Geometridae moths along forest urban gradient

Published: 24-07-2020| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/359f5jcvzf.1
Carlos Iván Espinosa


These data correspond to Geometridae moths collected at different land-use types: forest, forest-pasture, pasture, and urban. Moths were studied in southern Ecuador, in the municipality of Loja, the capital of Loja province (03º59’ S, 79º12’ W; elevation: 2200 m asl), situated in the vicinity of Podocarpus National Park. Twelve localities were selected to represent the current forest-to-urban gradient comprising four distinct land-use types, with three replicate localities for each land-use class: montane forest (referenced hereafter as Forest Fo), disturbed montane forest (Forest-Pasture Fo-Pa), Pastures (Pasture Pa), and urban settlement areas (Urban Ur). These sites were located along riparian margins. Forest localities were selected in the headwaters of the city due to their environmental integrity and high conservation value. Forest-Pasture sites were characterized by a mix of secondary (or degraded) forest and non-intensive cattle pastures. Pastures sites were the most homogenous land-use type, characterized by intensive pastures for livestock. Finally, urban sites were selected in planted ornamental vegetation associated with riparian buffers. The minimum distance between sampling localities was ca. 1.5 km to minimize spatial autocorrelation. For each locality, we selected two sampling sites separated by 300 m to ensure the independence of samples. In each sampling site, moths were manually sampled at light traps consisting of two 15 W tubes (Sylvania blacklight-blue, F 15 W/BLB-TB, and Philips TLD 15 W 05) in a white gauze cylinder (height 1.6 m, diameter 0.6 m) which were placed at ground level..