The Pantanal is the largest floodplain in the word with more than 140,000 km2, and the annual cycles of flood and drought are the most important factors that determine ecological interactions and patterns of diversity. Usually, capões are elongated or rounded arboreal patches of herbaceous vegetation found in flooded fields. This study aimed to determine the effect of size, distance, and heterogeneity of capões on selected components of insect communities in Brazilian Pantanal, testing the hypotheses that (I) larger capões show greater ecological metrics, (II) the closer one is more similar in insect composition, and (III) heterogeneity affects the composition of the insect community. We used Malaise traps to capture insects. There was a positive relationship between richness and abundance and capão size and this influenced insect community composition. The distance between capões also affected insect community composition. The variation in heterogeneity of capões influenced community composition at the family level, and these characteristics are important in determining the components of community.
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Vol. 126 • No. 4