Vertical stratification and species composition of Nymphalidae butterfly assemblages in tree-fall gaps and understory in Madidi National Park, Bolivia
Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 180 HE creditsStudent thesis
Rainforest is a dynamic ecosystem where species are affected by numerous biotic and abiotic factors. One important abiotic factor for many species is the availability of sunlight. The understory habitat under the closed undisturbed canopy is comparably constant with regard to sunlight and therefore also humidity and temperature. The canopy regulates the amount of sunlight that will reach the ground, which means that changes in canopy cover will change the understory environment. The main natural disturbances that affect the structure of rainforest are tree falls, that resulting in tree-fall gaps. The aim of this study was to compare the vertical stratification and species composition of fruit-feeding Nymphalidae butterflies between tree-fall gaps of different sizes and undisturbed understory in a primary rainforest in Madidi National Park, Bolivia. Fruit-baited traps were suspended at ground level (2 m) and in canopy (10-15 m) in 5 tree-fall gaps and adjacent undisturbed understory, a total of 40 traps. There were more species rich assemblages in gaps both at ground level and in canopy, compared to understory. The data show that there are different species assemblages in tree-fall gaps, undisturbed understory, canopy and at ground level. The vegetation structure affected by the amount of sun light was an important factor affecting butterfly assemblages. There was a tendency that differences among gap assemblages increased with gap size. These results indicate the importance of the mosaic pattern caused by natural tree-fall gaps, they contain specific resources that favor different butterfly assemblages.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 18 p.
Amazonas, gap dynamics, vertical stratification, tree fall gap, Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae, Madidi National Park
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-108770ISRN: LiTH-IFM- Ex--14/2883--SEOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-108770DiVA: diva2:732380
Subject / course