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metadata.dc.type: doctoralThesis
Título : The role of climate in the seasonality patterns and community assembly of neotropical butterflies along an environmental gradient
Autor : Checa Villafuerte, María Fernanda
metadata.dc.contributor.advisor: Keith, Willomtt
Jaret, Daniels
Rob, Fletcher
Heather, McAuslane
Fecha de publicación : dic-2016
Editorial : Florida / Universidad de Florida
Citación : Checa Villafuerte, María Fernanda. (2016). The role of climate in the seasonality patterns and community assembly of neotropical butterflies along an environmental gradient. (Trabajo de titulación PhD. en Etomology and Nematology). Universidad de Florida. Florida. 121 p.
Resumen : The goal of the present study was to measure the seasonality patterns of butterfly communities in relation to climate, and quantify the effects of different collection techniques on the observed patterns. Additionally, I determined the relative contribution of ecological filters and competition in structuring butterfly communities along a climatic environmental gradient through a phylogenetic approach using functional traits. A 3-year survey was carried out at three sites (i.e., wet, transition and dry forests) across a climatic gradient in western Ecuador. Butterflies were sampled using traps baited with rotting banana and prawn, along with hand-nets, every two months from Nov 2010 to Sep 2013. Traps were set up at two heights, in the understory and canopy. DNA was extracted to sequence the barcode’ section of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome oxidase 1 (COI) for phylogenetic analyses. Measurements of morphological traits, forewing length and aspect ratio were done using digital photographs of specimens. A total of 1534 butterflies and approximately 230 species were collected using hand-nets, and, 7046 butterflies representing 214 species were collected with traps across all study sites. Collection techniques, bait traps and hand-nets had an effect on analyses of butterfly communities in both temporal (e.g., seasons) and spatial (e.g., strata and microhabitat) dimensions. Combining both methodologies maximized species sampled. Butterfly communities exhibited conspicuous intra- and inter-annual variation in population dynamics with certain elements of seasonality patterns likely synchronized in seasonal forests across years but not in aseasonal forests. Rainfall was significantly positively associated with temporal abundance. Species displaying stronger seasonality were significantly negatively associated with higher rainfall periods in seasonal forests. Phylogenetic- and trait-based analyses revealed mostly non-random patterns of phylogenetic structure within butterfly communities along local (i.e., strata) and regional (i.e., wet to dry forests) environmental gradients. Competition was more prevalent within dry forest, whereas ecological filters were significant drivers of community composition within wet forest. Random patterns of phylogenetic structure were mostly observed for dry forest communities. The present study therefore provided insights into community assembly mechanisms in one of the richest butterfly faunas worldwide, revealing competition along with ecological filters as significant drivers of community composition.
URI : http://repositorio.educacionsuperior.gob.ec/handle/28000/4207
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