The present study tested the hypothesis that the composition of the odonate assemblages in environments with greater habitat integrity is significantly different from that of areas with reduced habitat integrity.
The samples were collected between April 2017 and November 2017 in eight streams in Caxias, in the Brazilian state of Maranhão. The habitat integrity index was used to quantify habitat integrity. The odonate specimens were collected by the fixed area scanning method.
The habitat integrity index ranged from 0.265 to 0.915 at the different localities. A total of 229 specimens were collected, representing 19 odonate species. Species composition varied among streams that presented different degrees of conservation, with some species being typical of specific habitats. However, this variation had no effect on the number of taxa or the abundance of odonates, which may reflect the local substitution of extinct specialist species by generalists.
Evidence indicates that the reduction of habitat integrity is an important predictor of changes in the biodiversity of aquatic insects in streams such as those of the Cerrado-Caatinga ecotone.
dragonfly; damselfly; habitat integrity; riparian forest; streams