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Boletín Científico. Centro de Museos. Museo de Historia Natural

Print version ISSN 0123-3068

Abstract

ASCUNTAR-OSNAS, Oscar; ARMBRECHT, Inge  and  CALLE, Zoraida. BUTTERFLIES AND VEGETATION IN RESTORED GULLIES OF DIFFERENT AGES AT THE COLOMBIAN WESTERN ANDES. Bol. Cient. Mus. Hist. Nat. Univ. Caldas [online]. 2010, vol.14, n.2, pp.169-186. ISSN 0123-3068.

Erosion control structures made with green bamboo Guadua angustifolia and high density plantings have been combined efficiently for restoring gullies in the Andean hillsides of Colombia. However, the effects of these practices on the native fauna have not been evaluated. Richness and abundance of diurnal lepidopterans were studied between 2006-2007 in five 10 m² transects within each of eight gullies. Four gullies restored using the method mentioned above (6, 9, 12 and 23 months following intervention), each with its corresponding control (unrestored gully) were sampled four times with a standardized method. A vegetation inventory was done at each gully. More individuals and species (971, 84 respectively) were found in the restored gullies than in the control ones (501, 66). The number of butterfly species tended to increase with rehabilitation time. Ten plant species, out of 59, were important sources of nectar for lepidopterans. Larval parasitoids were also found indicating the presence of trophic chains in the study area. This paper describes the rapid and positive response of diurnal adult butterflies to habitat changes associated with ecological rehabilitation of gullies through erosion control structures and high density planting. Introducing and maintaining a high biomass and diversity of plants may help to reestablish the food chain and ecological processes in degraded Andean landscapes.

Keywords : ecological restoration; erosion control; Guadua angustifolia; Lepidoptera; nectar.

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