Butterfly community composition across a successional gradient in a human-disturbed Afro-tropical rain forest

  • Published source details Nyafwono M., Valtonen A., Nyeko P. & Roininen H. (2014) Butterfly community composition across a successional gradient in a human-disturbed Afro-tropical rain forest. Biotropica, 46, 210-218.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Encourage natural regeneration in former plantations or logged forest

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Encourage natural regeneration in former plantations or logged forest

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2011–2012 in a tropical rainforest in Uganda (Nyafwono et al. 2014) found that naturally regenerating forest had a similar abundance and species richness of butterflies to pristine forest, but abundance and richness were highest 12–25 years after felling. Two former plantations which were clearcut 12–25 years earlier and left to regenerate naturally had a similar abundance (18–21 individuals/trap) and species richness (31–34 species/trap) of butterflies to one pristine forest site (abundance: 24 individuals/trap; richness: 32 species/trap). However, those three sites had a greater abundance and species richness than both a second pristine site (abundance: 12 individuals/trap; richness: 24 species/trap) and four other sites which were clearcut 7–12 years earlier (abundance: 8–10 individuals/trap; richness: 20–23 species/trap) or were heavily logged 42–44 years earlier and left to regenerate naturally (abundance: 7–10 individuals/trap; richness: 22–24 species/trap). In 1968–1969, two areas of forest (347–622 ha) were heavily logged (40–50% basal area reduction, one area treated with arboricide) and left to regenerate naturally. From 1987–2004, four former conifer plantations (60–171 ha) were clearcut and left to regenerate naturally for 7–10, 10–12, 12–17 and 17–25 years. Two areas of intact pristine forest (282–754 ha) were also studied. From May 2011–April 2012, butterflies were caught from 0800–1600 hours on three consecutive days/month in 8–13 banana-baited white cylindrical butterfly traps (125 × 35 cm, hung at 40–50 cm height) in each area.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

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