Article

Journal of Insect Conservation

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 173-188

First online:

Effects of Forest Management on Diversity and Abundance of Fruit-feeding Nymphalid Butterflies in South-eastern Côte d'Ivoire

  • Heleen FermonAffiliated withCentre for Nature Conservation (Department I), University of Göttingen
  • , M. WaltertAffiliated withCentre for Nature Conservation (Department I), University of Göttingen
  • , T. B. LarsenAffiliated with
  • , U. Dall'AstaAffiliated withLepidoptera Section, Royal Belgian Africa Museum
  • , M. MühlenbergAffiliated withCentre for Nature Conservation (Department I), University of Göttingen

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Abstract

The effects of forest management on vegetation structure and capture frequencies of nymphalid butterflies were studied in a logged rain forest in south-east Côte d'Ivoire. An experimental compartment, where liberation thinning was carried out 3 years before, and a 5-year-old mono-dominant tree plantation were compared to a regenerating control compartment; 3642 specimens of 97 species were trapped. Accumulated species richness and diversity indices were lower in the control compared to the liberation thinning compartment, but lowest in the plantation. However, the habitat preference for traps situated in the control compartment was negatively correlated with the size of the species geographical range. Four out of five species with a lower capture frequency in the liberation thinning compartment showed preferences for mature succession stages and were either Upper Guinean endemics or Guinea–Congolian–restricted species. The seven species with higher capture frequencies in the liberation thinning compartment were all geographically widespread. Five of them showed higher frequencies in younger succession stages. Eight species, three canopy specialists and two Guinea savannah species, significantly preferred the plantation, while 17 species avoided this management type. Liberation thinning seems to affect the more specialised species with smaller geographic ranges, thus risking loss of regional diversity.

Afrotropical butterflies diversity geographic range forest management liberation thinning