Initial response of butterflies to an overstory reduction and slash mulching treatment of a degraded piñon-juniper woodland

  • Published source details Kleintjes P.K., Jacobs B.F. & Fettig S.M. (2004) Initial response of butterflies to an overstory reduction and slash mulching treatment of a degraded piñon-juniper woodland. Restoration Ecology, 12, 231-238.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Thin trees within forests

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Thin trees within forests

    A controlled study in 1997–2001 in two piñon pine and juniper woods in New Mexico, USA (Kleintjes et al. 2004) found that mechanically thinning woodland increased the abundance and species richness of butterflies. Four years after thinning, the abundance (12–20 individuals/transect) and species richness (9–12 species) of butterflies were higher in thinned woodland than in woodland which had not been thinned (abundance: 4 individuals/transect; richness: 5–7 species). The increase in butterflies correlated with an increase in understorey plants in the thinned woodland. In January–March 1997, tree cover in a 40-ha watershed was reduced from 35 to 10%, by removing individual trees <20 cm diameter. Felled trees were applied as rough mulch onto adjacent bare soil. In an adjacent 40-ha watershed, the tree cover was left at 40%. In June–July 1999 and 2001, butterflies were surveyed twice/year on 20 permanent 100-m transects/watershed. Transects were 75–150 m apart, and ran down the slopes, with 10 on each side of each valley.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

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