- Butterfly species and traits associated with selectively logged forest in Borneo
- Basic and Applied Ecology
- Volume | Issue number
- 10 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
Logging can significantly change the structure of rainforest communities. To better understand how logging drives this change, butterflies and environmental variables were assessed within both unlogged and logged forest in Indonesian Borneo. In the whole dataset, we found local environmental variables and geographic distance combined captured 53.1% of the variation in butterfly community composition; 29.6% was associated with measured local environmental variables, 13.6% with geographic distance between sites, and 9.9% with covariation between geographic distance and environmental variables. The primary axis of variation in butterfly community composition represented a disturbance gradient from unlogged to logged forest. Subsequent axes represented gradients influenced by variables such as canopy cover and total tree density. There were significant associations between environmental variables and geographic range and larval host plant use of species. Specifically, butterflies using trees as larval host plants and those with distributions limited to Borneo were more likely to be present in unlogged forest. By contrast, species that tended to be more abundant in logged forest were those with widespread distributions and those using lianas and grasses as larval host plants. The results of this study highlight the importance of environmental variables and disturbance, e.g., selective logging, in structuring rainforest community diversity. Moreover, they confirm how species traits, such as larval food use and geographic distributions can determine patterns of species abundance following environmental change.
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