Phylogenetic overdispersion in lepidoptera communities of amazonian white-sand forests

Abstract : In the Amazon basin and the Guiana Shield, white-sand (WS) forests are recognized as a low-resource habitat often composed by a distinct flora with many edaphic endemic plants. Small patches of nutrient-poor white-sand forests can pose a series of challenges to plants and animals. For plants, these challenges have been shown to function as strong filters that in turn drive taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic plant composition. However, very little is known about animal communities in WS forest and the effect that low-resource availability may have on higher trophic levels. Here, we investigate the diversity of both taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity of three Lepidoptera families' (Nymphalidae, Saturniidae, and Sphingidae) assemblages between low-resource (White-Sand Forest) and two adjacent high-resource habitats, terra firme clay and seasonally flooded forests. We found no clear effect of habitat type on taxonomic composition although butterfly and moth species abundance differed among the three contrasted habitats. The WS forest Lepidoptera community is significantly more phylogenetically overdispersed than expected by chance. We suggest that these low-resource habitats filter the number of plant lineages which, in turn, creates a bottom-up control structuring Lepidoptera phylogenetic structure. We recommend long-term sampling on Lepidoptera community both at larval and adult stages that may complement this study and test hypotheses linking herbivore phylogenetic structure to plant resource availability and trophic cascade theory.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01532550
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Submitted on : Friday, June 2, 2017 - 8:04:39 PM
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Greg P. A. Lamarre, Diego Salazar Amoretti, Christopher Baraloto, Frederic Beneluz, Italo Mesones, et al.. Phylogenetic overdispersion in lepidoptera communities of amazonian white-sand forests. Biotropica, Wiley, 2016, 48 (1), pp.101-109. ⟨10.1111/btp.12294⟩. ⟨hal-01532550⟩

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