Diversity of Butterflies (Lepidoptera) across rainforest transformation
Apart from being frequently used in rapid biodiversity exploration as bio-indicators of environmental change, butterflies (Lepidoptera) play an important role in fundamental ecosystem services such as pollination. By studying the species richness, diversity and community composition of members of a key Lepidopteran superfamily, i.e. Papilionoidea, we aim at estimating the degree by which agricultural intensification has impacted the ability of butterfly communities to carry out pollination services. We will link our data to that of the canopy arthropod monitoring in Z02 in order to understand to which degree Lepidoptera are sedentary across their life cycle (larva vs. imago) and their role in the food web (herbivorous vs. nectarivorous). We will further compare our findings with insights from vegetation and soil analyses to shed light on the interaction between adult butterflies and their environment. Being a significant source of protein for birds, we will also compare our data with bird counts across the transformation gradient. And lastly, being an iconic group of arthropods, we hope to find novel, undescribed species from central Sumatra, that might further broaden the international recognition of the EFForTS project.