Macrolepidopteran assemblages along an altitudinal gradient in subtropical rainforest - exploring indicators of climate change
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Moth assemblages have been widely used to estimate patterns of beta-diversity in forest ecosystems. As part of the IBISCA-Queensland project we examined patterns of diversity in a large subset of night-flying moths along an altitudinal gradient in subtropical rainforest. The permanent IBISCA-Queensland transect located in Lamington National Park, south-east Queensland, Australia, spans altitudes from 300 metres (m) to 1100 m above sea level (a.s.l.) within continuous, undisturbed rainforest. We sampled four replicate plots at each of five altitudes (300, 500, 700, 900, 1100 m a.s.l.). A total of 11 379 individual moths were sampled, belonging to approximately 865 morphospecies. Moth assemblages displayed a strong altitudinal signal at each of two sampling periods (October 2006 and March 2007). The results show that cloud forest above 900 m a.s.l. where Nothofagus moorei becomes dominant, contains a number of moth species that are restricted to the high elevation forest and these species may be most threatened by climatic change. The analyses presented here suggest a set of 18 moth species which may be useful as part of a multi-taxon predictor set for future monitoring of the impact of global warming on forest biodiversity. ? climate change, subtropical, rainforest, IBISCA
Memoirs of the Queensland Museum
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Ecological Impacts of Climate Change