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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Fruit-feeding butterflies in edge-dominated habitats: community structure, species persistence and cascade effect

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Filgueiras, Bruno K. C. [1] ; Melo, Douglas H. A. [1] ; Leal, Inara R. [2] ; Tabarelli, Marcelo [2] ; Freitas, Andre Victor L. [3] ; Iannuzzi, Luciana [4]
Total Authors: 6
[1] Univ Fed Pernambuco, Programa Posgrad Biol Anim, BR-50670901 Recife, PE - Brazil
[2] Univ Fed Pernambuco, Dept Bot, BR-50670901 Recife, PE - Brazil
[3] Univ Estadual Campinas, Inst Biol, Dept Biol Anim, CP 6109, BR-13083970 Sao Paulo - Brazil
[4] Univ Fed Pernambuco, Dept Zool, BR-50670901 Recife, PE - Brazil
Total Affiliations: 4
Document type: Journal article
Source: Journal of Insect Conservation; v. 20, n. 3, p. 539-548, JUN 2016.
Web of Science Citations: 9

As old-growth forests are converted into edge-affected habitats, a substantial proportion of tropical biodiversity is potentially threatened. Here, we examine a comprehensive set of community-level attributes of fruit-feeding butterfly assemblages inhabiting edge-affected habitats in a fragmented Atlantic forest landscape devoted to sugar cane production. We also explored whether the consequences of habitat loss and fragmentation can interact and cause cascading ecosystem changes, with the pervasive simplification of tree assemblages inhabiting edge-dominated habitats, altering fruit-feeding butterfly persistence. Butterflies were sampled in three forest habitats: small fragments, forest edges and patches of forest interior of a primary forest fragment. Assemblage attributes, including taxonomic composition, correlated to some patch (patch size) and landscape (such as forest cover) metrics as well as habitat structure (tree density and richness). Fruit-feeding butterfly assemblages in the forest interior differed from those in small fragments due to an increased abundance of edge-specialist species. On the other hand, several forest-dependent species were missing in both small fragments and forest edges. Our results suggest that edge-affected habitats dominated by pioneer tree species support taxonomically distinct assemblages, including the presence of disturbance-adapted species, and butterfly community structure is highly sensitive to fragmentation- and plant-related variables, such as forest cover and pioneer tree species. In this way, while the establishment of human-modified landscapes probably results in the local extirpation of forest-dependent species, it allows the persistence of disturbance-adapted species. Thus, forest-dependent species conservation and the plant-animal interaction webs they support could be improved by retaining a significant amount of core forest habitat. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 11/50225-3 - Natural history, phylogeny and conservation of Neotropical Lepidoptera
Grantee:André Victor Lucci Freitas
Support type: BIOTA-FAPESP Program - Regular Research Grants
FAPESP's process: 13/50297-0 - Dimensions US-BIOTA São Paulo: a multidisciplinary framework for biodiversity prediction in the Brazilian Atlantic forest hotspot
Grantee:Cristina Yumi Miyaki
Support type: BIOTA-FAPESP Program - Thematic Grants