Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Turning problems into solutions: Land management as a key to countering butterfly declines

Date:
November 18, 2013
Source:
Pensoft Publishers
Summary:
Currently, butterfly populations in many countries decline at alarming rates. Changes in farming practises and land use can therefore have far-reaching consequences for the success and persistence of the butterfly fauna. A new study focuses on systematic surveys of butterfly population trends and extinction rates in southern Swedish agricultural landscapes to review effects of land management on butterfly diversity using historical and current surveys from the last 100 years.

New Forest Burnet (Zygaena viciae) and Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet (Zygaena lonicerae) are shown.
Credit: Markus Franzén; CC-BY 3.0

Currently, butterfly populations in many countries decline at alarming rates. Many of these populations are closely associated with the agricultural landscape. Changes in farming practises and land use can therefore have far-reaching consequences for the success and persistence of the butterfly fauna. A research team from Sweden and Germany have now reviewed effects of land management on butterfly diversity using historical and current surveys during the last 100 years.

The study focuses on systematic surveys of butterfly population trends and extinction rates in southern Swedish agricultural landscapes. In some areas, half of the butterfly fauna has been lost during the last 60-100 years. The study is published in the journal Nature Conservation.

Land use in these parts of northern Europe has changed markedly with key butterfly habitats such as hay meadows disappearing at alarming rates. Grazed, mixed open woodlands have been transformed into dense forests and domestic grazers have been relocated from woodlands to arable fields and semi-natural grasslands. Hay and silage harvest now start much earlier in the season which reduces the time available for larval development. The changed and intensified land use has also markedly reduced the availability of nectar resources in the landscape. Adding to these problems, current agricultural subsidy systems favour intensive grazing on the remaining semi-natural grasslands, with strong negative effects on butterfly diversity.

While the documented changes in farming practises and land use are problematic for the butterfly fauna, relatively minor adjustments to land management have a potential of drastically counteracting these effects. In order to mitigate risks of further species loss and to work towards recovery of threatened butterfly populations, the review ends by recommending twelve management measures favourable for many butterflies. Examples include later grazing, rotational grazing with parts of semi-natural grasslands grazed only in late summer in some years, and careful choice of grazers.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Pensoft Publishers. The original story is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sven G. Nilsson, Markus Franzén, Lars Pettersson. Land-use changes, farm management and the decline of butterflies associated with semi-natural grasslands in southern Sweden. Nature Conservation, 2013; 6: 31 DOI: 10.3897/natureconservation.6.5205

Cite This Page:

Pensoft Publishers. "Turning problems into solutions: Land management as a key to countering butterfly declines." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131118111918.htm>.
Pensoft Publishers. (2013, November 18). Turning problems into solutions: Land management as a key to countering butterfly declines. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131118111918.htm
Pensoft Publishers. "Turning problems into solutions: Land management as a key to countering butterfly declines." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131118111918.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Ice Age Wooly Mammoth Remains for Sale

Raw: Ice Age Wooly Mammoth Remains for Sale

AP (Sep. 23, 2014) — A rare, well-preserved skeleton of a woolly mammoth is going on sale at Summers Place Auctions hope the 11.5-foot tall, almost intact specimen will fetch between $245,000 to $409,000. (Sept. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fox Bites Conn. Student And School Staffers In Rare Attack

Fox Bites Conn. Student And School Staffers In Rare Attack

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) — A fox attacked a second-grade boy at a Connecticut elementary school Monday. It also attacked two school staff members and a woman and her dog. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Will Living Glue Be A Thing?

Will Living Glue Be A Thing?

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) — Using proteins derived from mussels, engineers at MIT have made a supersticky underwater adhesive. They're now looking to make "living glue." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Tiger Kills Man at India Zoo

Raw: Tiger Kills Man at India Zoo

AP (Sep. 23, 2014) — A white tiger killed a young man who climbed over a fence at the New Delhi zoo and jumped into the animal's enclosure on Tuesday, a spokesman said. (Sept. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins