Optimal timing of power line rights-of-ways management for the conservation of butterflies

  • Published source details Komonen A., Lensu T. & Kotiaho J.S. (2013) Optimal timing of power line rights-of-ways management for the conservation of butterflies. Insect Conservation and Diversity, 6, 522-529.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Manage land under power lines for butterflies and moths

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Manage land under power lines for butterflies and moths

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2004–2008 in 17 drained mires under a power line in central Finland (Komonen et al. 2013, same experimental set-up as Lensu et al. 2011) found that clearing trees and shrubs from under power lines increased the abundance and species richness of butterflies. Two–four years after clearing, the abundance of both mire-dependent (25–29 individuals/transect) and non-mire-dependent butterflies (103–126 individuals/transect) was higher than both one year after clearing (mire: 19 individuals/transect; non-mire: 61 individuals/transect) and 6–8 years after clearing (mire: 5–16 individuals/transect; non-mire: 6–47 individuals/transect). The species richness of non-mire butterflies was higher 1–3 years after clearing (7.4–8.1 species/transect) than 6–8 years after clearing (4.4–5.9 species/transect), but time since clearing did not affect the species richness of mire-dependent species (1–3 years: 4.0–4.4 species/transect; 6–8 years: 3.4–4.1 species/transect). See paper for individual species results. Between winter 1996–1997 and 2003–2004, seventeen drained mires (0.5–18 km apart) under a 65-m-wide power line were mechanically cleared of trees and shrubs. Ten of these sites were cleared again between winter 2004–2005 and 2007–2008. In June–July 2004 and 2006–2008, butterflies were recorded along one 250-m transect/site, 3–8 times/year at 5–10-day intervals. Two sites were only monitored in 2007 and 2008. Butterflies which feed on plants that predominantly grow in mires were classified as mire-dependent species.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 21

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape ProgrammeRed List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Mauritian Wildlife Supporting Conservation Leaders
Sustainability Dashboard National Biodiversity Network Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust