Study

Habitat utilization by ovipositing females and larvae of the marsh fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia) in a mosaic of meadows and croplands

  • Published source details Liu W., Wang Y. & Xu R. (2006) Habitat utilization by ovipositing females and larvae of the marsh fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia) in a mosaic of meadows and croplands. Journal of Insect Conservation, 10, 351-360.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Plant grass buffer strips/margins around arable or pasture fields

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation

Maintain species-rich, semi-natural grassland

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Plant grass buffer strips/margins around arable or pasture fields

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2003 in 38 meadows in Hebei Province, China (Liu et al. 2006) found that lightly cultivated meadows with grass margins and intercrop were more likely to be occupied by marsh fritillary Euphydryas aurinia eggs and caterpillars than uncultivated, grazed meadows, but caterpillar survival was lower in the cultivated meadows. More meadows with some cultivation, including grass margins, contained egg clusters (9/11 meadows) and caterpillars (11/16 meadows) than entirely uncultivated, grazed meadows (eggs: 1/12; caterpillars: 5/22 meadows). In total, 179 egg clusters were found in cultivated meadows, compared to 70 egg clusters in grazed meadows (statistical significance not assessed). The mortality of egg clusters was similar in cultivated meadows (10% of 177 clusters) and grazed meadows (16% of 69 clusters), but the survival of pre-hibernation caterpillars was lower in cultivated meadows (23/164, 14%) than in grazed meadows (21/59, 33%). A total of 38 meadows (0.025 ha–3.200 ha) were studied. In 2003, sixteen meadows contained some cultivation (corn or potatoes), and were divided into cultivated habitat (grass strips within and around the crop, no grazing from April–October) and meadow habitat (meadows and fallow land, grazed by sheep and cattle). Another 22 meadows were entirely uncultivated and grazed. In June 2003, eleven cultivated and 12 uncultivated meadows were searched for egg clusters. These were marked and observed every other day until all hatched caterpillars had disappeared or begun overwintering. In September 2003, all 38 meadows were surveyed for caterpillar nests.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

  2. Maintain species-rich, semi-natural grassland

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2003 in 38 meadows in Hebei Province, China (Liu et al. 2006) found that uncultivated, grazed meadows were less likely to be occupied by marsh fritillary Euphydryas aurinia eggs and caterpillars than lightly cultivated meadows with grass margins and intercrop, but caterpillar survival was higher in the uncultivated meadows. Fewer entirely uncultivated, grazed meadows contained eggs (1/12 meadows) and caterpillars (5/22 meadows) than meadows with some cultivation (eggs: 9/11; caterpillars: 11/16 meadows). In total, 70 egg clusters were found in grazed meadows, compared to 179 egg clusters in cultivated meadows (statistical significance not assessed). The mortality of egg clusters was similar in grazed meadows (16% of 69 clusters) and cultivated meadows (10% of 177 clusters), but the survival of pre-hibernation caterpillars was higher in grazed meadows (21/59, 33%) than in cultivated meadows (23/164, 14%). A total of 38 meadows (0.025 ha–3.200 ha) were studied. In 2003, twenty-two meadows were entirely uncultivated and grazed. Another 16 meadows contained some cultivation (corn or potatoes), and were divided into cultivated habitat (grass strips within and around the crop, no grazing from April–October) and meadow habitat (meadows and fallow land, grazed by sheep and cattle). In June 2003, twelve uncultivated and 11 cultivated meadows were searched for egg clusters. These were marked and observed every other day until all hatched caterpillars had disappeared or begun overwintering. In September 2003, all 38 meadows were surveyed for caterpillar nests.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

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