Haying and grazing effects on the butterfly communities of two Mediterranean-area grasslands

  • Published source details D’Aniello B., Stanislao I., Bonelli S. & Emilio B. (2011) Haying and grazing effects on the butterfly communities of two Mediterranean-area grasslands. Biodiversity and Conservation, 20, 1731-1744.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Maintain species-rich, semi-natural grassland

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Maintain species-rich, semi-natural grassland

    A site comparison study in 2008–2009 on two semi-natural grasslands in southern Italy (D’Aniello et al. 2011) found that a grassland grazed with sheep and cattle had a higher abundance and species richness of butterflies than a grassland cut for hay. The grazed grassland had a higher abundance (6,005 individuals) and species richness (45 species) of butterflies than the mown grassland (abundance: 2,416 individuals; richness: 28 species). All species found in the mown grassland were also found in the grazed grassland, and most species were more abundant at the grazed site (23/28). See paper for data on individual species. Two 6-ha grasslands surrounded by woodland, both at 850 m altitude and 3 km apart, were studied. One site was mown for hay once/year, in June, and the other site was grazed with sheep and cattle. Both meadows had received the same management for at least 20 years. From April–September 2008–2009, butterflies were surveyed on a weekly 1-km transect around the edge of each site.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

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