Drivers regulating species composition of the larger nocturnal moths in Tinsukia district, Assam
Subhasish Arandhara and Rajib Rudra Tariang
Species composition of larger moths was studied in Tinsukia district, Assam. Tests were performed to investigate the influence of habitat types, elevational gradient and bioclimatic variables on abundance of the moth community. Data on 120 moth species (1598 individuals) were recorded from 45 sites, a subset of 6 habitat types during 2013 to 2015. Individual-based rarefaction curve showed that the moths recorded from forested habitats were more diverse than those from the semi-natural, disturbed and agricultural habitat as expected. Habitat type, categories of elevation, and relative humidity differed the accumulation of the moth individuals, while a significant difference was not observed between temperature and sampled month. Simple linear regression suggested that elevation contributed most to the species composition. Moths should be considered for further investigation with more intensive sampling, as this study represented a small portion of the community. It was revealed that modest shift in environmental parameters and habitat complexes marked a substantial variation in response to their occurrence, thus, further research on assigning more responsive moths as indicator species may serve as a conservation tool for the entire community as well as indicators of habitat quality.