Larval lepidoptera were sampled using a plot based method close to Wanang Village, Madang, Papua New Guinea. Two 1-ha plots (1 primary forest and 1 secondary forest) were sampled upon clearance for local agriculture. All plant individuals above 5cm dbh were examined. Relationships with host plants were determined via feeding experiment. Caterpillars were reared to adults where possible.
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Researchers should cite this work as follows:
Butterill P, Redmond C (2023). Plot-based sampling and rearing of adult lepidoptera from lowland rainforest in Wanang, Papua New Guinea. Version 1.1. New Guinea Binatang Research Centre. Occurrence dataset. https://ipt.sprep.org/resource?r=plot_based_sampling_of_larval_lepidoptera_from_lowland_rainforest_madang_papua_new_guinea&v=1.1
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The study took place close to Wanang Village, Madang. The two plots were 800 m apart in a mosaic of primary and secondary rain forest vegetation at 100–200 m above sea level in an extensive mixed evergreen forest on latosols in the Ramu River basin.
|Bounding Coordinates||South West [-90, -180], North East [90, 180]|
Phylogenetic ecology has identified patterns of diversity in communities that may find explanation in trophic interactions, and yet there have been few attempts to directly relate such patterns among trophic levels. Density-dependent processes involving pests and pathogens, for example, have been invoked to account for plant community phylogenetic patterns, but relatively little is known about how plant relatedness might affect community structure at other trophic levels. We examined the degree to which the abundance of herbivores in a rain forest community is explained by the phylogeny and functional traits of host plants. We destructively sampled all stems !5 cm diameter in two 1-ha plots of New Guinea primary and secondary lowland forest to test predicted relationships between herbivore abundance and plant resources. We analyzed per-tree caterpillar and leaf miner abundance, total leaf biomass (kg), percentage of immature foliage, specific leaf area (cm2/g), leaf nitrogen content (percentage of dry mass), and presence of exudates in the context of a plant community phylogeny estimated from DNA barcodes. Apart from nitrogen content and exudates, neither plant resources nor herbivore abundance showed evidence of phylogenetic signal in our community sample. The plant traits we measured could account for only 30% and 16% of variation in caterpillar and leaf miner abundance, respectively, among individual trees. Leaf biomass was a stronger predictor of herbivore abundance than either resource quality (leaf nitrogen content) or palatability (percentage of immature foliage, specific leaf area). The primary importance of resource quantity was also observed at the plant species level in analyses of species means and phylogenetic generalized least-squares regression. Plant relatedness did not account for much variation in herbivore abundance, but significant effects of exudates and leaf nitrogen content on caterpillar abundance illustrate how conserved traits at one trophic level may influence community-wide patterns at another.
|Title||Predicting tropical insect herbivore abundance from host plant traits and phylogeny|
|Funding||This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation under grant DEB- 0515678 and the Czech Science Foundation under grants P505/ 10/0673 and 206/09/0115.|
|Study Area Description||The study took place close to Wanang Village, Madang. The two plots were 800 m apart in a mosaic of primary and secondary rain forest vegetation at 100–200 m above sea level in an extensive mixed evergreen forest on latosols in the Ramu River basin. The climate is generally humid and relatively aseasonal. Historical readings from Madang (70 km east, 1956–1970; McAlpine et al. 1983) indicated mean annual rainfall of 3500 mm and mean monthly temperature between 26.28C and 26.78C. Mean monthly rainfall exceeded 100 mm throughout the year, except during August to September based on readings taken between January 1994 and December 1996 from a site 70 km east of the study area.|
|Design Description||We examined the degree to which the abundance of herbivores in a rain forest community is explained by the phylogeny and functional traits of host plants. We destructively sampled all stems 5 cm diameter in two 1-ha plots of New Guinea primary and secondary lowland forest to test predicted relationships between herbivore abundance and plant resources. We analyzed per-tree caterpillar and leaf miner abundance, total leaf biomass (kg), percentage of immature foliage, specific leaf area (cm2/g), leaf nitrogen content (percentage of dry mass), and presence of exudates in the context of a plant community phylogeny estimated from DNA barcodes. In total comparable functional trait and insect abundance data from the 2150 individual trees were assessed.|
The personnel involved in the project:
We coordinated our sampling with local landowners who were planning to clear the sites for subsistence gardens. Each 100 x 100 m plot was subdivided into 20 x 20 m subplots. For each subplot, the understory (i.e., all vegetation ,1.4 m in height) was cleared followed by removal of all trees ,5 cm diameter with machetes while taking care to minimize disturbance to the remaining vegetation. Orderly felling of trees 5 cm in diameter with a chain saw proceeded one tree at a time from the midstory to the canopy by severing lianas and dropping trees into artificial gaps created during the course of subplot removal. This procedure minimized the disturbance of remaining vegetation as much as could be expected during logging. Immediately upon felling, trees were inspected for the presence of caterpillars and leaf miners by a team of eight field workers. Live caterpillars were hand-collected and placed in plastic vials for processing, whereas leaves containing miners were collected and stored in plastic bags. Caterpillar and leaf miner abundance per tree were obtained by summing total numbers of live insects. Following inspection of the foliage for herbivores, eight field workers manually stripped all leaves from each felled tree and weighed the total leaf biomass in kilograms. Specific leaf area (SLA), defined as fresh leaf area divided by dry leaf mass, was estimated from leaf disks punched from multiple individuals for all species in the survey plots with the dual purpose of DNA collection. Disks were collected from fully expanded, mature leaves without obvious signs of pathogen or herbivore damage. The disks had a diameter of 2.3 cm and were punched from fresh leaves in the field, temporarily stored in paper envelopes over silica gel, and subsequently stored in a -80C frozen tissue collection at the University of Minnesota (St. Paul, Minnesota, USA). Mean SLA per species was obtained by averaging multiple samples per species. The presence or absence of exudates including latex and resin was also noted. Leaves were sampled from up to four individuals per tree species for the measurement of foliar nitrogen. Three randomly chosen leaf samples per tree were bulked and ground by hand in liquid nitrogen or in a Tissuelyzer (Qiagen, Valencia, California, USA). Analysis was carried out at the University of Nebraska (Lincoln, Nebraska, USA) using dry combustion gas chromatography on a Costech analytical elemental combustion system ESC 4010 (Costech, Valencia, California, USA). This method yields the mass of an element that is subsequently converted to a percentage of the total mass of the sample.
|Study Extent||Two 1ha lowland humid tropical rainforest plots were sampled around Wanang Village, Madang, Papua New Guinea. (145°81'55'' E, 58°13'51'' S). Sampling occurred between XXX XXX|
Method step description:
- Full details can be found- Whitfeld, Timothy JS, et al. "Predicting tropical insect herbivore abundance from host plant traits and phylogeny." Ecology 93.sp8 (2012): S211-S222.