Patch isolation only matters for specialist butterflies but patch area affects both specialist and generalist species
Source: Journal of Forest Research, Volume 18, Number 3, June 2013 , pp. 270-278(9)
Abstract:Over the past four decades, many researchers have applied the theory of island biogeography (IBT) to predict and understand species loss and distribution in fragmented landscapes. Recent studies found that specialist species were more affected by fragment size and isolation than generalists. However, the mechanisms underlying different effects of area and isolation among specialists and generalists are unknown. We tested the predictions of IBT on butterfly assemblages in Tokyo, Japan, and hypothesized that the effects of fragment size and isolation would be stronger for specialists than for generalists. We classified butterfly species into specialists and generalists for each of two dimensions (food range and voltinism) and according to tolerance to the matrix. We recorded 26 feeding specialists and 27 generalists, 24 seasonal specialists and 29 generalists, 32 low matrix-tolerant species and 21 high matrix-tolerant species in 20 forest fragments. We used generalized linear models to relate the number of species in a fragment to fragment size and isolation (distance to the mainland). The averaged models based on AICc showed that fragment size had positive and significant effects on both specialist and generalist and high matrix-tolerant butterfly species richness. However, the negative effects of isolation on species richness were only found in specialist and low matrix-tolerant species. Our results demonstrate that patch isolation only affects specialist species. This suggests that when applying IBT to terrestrial fragmented landscapes, researchers should be careful not to overlook patch area and isolation effects on specialists.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Department of Environment Conservation, Graduate School of Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, 3-5-8 Saiwaicho, Fuchu, Tokyo, 183-8509, Japan, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 2: Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, 3-5-8 Saiwaicho, Fuchu, Tokyo, 183-8509, Japan
Publication date: 2013-06-01