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Title: Abundance and diversity of moths in woodland habitats.
Author: Waring, Paul
Awarding Body: Oxford Polytechnic
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 1990
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The abundance and diversity of moths and their larvae are compared in various woodland habitats within Bernwood Forest in lowland England to assess the impact of large-scale planting of introduced conifers and of conservation measures including coppicing and ride-side management. Light trap catches of moths in conifer plantations and in a recently coppiced site contained significantly fewer individuals and fewer species over the year compared with sites in adjacent overgrown coppice, but species diversity, measured by Fisher's index 0<. , was higher because cat ches in the latter were dominated by some very abundant species. Only 14 of the 431 species of macro-moths recorded from Bernwood Forest have larvae which feed on conifers but 138 species were found breeding on native weed species in the conifer plantations. Densities of larvae on individual native shrubs in conifer plantations were not significantly different from those in broadleaved stands. Mark and recapture of adult moths demonstrated considerable movement between habitats. More moths of more species were caught in rides than in adj acent woodland stands using Robinson traps. Heath traps in rides frequently did not catch more species or more moths than within woodland stands. Catches in Heath traps were generally largest in overgrown coppice. Catches at all sites were related to the abundance of larval host-plants but were also influenced by the distance over which the trap was visible and the amount of canopy shade. Three methods of cornpensat ing for differences in shade between trap-sites are explored. Heath traps at ride intersects captured on average 55% of the species at a Robinson trap per night; in woodland stands catches averaged 68% of the species. At least thirteen nationally rare species have disappeared from Bernwood since timber clearance prior to conifer planting. The implications for biological survey work and for nature conservation are discussed,
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Zoology Zoology Ecology