Habitat restoration facilitates an ecological trap for a locally rare, wetland-restricted butterfly

  • Published source details Severns P.M. (2011) Habitat restoration facilitates an ecological trap for a locally rare, wetland-restricted butterfly. Insect Conservation and Diversity, 4, 184-191.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Restore or create wetlands and floodplains

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Restore or create wetlands and floodplains

    A site comparison study in 2007 in two wetland prairies in Oregon, USA (Severns 2011, same experimental set up as 1) found that great copper Lycaena xanthoides laid more eggs on willow dock Rumex salicifolius plants in restored, seasonally flooded wetlands than in degraded, unflooded areas, but egg survival was lower in restored wetlands than in unflooded habitats. In restored, seasonally flooded wetlands, great copper eggs were present on more of the available willow dock plants (10 out of 14 plants) than in degraded, unflooded areas where plants were surrounded by tall, non-native grasses (6 out of 37 plants), and the number of eggs/plant was higher (restored: 0–9 eggs/plant; degraded: 0–3 eggs/plant). However, the authors noted that egg survival was lower in flooded areas than in unflooded habitat (see 1 - Severns et al. 2006). In the late 1990s, several thousand willow dock were seeded in two 0.8-ha, seasonally flooded, restored wetlands. Each restored area was surrounded by degraded, unrestored, unflooded habitat. In August 2007, every willow dock plant at each site was searched for great copper eggs. Plants were categorized as growing in either flooded or unflooded habitat.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

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