Diversity of geometrid moths in a montane rainforest in Ecuador
- The diversity of the very species-rich family of geometrid moths was investigated in a montane forest at the border of the Podocarpus National Park in southern Ecuador along an altitudinal gradient ranging from 1,040 m to 2,677 m above sea level. This study is part of a larger interdisciplinary project on diversity and functioning of a montane forest ecosystem. A total of 13,938 moths representing 1,010 species were sampled in light-traps at eleven elevational levels (two replicate sites each). Most species belonged to the subfamily Ennominae (500 sp.), followed by Larentiinae (391 sp.), Sterrhinae (58 sp.), Geometrinae (57 sp.), Oenochrominae (3 sp.), and Desmobatrinae (1 sp.). The study covers aspects of host-plant relationships, community structure, endemism, alpha-, beta-, and gamma-diversity. The role of different environmental factors as mechanisms for the diversity of the moths is discussed. Furthermore, methodological aspects of light-trap sampling, and selection of appropriate diversity measures and analytical tools are considered in this study.