Environmental factors influencing butterfly abundance after a severe wildfire in Mediterranean vegetation

Despite the attention given to the ecology of butterflies, little is known about their community response to wildfires in the Mediterranean region. Here, we evaluated the butterfly assemblage two years after a severe, 13,000 ha wildfire in Catalonia (NE Spain) in relation to the surrounding unburned habitat. Using visual transect censuses we assessed community parameters such as abundance, diversity, species richness and equitability in burned and unburned areas. Correspondence analysis was used to analyse specific composition and relative abundance of species in the community. The influence of environmental variables on the abundance of some common species was analysed using generalized linear mixed models, taking spatial effects into account. No significant differences were found between areas for any of the community parameters, and no dominance was detected in the burned area. The structure of the vegetation and the geographical distribution of transects influenced the ordination of species and transects on the correspondence analysis plot. Generalized linear mixed models (GLMM) results underscored the role of nectar availability, fire and vegetation structure on the abundance of most species studied ​
​Tots els drets reservats