Sicily (Italy) is one of the richest European regions in animal biodiversity. Butterflies offer good opportunities for studies on biodiversity, population and community ecology. Many species are strictly seasonal, preferring only a particular set of habitats. Five typical Mediterranean habitats: olive grove (conducted following organic farm management), mixed wood, ampelodesmos prairie (with dominance of Ampelodesmos mauritanicus), Mediterranean shrub and shrub at the coastal areas, were monitored for diversity and seasonal patterns in butterfly communities for 2 years. All habitats were inside protected areas indicated as Sites of Community Importance. Butterfly species richness was highest in ampelodesmos prairie and in olive grove. Pieris brassicae, Lasiommata megera, Maniola jurtina, Pararge aegeria have been reported in all habitats, although with different abundance whilst other species were observed only in one particular habitat. Melanargia pherusa, endemic species, and Hipparchia statilinus, listed in the IUCN Red List, respectively as “Least Concern” and “Near Threatened”, were observed in the ampelodesmos prairie. The morphotype Coenonympha pamphilus f. lyllus was reported in olive grove and ampelodesmos prairie. The majority of species showed abundance peaks in June and July, however many species showed a longer flight period than reported in literature with detection of specimens until November or December. The analysis of the similarity of communities among habitats shows a similarity between ampelodesmos prairie and olive grove and between Mediterranean shrub and Mediterranean shrub at the coastal areas, while the butterfly community in mixed wood is substantially different. The results of several diversity indexes suggest that ampelodesmos prairie has an important ecological role, as it supports butterfly abundance and species diversity. Copyright 2015, Universita degli Studi di Bologna, Department of Agroenvironmental Sciences and Technologies, All Rights Reserved.
|Titolo:||Seasonal patterns in butterfly abundance and species diversity in five characteristic habitats in sites of community importance in Sicily (Italy)|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|