Effects of clear-cut created ecotones on nocturnal macromoths in western Newfoundland, Canada

Pinksen, Jasmine (2020) Effects of clear-cut created ecotones on nocturnal macromoths in western Newfoundland, Canada. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Human land use practices, especially clearing of native vegetation, tend to increase edges, creating ecotones. Ecotones are important transition zones for conservation, as they are species rich and promote biological diversity, thus they have become a focus of habitat management. Arthropod groups are known to be significantly more abundant and/or taxonomically diverse at the edges compared to the interior of the adjacent habitats There is, however, a knowledge gap with respect to lepidopteran diversity across anthropogenic ecotones in boreal forests. To address one of these knowledge gaps, I asked how forestry-created ecotones influence nocturnal macromoth assemblages in the eastern boreal forest. I sampled moths in western Newfoundland, Canada, to determine their responses at the local spatial scale. Sampling took place in four replicate sites, each with light traps placed in a clear-cut, adjacent forest, and the edge between them. Edges supported the highest abundance of nocturnal macromoths, forests supported an intermediate amount, and clear-cuts supported the lowest. The difference between the habitat that supported the highest abundance and the habitat that supported the lowest, i.e.edges and clear-cuts, was significant.While boasting many unique species, edges represented a macro-moth assemblage composition that was intermediate between clear-cuts and forests, and all habitats differed significantly. While composition differed significantly between the three habitats, there was no significant difference in species diversity among the three habitat types. The results of my study suggest that, like natural disturbance created edges, forest-clear-cut edges may serve as unique habitats for macro-moth assemblages in the boreal forest. These results also have important implications for the maintenance of biodiversity in the boreal and forestry in the context of natural disturbance emulation.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/14462
Item ID: 14462
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 41-60).
Keywords: nocturnal macromoth assemblage, ecotone effect, light-trapping
Department(s): Grenfell Campus > School of Science and the Environment > Boreal Ecosystems and Agricultural Sciences
Date: May 2020
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.48336/c9xt-0k21
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Ecotones--Newfoundland and Labrador; Moths--Newfoundland and Labrador; Taiga ecology--Newfoundland and Labrador.

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