Hostname: page-component-5d59c44645-lfgmx Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-03-03T13:58:21.367Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Diversity and ensemble composition of geometrid moths along a successional gradient in the Ecuadorian Andes

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 February 2006

Nadine Hilt
Affiliation:
Department of Animal Ecology I, Universitätsstrasse 30, University of Bayreuth, D-95440 Bayreuth, Germany
Gunnar Brehm
Affiliation:
Department of Animal Ecology I, Universitätsstrasse 30, University of Bayreuth, D-95440 Bayreuth, Germany Present address: Institut für Spezielle Zoologie und Evolutionsbiologie mit Phyletischem Museum, Erbertstra ße 1,07743 Jena, Germany
Konrad Fiedler
Affiliation:
Department of Animal Ecology I, Universitätsstrasse 30, University of Bayreuth, D-95440 Bayreuth, Germany Department of Population Ecology, Faculty Centre of Ecology, University of Vienna, Althanstrasse 14, A-1090 Vienna, Austria

Abstract

Little is known about the change of species-rich tropical insect communities along habitat gradients. Diversity and species richness of geometrid moths were investigated at 15 anthropogenically disturbed sites in a montane area in the Andes of southern Ecuador representing a successional gradient. These plots were compared with six closed-forest understorey sites. We collected a total of 23,720 individuals representing 868 morphospecies. Local diversity increased with forest recovery and decreased with increasing distance to the natural forest. 18.6% of all species were found as unique singletons. The mean proportions of local singletons differed significantly between three succession classes. Forest understorey showed a higher proportion of singletons than early and late successional stages. Ordination of the moth samples showed a clear separation of geometrid ensembles at successional sites vs. the forest understorey sites. Patterns of species turnover were influenced by the degree of habitat openness, and to a lesser extent by elevation. However, faunal differences were not related to geographical distances between the sampling sites. In conclusion, geometrid moth ensembles of regenerating Andean montane forest remain diverse, but change significantly in composition relative to adjacent natural forest, whereas the diversity and composition of the geometrid fauna are far more strongly affected in non-forested habitats and abandoned pastures.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
2006 Cambridge University Press

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)