Land Use and Natural Butterfly Populations: Assessing Anthropogenic EffectsEPA Grant Number: GF9502211
Title: Land Use and Natural Butterfly Populations: Assessing Anthropogenic Effects
Investigators: Boughton, David A.
Institution: The University of Texas at Austin
EPA Project Officer: Michaud, Jayne
Project Period: August 1, 1995 through January 1, 2000
Project Amount: $27,814
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1995) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , Fellowship - Ecology
The purpose of this project is develop an approach to evaluating and predicting the effects of land use on natural butterfly populations. Two studies will be conducted. The first study will examine differences in the mechanisms of colonization in empty habitats in areas of highly disturbed, logged clearings versus colonization of low- disturbance, selectively logged forests in the Sequoia National Forest in California. The project will quantify response to differences to habitat, including spatial structure, temporal structure, and parasitoids, and behavior, including habitat preference, search efficiency. The information developed under this study will be applied to computer models to identify critical information and the relationship between model accuracy and completeness. A second study, conducted on populations of tropical butterflies in Costa Rica, will examine extinction risks from three different kinds of land use, including preservation, low-level extraction, and high-disturbance agriculture. For this study, landscape patterns will be characterized using images obtained by remote sensing, species will be selected and monitored to characterize the land use impacts to species of differing biotic connectivity, habitat use and mobility, and changes to habitat occupancy will be monitored and recorded. The data developed under this study will be used to assess the effects of land use alternatives on index values for each species evaluated, and attempts will be made to predict impact of land use on additional species with similar biotic traits.