Larval lepidoptera were sampled by hand within a 500 X 150Km lowland area with continuous rainforest in the basin of the Sepik and Ramu rivers. Four large genera—Ficus (Moraceae), Macaranga (Euphorbiaceae), Psychotria (Rubiaceae) and Syzygium (Myrtaceae)—were the focus of the plant study. Each site hosted a floristic survey in a 535 km area and quantitative surveys in 50 plots, 20x20m each.
The data in this occurrence resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 75,136 records.
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How to cite
Researchers should cite this work as follows:
Butterill P, Redmond C (2023). Betadiversity of larval lepidoptera across eight lowland rainforest sites in Papua New Guinea. Version 1.0. New Guinea Binatang Research Centre. Occurrence dataset. https://ipt.sprep.org/resource?r=larval_lepidoptera_sampled_from_eight_sites_within_lowland_forest_of_papua_new_guinea&v=1.0
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The publisher and rights holder of this work is New Guinea Binatang Research Centre. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY 4.0) License.
This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: 89f53c3b-d31a-4911-b626-260ce706b7b3. New Guinea Binatang Research Centre publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by Participant Node Managers Committee.
The study included eight sites within a 500 X 150KM lowland area with continuous rainforest in the basin of the Sepik and Ramu rivers. The eight sites were the villages of Utai, Yapsiei, Niksek, Elem, Wamangu, Wanang, Morox and Ohu.
|Bounding Coordinates||South West [-5.332, 141.218], North East [-2.68, 145.701]|
This dataset comprises larval Lepidoptera.
Recent advances in understanding insect communities in tropical forests have contributed little to our knowledge of large-scale patterns of insect diversity, because incomplete taxonomic knowledge of many tropical species hinders the mapping of their distribution records. This impedes an understanding of global biodiversity patterns and explains why tropical insects are underrepresented in conservation biology. Our study of approximately 500 species from three herbivorous guilds feeding on foliage (caterpillars, Lepidoptera), wood (ambrosia beetles, Coleoptera) and fruit (fruitflies, Diptera) found a low rate of change in species composition (beta diversity) across 75,000 square kilometres of contiguous lowland rainforest in Papua New Guinea, as most species were widely distributed. For caterpillars feeding on large plant genera, most species fed on multiple host species, so that even locally restricted plant species did not support endemic herbivores. Large plant genera represented a continuously distributed resource easily colonized by moths and butterflies over hundreds of kilometres. Low beta diversity was also documented in groups with differing host specificity (fruitflies and ambrosia beetles), suggesting that dispersal limitation does not have a substantial role in shaping the distribution of insect species in New Guinea lowland rainforests. Similar patterns of low beta diversity can be expected in other tropical lowland rainforests, as they are typically situated in the extensive low basins of major tropical rivers similar to the Sepik–Ramu region of New Guinea studied here. Note- Dataset here features only larval lepidoptera
|Title||Low beta diversity of herbivorous insects in tropical forests|
|Funding||This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (USA), Grant Agencies of the Czech Republic, Czech Academy of Sciences and Czech Ministry of Education, Darwin Initiative for the Survival of Species (UK), David and Lucile Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering, the National Geographic Society (USA), and The International Centre for the Management of Pest Fruit Flies (Griffith University.|
|Study Area Description||This was a broad geographic scale study from the northern side of the central caldera of Papua New Guinea. The study included eight sites within a 500 X 150KM lowland area with continuous rainforest in the basin of the Sepik and Ramu rivers. The eight sites were the villages of Utai, Yapsiei, Niksek, Elem, Wamangu, Wanang, Morox and Ohu.|
|Design Description||Caterpillars were sampled on 11–12 plant species from the four focal genera at each of eight study sites, surveying 1,500m2 of foliage per plant species. The similarity of plant and insect assemblages was quantified as the average proportion of species shared between sites, using the Sørensen index and its modification, the Chao–Sørensen index, which corrects for bias owing to incomplete sampling of rare species. The probability C(d) that two randomly selected individuals from different sites were conspecific was used as another measure of similarity. Geographic distribution, measured as distance between the two most distant occurrences, was estimated only for common species of insects. The effect of the Sepik River as a dispersal barrier was tested by comparing approximately equidistant assemblages of caterpillars feeding on the same and opposite sides of the river.|
The personnel involved in the project:
Four large genera—Ficus (Moraceae), Macaranga (Euphorbiaceae), Psychotria (Rubiaceae) and Syzygium (Myrtaceae)—were the focus of the sampling effort. Caterpillars were sampled on 11–12 plant species from the four focal genera at each of eight study sites, surveying 1,500m2 of foliage per plant species. Sampling was carried out by manual search and hand collection, with estimates taken of leaf area sampled per tree.
|Study Extent||The study covered eight sites within a 500 X 150KM lowland area with continuous rainforest in the basin of the Sepik and Ramu rivers. The eight primary sites were the villages of Utai, Yapsiei, Niksek, Elem, Wamangu, Wanang, Morox and Ohu. Caterpillars were sampled during a 3 month survey staged at each study site from December 2001 to October 2005.|
Method step description:
- Full details can be found- Novotny, Vojtech, et al. "Low beta diversity of herbivorous insects in tropical forests." Nature 448.7154 (2007): 692-695.
- Novotny, V., Miller, S. E., Hulcr, J., Drew, R. A. I., Basset, Y., Janda, M., Setliff, G. P., Darrow, K., Stewart, A. J. A., Auga, J., Isua, B., Molem, K., Manumbor, M., Tamtiai, E., Mogia, M. and Weiblen, G. D. 2007. Low beta diversity of herbivorous insects in tropical forests. Nature. 448:692-695 https://doi.org/10.1038/nature06021