Temporal analysis of butterfly diversity in a succession gradient in a fragmented tropical landscape of Mexico
Martínez Sánchez, Nallely
Barragán Torres, Felipe
Gelviz Gelvez, Sandra Milena
"We analyze changes in the diversity of butterflies under a scheme of secondary succession in a fragmented landscape of the Huasteca of Hidalgo, Mexico over two seasons (rainy and dry) and four successional stages (cattle pasture, early secondary succession, intermediate secondary succession and advanced secondary succession). We recorded a total of 3,559 individuals of 124 species of adult butterflies. A higher number of species (104) and higher abundance (2588 individuals) were found during the rainy season than the dry season. Memphis pithyusa was the most abundant species in all successional stages. We evaluated the effect of secondary succession and seasonality on the alpha diversity of butterflies through three orders of Hill numbers as measures of diversity (0D?=?species richness, 1D?=?measure of abundance in the community, and 2D?=?common species). We found that in q0D, cattle pasture and early SS maintained the greatest diversity compared to the last two stages; in q1D, early SS maintained the lowest diversity, which was significantly different from the rest of the stages; and in q2D, we found the opposite pattern to q0D; the two most advanced stages were the ones that maintained the greatest diversity. Beta diversity analysis was conducted with abundance and species presence/absence data. Species composition was different between the rainy and dry seasons (both as evaluated by abundance and by species presence/absence). Species composition measured by abundance was different between the cattle pasture successional stage in the dry season and all other successional stages. Considering only presence/absence, species composition was different between the cattle pasture successional stage and all other successional stages in both seasons. Although our analysis lacks a primary forest for reference, we highlight here the importance of these secondary forests from Huasteca Region of Hidalgo State of Mexico as reservoirs of butterfly diversity. Considering that these forests generally maintain a close relationship with productive activities for human well-being, this would imply that they should be included in public policies for their maintenance and conservation."
Huasteca of Mexico