Neotropical moth assemblages degrade due to oil palm expansion

  • Published source details Alonso-Rodriguez A., Finegan B. & Fiedler K. (2017) Neotropical moth assemblages degrade due to oil palm expansion. Biodiversity and Conservation, 26, 2295-2326.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Restore or create forest or woodland

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Restore or create forest or woodland

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2013 in 15 forest sites in southwest Costa Rica (Alonso-Rodríguez et al. 2017) found that secondary forests had a greater abundance and species richness of geometrid (Geometridae) and arctiine (Arctiinae) moths than oil palm plantations, and a similar species richness but lower abundance than old-growth forest. In young secondary forest, the species richness of both geometrid (90 species) and arctiine (96 species) moths was higher than in oil palm plantations (geometrids: 31; arctiines: 35 species), but not significantly different to old-growth forest (geometrids: 113; arctiines: 81 species). The abundance of geometrid moths was higher in secondary forest (314 individuals) than in oil palm (135 individuals), but lower than in old-growth forest (570 individuals). The abundance of arctiine moths was similar between habitat types (secondary forest: 668; oil palm: 529; old-growth forest: 581 individuals). Species composition was different in the three habitats (see paper for details). Fifteen sites, >200 m apart, were selected: five 3–10-year-old secondary forests; five even-aged oil palm plantations (>1 ha); and five old-growth primary or 80-year-old secondary forests. From February–July 2013, moths were sampled overnight once/month, using an 8 W, UV-emitting funnel trap installed 1–2 m above ground at up to three sites/night in different habitats.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

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