The Atlantic Forest (AF) is considered the most fragmented and endangered Brazilian biome. The diversity of phytophagous insects increases after disturbances in forests, and it was hypothesized the Pentatomidae can furnish ecologically reliable information in terms of diversity in response to the changes occurring in AF. Our aim was to quantify the response of assemblages of Pentatomoidea to gradient of human disturbance in two vegetation types of the AF—dense ombrophilous forest (DOF) and mixed ombrophilous forest (MOF). Twelve transects were grouped into environmental classes, namely open, intermediate, and closed. Overall, 1,017 pentatomoids were sampled, representing 64 species. The open environment was more abundant than closed environment, though it is expected that Pentatomoidea respond with increasing abundance when under light or moderate disturbance. The MOF was more abundant than DOF, and the composition differed between both of them. Given the differences in composition between MOF and DOF, abiotic variables are important factors acting as environmental filters for Pentatomoidea, not just directly on the insects, but probably also on the nutritional support of their host plants.
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Vol. 43 • No. 6