Fire can alter the quality of habitat for butterflies. Fire also affects environmental attributes associated with the distribution, abundance, and reproduction of butterflies. The effects of fire on butterfly occupancy, and on environmental attributes that are associated with butterfly occupancy, are largely unknown. In 2014 and 2015, we conducted butterfly and vegetation surveys within the Rim Fire boundary in California. We analyzed sugar and sucrose masses, and proportion of sucrose, in 20 nectar sources. We found no evidence that intensity of use was associated with sugar mass, mass of sucrose, or the relative proportion of sucrose. We found that environmental attributes associated with occupancy of some species were also associated with the abundances of those species. Burn severity affected environmental attributes that were associated with butterfly occupancy and abundance. Understanding how fire affects environmental attributes associated with occupancy and abundance can inform use of prescribed fire or management following wildfire.
University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. December2015. Major: Conservation Biology. Advisor: Rob Blair. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 64 pages.
Post-Fire Associations Of Butterfly Behavior, Occupancy, And Abundance With Environmental Variables And Nectar Sources In The Sierra Nevada, California.
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