School of Doctoral Studies in Biological Sciences, University of South Bohemia, 370 05 České Budějovice, CZECH REPUBLIC.
The thesis describes the community composition, population structure and dispersal in a lowland rainforest community, extended to changes in butterfly composition along an altitudinal gradient. It tests the feasibility of mark-release-recapture studies in the understories of lowland primary forests, describes dispersal in relation to host plants and compares dispersal and demographic parameters with temperate species. Focusing on primary as well as secondary sites the thesis analyzes species richness and similarity between sites along an altitudinal gradient. It also tests ecological correlates for endemism in New Guinea butterflies, particularly their geographic and altitudinal range, as well as their optimum altitude.