Manage perennial bioenergy crops to benefit butterflies and moths

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
    not assessed
  • Certainty
    not assessed
  • Harms
    not assessed

Study locations

Key messages

  • One study evaluated the effects on butterflies and moths of managing perennial bioenergy crops to benefit butterflies and moths. This study was in the USA.

COMMUNITY RESPONSE (1 STUDY)

  • Richness/diversity (1 study): One replicated, controlled study in the USA found that plots planted with a diverse mix of bioenergy crops had a greater species richness of butterflies than plots planted with fewer species.

POPULATION RESPONSE (1 STUDY)

  • Abundance (1 study): One replicated, controlled study in the USA found that plots planted with a diverse mix of bioenergy crops had a higher abundance of butterflies than plots planted with fewer species.

BEHAVIOUR (0 STUDIES)

About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A replicated, controlled study in 2009–2010 on an arable farm in Iowa, USA (Myers et al. 2012) found that plots planted with a diverse mix of bioenergy crops had a higher abundance and species richness of butterflies than plots with a restricted range of grass species. On plots sown with 16 or 32 plant species, both the abundance (4–8 individuals/50 m) and species richness (3–5 species/month) of butterflies were higher than on plots sown with one or five plant species (abundance: 1–3 individuals/50 m; richness: 1–3 species/month). The difference was consistent across sandy loam, loam and clay loam soils. See paper for individual species results. In May 2009, forty-eight 0.30–0.56 ha plots were established across seven fields (3.7–6.1 ha) previously sown with soybean on a 40-ha farm. In each plot, one of four native seed mixes was sown: switchgrass Panicum virgatum monoculture, “warm-season mix” (five grasses), “biomass mix” (16 grasses, legumes and non-woody, broadleaved plants “forbs”), or “prairie mix” (32 grasses, legumes, forbs and sedges). There were four replicates of each mix on each of three soil types: sandy loam, loam and clay loam. All plots were mown to 10 cm height in July 2009. From June–September 2010, butterflies were surveyed along one 50-m transect/plot twice during each of five survey periods.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Bladon A.J., Smith R.K. & Sutherland W.J. (2022) Butterfly and Moth Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Interventions for butterflies and moths. Conservation Evidence Series Synopsis. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

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Butterfly and Moth Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Butterfly and Moth Conservation
Butterfly and Moth Conservation

Butterfly and Moth Conservation - Published 2022

Butterfly and Moth Synopsis

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