Impacts of selective logging management on butterflies in the Amazon

Gabriela Montejo-Kovacevich (Lead Author), Matthew G. Hethcoat, Felix K. S. Lim, Charles J. Marsh, Dayana Bonfantti, Carlos A. Peres, David P. Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Selective logging for timber production affects vast areas across the tropics, yet we lack detailed understanding of the impacts of logging intensity on biodiversity. These impacts can be studied at two levels: the impacts of logging intensity on overall diversity and community composition; and how logging intensity affects individual species' abundance-logging yield relationships. The latter underpins whether land-sharing logging (i.e. low intensity throughout) or land-sparing logging (i.e. high intensity with retention of some primary forest) is the optimal strategy. We examine both levels to determine the impacts of local-scale logging intensity on butterflies in Rondônia, Brazil, the global epicenter of butterfly alpha-diversity. Overall butterfly abundance was highest at intermediate logging intensity, whereas species richness increased after logging but was not affected by logging intensity, and that species composition increasingly changed from the primary community composition at higher logging intensities. Using individual species' abundance-yield curves, we then simulated species responses to a suite of logging strategies, ranging from total sharing to total sparing. Logging simulations predicted that more butterfly species would benefit from low-intensity land-sharing logging, having higher abundances than under land-sharing scenarios. However, some butterfly clades benefited disproportionally from the retention of primary forest within land-sparing logging concessions. Butterflies overall may benefit from intermediate logging strategies that promote a combination of low and high intensity logged areas, with some protected primary forest.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
JournalBiological Conservation
Early online date23 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018

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