Study

The effects of woodland management for pheasants on the abundance of butterflies in Dorset, England

  • Published source details Robertson P.A., Woodburn M.I.A. & Hill D.A. (1988) The effects of woodland management for pheasants on the abundance of butterflies in Dorset, England. Biological Conservation, 45, 159-167.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Clear or open patches in forests

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation

Coppice woodland

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Clear or open patches in forests

    A replicated, site comparison study in 1986 in a mixed woodland in Dorset, UK (Robertson et al. 1988) found that managed clearings within a woodland had a higher abundance and species richness of butterflies than other areas of the wood. In managed clearings, both the abundance (89 individuals/km) and species richness (19 species) of butterflies were higher than in coppiced woodland (abundance: 25 individuals/km; richness: 16 species), unmanaged broadleaved woodland (abundance: 2 individuals/km; richness: 4 species), or conifer plantations (abundance: 5 individuals/km; richness: 2 species). See paper for individual species results. The woodland contained patches managed in four ways: managed clearings (30–50 m wide and 100–150 m long) which were cleared of scrub every three years; open woodland with coppiced hazel; unmanaged broadleaved woodland with unmanaged hazel coppice; and conifer plantation. In July–August 1986, butterflies were surveyed six times on each of twenty-two 200-m transects: four in managed clearings, eight in open, coppiced wood, six in unmanaged wood and four in conifer plantation.

    (Summarised by: Andew Bladon)

  2. Coppice woodland

    A replicated, site comparison study in 1986 in a mixed woodland in Dorset, UK (Robertson et al. 1988) found that open, coppiced areas within a woodland had a higher abundance and species richness of butterflies than unmanaged broadleaf woodland or conifer plantation, but fewer butterflies than managed clearings. In open, coppiced woodland, both the abundance (25 individuals/km) and species richness (16 species) of butterflies were higher than in unmanaged broadleaved woodland (abundance: 2 individuals/km; richness: 4 species) or conifer plantations (abundance: 5 individuals/km; richness: 2 species). However, the most butterflies were recorded in managed clearings (abundance: 89 individuals/km; richness: 19 species). See paper for individual species results. The woodland contained patches managed in four ways: open woodland with coppiced hazel; unmanaged broadleaved woodland with unmanaged hazel coppice; conifer plantation; and managed clearings (30–50 m wide and 100–150 m long) which were cleared of scrub every three years. In July–August 1986, butterflies were surveyed six times on each of twenty-two 200-m transects: eight in open, coppiced wood, six in unmanaged wood, four in conifer plantation and four in managed clearings.

    (Summarised by: Andew Bladon)

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