The patterns of butterfly diversity and community changes in relation to elevation are an interesting and well–covered topic in ecology, but the effects of aspect have rarely been evaluated. Here we studied the changes in butterfly species richness and communities along the elevation gradient and aspect of Galičica Mountain. As expected, species richness changed with altitude, showing a bimodal pattern with two peaks and a declining trend towards higher altitude. Changes were well–correlated with the area in each altitudinal zone, while the effects of productivity were less clear. Butterfly communities at higher altitudes were the most distinct when grouped according to β diversity estimates, followed by mid– and low–altitude communities. Indicator species were found in mid–altitudes and for the combination of low–mid and mid–high altitudes, but not among aspects. Overall, aspect produced a less conclusive effect on species richness and community composition. South and north accounted for most of these differences despite dominant western and eastern and exposition of the mountain slopes. The community temperature index declined with altitude and on the northern aspect, showing these areas hosted more cold–adapted species. Notes on butterfly conservation are provided as 23 species known from historical surveys have not been recorded recently.
Data published through GBIF (Doi: 10.15470/jacl7y).
Species richness, Altitude, Exposition, Lepidoptera, iNEXT
Reception date: 10 VI 20 | Acceptation date: 5 X 20 | Publication date: 23 XII 20
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