Arboreal invertebrates represent a diverse and functionally important component of forest ecosystems. Many invertebrates respond rapidly and dramatically to changes in environmental conditions, making these organisms potentially useful indicators of forest condition. Canopy arthropods also significantly affect canopy structure and ecosystem processes such as primary productivity, nutrient cycling and hydrology. Few canopy studies have been designed to address environmental issues such as how changes in land use affect biodiversity or how changes in canopy biodiversity affect functional integration of forest ecosystems. Assessment of canopy invertebrate responses to environmental change and their consequences for ecosystem processes requires manipulative experimental approaches with random replication of independent treatment plots to meet requirements of statistical analyses. This paper describes experimental approaches for evaluating effects of environmental change on canopy arthropod diversity and species abundances and effects of herbivores on ecosystem processes. These studies have indicated similar functional interactions in taxonomically distinct temperate and tropical forest canopies.
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