PS 33-6 - Measuring matrix conductance using static trap arrays: A study of fruit-feeding nymphalids in a post agricultural landscape

Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Exhibit Hall 3, Austin Convention Center
Norah Warchola, Biology, Tufts University, Medford, MA

We can predict that species will move through matrix vegetation types that are structurally similar to habitat vegetation. However, we do not know a priori which structural discontinuities in vegetation represent substantial barriers to organisms. Knowing how structural complexity of vegetation is perceived by an organism has important implications for animal movement in a landscape. Matrix conductance characterizes the ability of organisms to move through non habitat vegetation. The conductance of different types of matrix vegetation, and the relative abundance and location of matrix types and habitat, determine the functional connectivity of landscapes. This study quantifies conductance in a variety of vegetation types and evaluates the potential of static trap arrays to measure matrix conductance for a guild of fruit feeding nymphalid butterflies. Matrix conductance was measured using mark release recapture methods employing trap arrays of Van Someren-Rydon traps centered on vegetation borders. 


This study demonstrated that fruit feeding nymphalids moved more easily through and were captured more frequently in matrix vegetation that was structurally similar to habitat vegetation. This study also demonstrated that static trap arrays were an effective tool for measuring matrix conductance. It goes beyond traditional human based perceptions of structural complexity and explores the effects of vegetation structural complexity from the prospective of the organism.

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