Grassland butterfly communities of the Western Siberian forest steppe in the light of post-Soviet land abandonment

  • Published source details Trappe J., Kunz F., Weking S. & Kamp J. (2017) Grassland butterfly communities of the Western Siberian forest steppe in the light of post-Soviet land abandonment. Journal of Insect Conservation, 21, 813-826.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Cease mowing on grassland to allow early succession

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Cease mowing on grassland to allow early succession

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2015 in 40 hay meadows in Tyumen Province, Russia (Trappe et al. 2017) found that abandoned meadows had a similar species richness and diversity of butterflies to mown meadows, but a higher abundance of more individual species. On abandoned meadows, the species richness (8.6 species/site) and diversity of butterflies was similar to mown meadows (9.2 species/site, diversity data presented as model results). However, seven species (dark green fritillary Argynnis aglaja, dusky meadow brown Hyponephele lycaon, dryad Minois dryas, swallowtail Papilio machaon, brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni, Esper's marbled white Melanargia russiae, Weaver’s fritillary Boloria dia) occurred at higher density in abandoned meadows on a floodplain than at other sites, compared to four species (ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus, small white Pieris rapae, chestnut heath Coenonympha glycerion, mazarine blue Cyaniris semiargus) which occurred at higher density in abandoned meadows not on the floodplain than at other sites, and no species which occurred at higher density in the mown meadows than in abandoned meadows (see paper for details). Forty hay meadows, >1 km apart, were selected within a 20 × 20 km area. Twenty meadows had been abandoned for at least three years (although often much longer), and 20 had been mown within the last three years. Half of the abandoned sites were located on a floodplain. From June–early August 2015, butterflies were surveyed twice along one 200-m transect/meadow.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

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