In temperate forested streams, fruit from riparian trees is generally a minor and seasonal component of the allochthonous detritus. In contrast, riparian fruit input to tropical streams is often high and continuous. Detrital fruit is abundant in some forested Hawaiian streams compared to other forms of riparian detritus, and rates of leaf litter processing by macroscopic invertebrates are very low. These observations suggested that fruit is an important food resource for detritivores. A microcosm system was used to measure the rates at which two common detrital fruits, guava and mango, were processed by two common detritivores, the prawn Macrobrachium lar and the gastropod Tarebia granifera. Comparisons of fruit weight loss rates normalized by detritivore weight indicated that M. lar processed guavas at significantly higher rates than T. granifera; differences in rates of mango processing by M. lar and T. granifera were not significant. Microcosms containing both M. lar and T. granifera were used to test for interactions between the invertebrates that affected rates of mango processing. No interspecific interactions were detected. A field study was conducted in Kaiwiki Stream, Island of Hawaii, to determine rates of detrital fruit input and export. Detrital fruit was supplied to the study area year-round, with peaks corresponding to summer and autumn fruiting seasons. Guavas and mangos accounted for 85 percent of the fruit biomass entering the stream and 92 percent of the fruit exported from the stream. Mean daily export rates of guava were 7 percent of input, and export rates of mango were 5 percent of input. These measurements suggested that most of the fruit entering the stream is retained and comprises a substantial food resource for detritivores. Comparisons of the biomass-specific rates at which M. lar and T. granifera processed mangos and guavas with the rates at which mangos and guavas entered Kaiwiki Stream suggested that these invertebrates can process most of the detrital fruit in the stream.
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Vol. 33 • No. 2