Butterfly and flower community composition among prairie-oak ecosystem habitats in the Willamette Valley, Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/nv935653v

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  • Prairie-oak ecosystems in the Willamette Valley, Oregon have experienced habitat loss and degradation; most of these ecosystems are fragmented into smaller patches. Prairie-oak butterfly species, in the Willamette Valley, have decreased dramatically due to loss or degradation of habitat. More research is needed on sustaining the populations of butterflies in prairie-oak ecosystems. The purpose of my study was to examine the role prairie-oak habitats have in structuring butterfly communities in the Willamette Valley. My objectives were to: (1) assess how butterfly community structure and species composition (density, abundance, and species richness) varies along an oak canopy cover gradient in order to understand the role of habitat type in structuring butterfly communities in prairie-oak ecosystems; (2) characterize community composition of nectar resources and environmental variables known to be important for butterfly species. I also investigated temporal and structural relationships between butterfly and flower communities. I found that butterfly abundance and density were greater (p < 0.02) in prairies than in oak savannas or oak woodlands; however, species richness did not differ among habitats (p = 0.54). Ordination of prairie-oak habitats in butterfly species space with a joint plot overlay of environmental variables revealed several strong correlations; butterfly community structure was negatively correlated with litter and oak canopy cover and positively correlated to vegetation cover. The prairie, oak savanna, and oak woodland habitat types differed in nectar species community structure, though this difference was small. Non-native species were some of the most abundant flowers species found in all stands. Butterfly communities were positively related to flower communities. I detected significant seasonal patterns among the habitat types in butterfly and flower communities. Prairies appear to be the most important habitat for native butterfly populations compared to oak savanna and oak woodlands. Flowers were most prevalent in prairies and prairies had the highest percentage of native flower species; the prevalence of non-native flower species was greatest in oak woodlands. My study may represent a short-term community transition as a result of management or it may represent a more permanent community. Further study is needed to understand the effects of different management strategies for habitat restoration and the presence of non-native flower species on butterflies in prairie-oak ecosystems in the Willamette Valley.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Julie Kurtz(julie.kurtz@oregonstate.edu) on 2014-06-11T17:54:06Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 2 license_rdf: 1232 bytes, checksum: bb87e2fb4674c76d0d2e9ed07fbb9c86 (MD5) PowersBreannaF2014.pdf: 1111127 bytes, checksum: 64b919580eeadc49e66ecf3ef9c33dc3 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Laura Wilson(laura.wilson@oregonstate.edu) on 2014-06-11T20:55:35Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 2 license_rdf: 1232 bytes, checksum: bb87e2fb4674c76d0d2e9ed07fbb9c86 (MD5) PowersBreannaF2014.pdf: 1111127 bytes, checksum: 64b919580eeadc49e66ecf3ef9c33dc3 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Submitted by Breanna Powers (powersb@onid.orst.edu) on 2014-06-09T18:02:52Z No. of bitstreams: 2 license_rdf: 1232 bytes, checksum: bb87e2fb4674c76d0d2e9ed07fbb9c86 (MD5) PowersBreannaF2014.pdf: 1111127 bytes, checksum: 64b919580eeadc49e66ecf3ef9c33dc3 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2014-06-11T20:55:35Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 2 license_rdf: 1232 bytes, checksum: bb87e2fb4674c76d0d2e9ed07fbb9c86 (MD5) PowersBreannaF2014.pdf: 1111127 bytes, checksum: 64b919580eeadc49e66ecf3ef9c33dc3 (MD5) Previous issue date: 2014-05-13

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