Fluctuating asymmetry as an Indicator of Ecological Stress in Rhinocypha colorata (Odonata: Chlorocyphidae) in Iligan City, Mindanao, Philippines

Cherry Mae M. Yuto, Leonel Lumogdang, Sharon Rose M. Tabugo


Odonata species are known to be successful biological indicators because they are particularly sensitive to human disturbances due to their habitat selection which makes them vulnerable to changes. A useful trait to monitor developmental instability (DI) and ecological stress is fluctuating asymmetry (FA), which is a measure of the differences between the left and right side of bilateral symmetrical organisms. It refers to a slight number and nondirectional deviations from strict bilateral symmetry of biological objects that occur as a result of stochastic microscopic processes. In this study, fore-wing variation of Rhinocypha colorata, a Philippine endemic species was investigated. It assessed developmental stability via fluctuating asymmetry in the fore- wings of R. colorata, in three populations from three areas: Buruun, Ditucalan, Dalipuga, Iligan City, Mindanao, Philippines. Analysis was based on Procrustes method that makes comparison of FA indices of homologous points. Using landmark method for shape asymmetry, anatomical landmarks were used and analyzed using Symmetry and Asymmetry in Geometric Data (SAGE) program. Twenty landmarks on the fore-wings were tested on samples for all populations. Results obtained showed variation and significantly high FA for all populations with relatively higher FA for Dalipuga. Principal component analysis (PCA) showed that barangay Dalipuga exhibited more variations (74.93%) than that of Ditucalan (72.19%) and Buru-un (67.97%). Possible reasons behind high FA values were anthropogenic activities in the area. FA has been considered as a good indicator of DI and thus acts as a biomarker for environmental stress. Hence, results may reflect inability of the organism to cope with stressing factors and any perturbations during development. Herewith, understanding the relationship between the species and its environment would help determine the health of a given ecosystem. Nonetheless, Odonata, as bioindicator species, can play an important role for biomonitoring purposes.

Keywords: Fluctuating Asymmetry, Biological indicator, Odonata, Procrustes ANOVA, SAGE

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URN: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0000easl.v3i1.754


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