Habitat specialisation, body-size and family identity explain Lepidopteran density-area relationships in a cross-continental comparison.
2007 (English)In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 104, 8368-8373 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Habitat fragmentation may strongly affect species density, species interactions and the rate of ecosystem processes. It is therefore important to understand the observed variability among species responses to fragmentation, and the underlying mechanisms. In this study, we compare density-area relationships (DAR) for 344 lepidopteran species belonging to 22 families (butterflies and moths). This analysis suggested that the DARslope is generally positive for moths and negative for butterflies. The differences are suggested to occur because moths are largely olfactory searchers, whereas most butterflies are visual searchers. The analysis also suggests that DARs vary as a function of habitat specialisation and body size. In butterflies, generalist species had a more negative DARslope than specialist species because of a lower patch size threshold. In moths, the differences in DARslope between forest and open habitat species were large for small species but absent for large species. This is argued to occur because the DARslope in large species mainly reflect their search mode, which does not necessarily vary between moth groups, whereas the slope in small species reflect population growth rates.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 104, 8368-8373 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-22134ISI: 000246599900033OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-22134DiVA: diva2:188661