Filgueiras, Bruno K. C.
Melo, Douglas H. A.
Leal, Inara R.
Freitas, Andre Victor L.
Número total de Autores: 6
Afiliação do(s) autor(es):
 Univ Fed Pernambuco, Programa Posgrad Biol Anim, BR-50670901 Recife, PE - Brazil
 Univ Fed Pernambuco, Dept Bot, BR-50670901 Recife, PE - Brazil
 Univ Estadual Campinas, Inst Biol, Dept Biol Anim, CP 6109, BR-13083970 Sao Paulo - Brazil
 Univ Fed Pernambuco, Dept Zool, BR-50670901 Recife, PE - Brazil
Número total de Afiliações: 4
Tipo de documento:
Journal of Insect Conservation;
Citações Web of Science:
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)