Species diversity and community structure of fruit-feeding butterflies (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) in an eastern amazonian forest
Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia
Deforestation has negative impacts on diversity and community patterns of several taxa. In the eastern Amazon, where much deforestation is predicted for the coming years, forests patches may be essential to maintain the local biodiversity. Despite increasing concerns about the conservation of threatened areas, few studies have been performed to analyze the communities of diversified groups, such as insects, in the eastern Amazon. Here, we investigated species diversity and community structure
... mmunity structure of fruit-feeding butterflies, a well-known bioindicator group, in a threatened remnant of an eastern Amazonian forest located on Maranhão Island, northeastern Brazil. Fruit-feeding butterflies were sampled monthly for one year. Diversity and evenness indices, richness estimators, rarefaction curve, and rank-abundance plot were used to describe community structure in the study area. We captured 529 fruit-feeding butterflies in four subfamilies, 23 genera and 34 species. The three most abundant species, Hamadryas februa, Hamadryas feronia, and Hermeuptychia cf. atalanta are indicators of disturbed habitats and represented more than half of the collected individuals. Richness estimators revealed that between 87 and 94% of the fruit-feeding butterfly species were sampled, suggesting few additional records would be made for the area. Our results indicate that human-caused disturbances have altered local community patterns and provide baseline data for future research in threatened regions of the eastern Amazon.