica, a biodiversity hotspot. Forty-one species were recorded, the largest number registered for any hermit crab population. We propose that housing market diversity in hermit crabs might provide a convenient biodiversity index of ecosystems, potentially facilitating comparisons across different sites.

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