Butterfly assemblages were used to compare revegetated and natural riparian areas along the lower Colorado River. Species richness and correspondence analyses of assemblages showed that revegetated sites had fewer biological elements than more natural sites along the Bill Williams River. Data suggest that revegetated sites do not provide resources needed by some members of the butterfly assemblage, especially those species historically associated with the cottonwood/willow ecosystem. Revegetated sites generally lacked nectar resources, larval host plants, and closed canopies. The riparian system along the regulated river segment that contains these small revegetated sites also appears to have diminished habitat heterogeneity and uncoupled riparian corridors. Revegetated sites were static environments without the successional stages caused by flooding disturbance found in more natural systems. We hypothesize that revegetation coupled with a more natural hydrology is important for restoration of butterfly assemblages along the lower Colorado River. Copyright ?? 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Additional publication details
Butterfly (papilionoidea and hesperioidea) assemblages associated with natural, exotic, and restored riparian habitats along the lower Colorado River, USA