Off-campus FIU users: To download campus-access content, please use the following link to log in to our proxy server with your FIU library username and password.

Non-FIU users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this content through interlibrary loan.

Date of Award

Summer 8-10-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Suzanne Koptur


Insect biodiversity is unevenly distributed on local, regional, and global scales. Elevation is a key factor in the uneven distribution of insect diversity, serving as a proxy for a host of environmental variables. My study examines the relationship of Heteroptera (true bugs) species diversity, abundance, and morphology to elevational gradients and land-use regimes on Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, East Africa. Heteroptera specimens were collected from 60 research sites covering an elevational range of 3684m (866-4550m above sea level). Thirty of the sites were classified as natural, while the remaining 30 were classified as disturbed (e.g., agricultural use or converted to grasslands). I measured aspects of the body size of adult specimens and recorded their location of origin. I used regression models to analyze the relationships of Heteroptera species richness, abundance, and body measurements to elevation and land-use regime. Richness and abundance declined with greater elevation, controlling for land use. The declines were linear or logarithmic in form, depending on the model. Richness and abundance were greater in natural than disturbed sites, controlling for elevation. According to an interaction, richness decreased more in natural than disturbed sites with rising elevation. Body length increased as a quadratic function of elevation, adjusting for land use. Body width X length decreased as a logarithmic function of elevation, while leg length/body length decreased as a quadratic function. Leg length/body length was greater in disturbed than natural sites. Interactions indicated that body length and body width X length were greater in natural than disturbed sites as elevation rose, although the general trend was downward. Future research should examine the relative importance of land area, temperature, and resource constraints for Heteroptera diversity and morphology on Mt. Kilimanjaro.



Rights Statement

Rights Statement

In Copyright. URI:
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).