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Data from: Inter-annual monitoring improves diversity estimation of tropical butterfly assemblages


Luk, Chung-Lim et al. (2019), Data from: Inter-annual monitoring improves diversity estimation of tropical butterfly assemblages, Dryad, Dataset,


Monitoring programs for diverse tropical butterfly assemblages are scarce and temporal diversity patterns in these assemblages are poorly understood. We adopted an additive partitioning approach to determine how temporal butterfly species richness was structured at the levels of days, months, and years in five tropical/subtropical sites across three continents covering up to nine years of monitoring. We found that observed butterfly richness was not uniformly distributed across temporal extents. Butterfly species composition differed across months and years, potentially accounting for the fact that temporal butterfly species richness contributed a high proportion to total species richness. We further examined how species richness of common and uncommon species (> and <0.5 percent of total abundance, respectively) were structured across temporal extents. The results showed that the common species relative contribution to total species richness was higher at lower-temporal levels, whereas uncommon species contributed more at higher-temporal resolutions. This suggests that long-term sampling will be more effective in capturing patterns of rare species and the total species pool while lower-temporal level sampling (e.g. daily or weekly) may be more useful in examining common species demographic patterns. We therefore encourage careful consideration of temporal replication at different extents in developing butterfly monitoring schemes. Long-term monitoring is essential for improvement in the resolution of species estimation and diversity patterns for tropical ecosystems.

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Papua New Guinea