Classification of moth species into 12 functional groups according to larval feeding relationships.

2015-04-27T18:28:33Z (GMT) by Christine Truxa Konrad Fiedler
Moths have been sampled in three floodplain forest regions in eastern Austria (along the rivers Danube, Morava and Leitha) which differ in flood regimes and forest vegetation. Each region contained two classes of forest habitats: ones that are regularly inundated once a year, and others that are not or only rarely flooded. In each forest habitat five light trap sites were selected at a distance of about 100 m from each other to avoid interference between traps. In the Leitha floodplain only four light traps were used because of the small size of remaining forest fragments. Automatic low-power light traps, each equipped with two 15 W lamps (Sylvania Blacklight-Blue, F15W/BLB-T8; and Philips TLD, 15W/05) and powered by a 12V car battery were placed about 1 m above ground under a closed forest canopy and run once a month during the vegetation period (March to November) at each of the 28 sites. Light traps within one habitat were operated simultaneously. At dusk the light was automatically switched on and run for about 6 hours. All 6 forest habitats were sampled on consecutive days, or as soon as possible if spells of unfavourable weather had to be avoided. Traps were never run during the 5 days before and after full moon to avoid any negative impact of moonlight on trap catches. Sampling did not take place during rainy weather, in which cases sampling was postponed until conditions improved, i.e. sampling was carried out on the next possible night with better weather conditions. Altogether, sampling was conducted over two complete annual cycles on 103 nights between 20.VIII.2006 and 24.VIII.2008. The sampling season ended with the first incidence of frost in autumn (last sampling dates: 26.XI.2006 and 08.XI.2007) and started again at spring time (first sampling dates: 26.III.2007 and 07.IV.2008). In all, data from 442 nightly trap samples were analysed. The number of moths caught during a single trap night ranged from 0 to 1092 (site MF5, 08.VIII.2007) individuals. Eighteen nightly trap samples did not contain any moths, likely due to cold temperatures and generally low moth activity in March, April, October and November. Three further samples did not contain moths due to equipment failure. Further information: Truxa, C. 2012. Community ecology of moths in floodplain forests of Eastern Austria. Doctoral dissertation, University of Vienna. URL: