Effects of grassland abandonment, restoration and management on butterflies and vascular plants

  • Published source details Öckinger E., Eriksson A.K. & Smith H.G. (2006) Effects of grassland abandonment, restoration and management on butterflies and vascular plants. Biological Conservation, 133, 291-300.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Restore/create species-rich, semi-natural grassland

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Restore/create species-rich, semi-natural grassland

    A site comparison study of semi-natural grasslands near Lund, Sweden (Öckinger et al. 2006) found no significant difference in plant species richness or abundance in recently restored, abandoned or continuously grazed grasslands. There was a decrease of management-dependent plant species with increasing tree and shrub cover at abandoned sites. Present management significantly affected butterflies (Lepidoptera) and plants, their species richness increased with increasing vegetation height, but this differed between sites depending on whether they were grazed by cattle, horses or sheep. Sheep grazing negatively impacted species richness compared to cattle or horses. There were 12 grasslands of each type and current management comprised 12 sites cattle grazed, six horse grazed, eight sheep grazed and 10 with no grazing. Butterflies and burnet moths (Zygaenidae) were sampled using a transect count method (150 m/ha) six to seven times in May-August 2003 or June-August 2004. Plant presence was sampled in ten 0.25 m² quadrats (divided into twenty-five 10 x 10 cm squares) at each site in June-August 2004. Vegetation height was also measured.


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