Butterfly diversity in Mediterranean islands and in Pentadaktylos Pinus brutia forests of Cyprus
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- Özden, Ö., Ciesla, W.M., Fuller, W.J. et al. Biodivers Conserv (2008) 17: 2821. doi:10.1007/s10531-008-9382-8
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We analysed the influence of contemporary geography on butterfly diversity for islands in the Mediterranean Basin. We found that island size and distance from the mainland has a significant effect on the number of species. We also used butterflies as an indicator group to identify the importance of forest habitats for biodiversity conservation in the island of Cyprus. To understand the relative importance of local vegetation characteristics of butterflies in the Pentadaktylos mountains transect counts were used to assess the abundance and butterfly diversity in two different forest types. A total of 1,602 butterflies and 23 species were recorded during this research. We observed highly significant effects of forest type on abundance and species richness of butterflies. For example, number of butterflies was significantly higher in old forest than young pine forest. Also, the abundance of endemic butterflies was highest in old forest habitats. Therefore, the survival of the majority of endemic butterflies in Cyprus may depend on conservation of old forests and their understorey plants.