Effects of patch characteristics and isolation on relative abundance of the scarce heath butterfly Coenonympha hero (Nymphalidae)
2008 (English)In: Journal of Insect Conservation, ISSN 1366-638X, E-ISSN 1572-9753, Vol. 12, no 5, 477-482 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The scarce heath (Coenonympha hero) is an internationally threatened butterfly in Western Europe, where it occurs primarily on hay fields and abandoned arable land in a small-scale agricultural landscape of south-central Scandinavia. Due to afforestation, this habitat is becoming increasingly fragmented in Sweden, and it can be expected that the scarce heath will decline abruptly when threshold conditions for metapopulation persistence are no longer met. We used stepwise polychotomous logistic regression to compare habitat characteristics and isolation measures for patches that harbour large, small or no populations, respectively, in an area of south-western Sweden. We found that patch area, distance to the nearest large population and amount of Galium spp. explained a significant part of the variation in relative abundance among patches. Distance to nearest large population resulted in a better model to predict occupancy than both distance to the nearest inhabited patch and connectivity, which suggests that primarily large populations act as sources for small satellite populations. Today, sites of three of the eight larger populations in the study area have been planted with spruce or pine and will disappear within 20 years. We argue that the disappearance of these patches may very well lead to rapid extinction of the whole metapopulation system.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 12, no 5, 477-482 p.
patch characteristics, local abundance, logistic regression, Coenonympha hero, lepidoptera
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-109094DOI: 10.1007/s10841-007-9083-8ISI: 000258675100005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-109094DiVA: diva2:248891