Study

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.

Actions

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)

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