Spontaneous succession in limestone quarries as an effective restoration tool for endangered arthropods and plants

  • Published source details Tropek R., Kadlec T., Karesova P., Spitzer L., Kocarek P., Malenovský I., Banar P., Tuf I.H., Hejda M. & Konvicka M. (2010) Spontaneous succession in limestone quarries as an effective restoration tool for endangered arthropods and plants. Journal of Applied Ecology, 47, 139-147.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Restore or create new habitats after mining and quarrying

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Restore or create new habitats after mining and quarrying

    A replicated, paired, site comparison study in 2007 in five former limestone quarries in the Bohemian Karst, Czech Republic (Tropek et al. 2010) found that technically restored quarries had a lower species richness of butterflies and day-flying moths than quarries left to restore naturally. In technically restored quarries, the species richness of all butterflies and day-flying moths (17 species/plot) was lower than in naturally restored quarries (24 species/plot). In addition, the species richness of xeric habitat specialists, and species of conservation concern, was also lower in technically restored quarries (xeric: 5–6; conservation: 0–2 species/plot) than in naturally restored quarries (xeric: 8–15; conservation: 3–7 species/plot). Five pairs of plots (0.2–0.3 ha, 0–150 m apart) were monitored in five quarries which had been abandoned for 10–60 years. In each pair, one plot had been “technically restored” (site covered with topsoil, fast-growing herbs sown, trees planted) and the other had been left to develop naturally (“spontaneous succession”). From May–August 2007, butterflies and day-flying moths were surveyed five times along two perpendicular transects through each plot (50 m/5 min).

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

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