Disperse or die: Colonisation of transient open habitats in production forests is only weakly dispersal-limited in butterflies

  • Published source details Viljur M.L. & Teder T. (2018) Disperse or die: Colonisation of transient open habitats in production forests is only weakly dispersal-limited in butterflies. Biological Conservation, 218, 32-40.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Retain connectivity between habitat patches

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Retain connectivity between habitat patches

    A replicated, paired, site comparison study in 2012–2015 in 36 clearcut forest patches in eastern Estonia (Viljur & Teder 2018) found that cleared patches connected to other open areas had a similar number of butterfly species to isolated cleared patches. In clearcut patches connected to other open areas, the number of “grassland species” (9 species/patch) and “open habitat species” (13 species/patch) was not significantly different to the number in isolated clearcut patches (grassland: 8 species/patch; open habitat: 12 species/patch). Eighteen pairs of clearcut forest patches of similar age (2–10 years since clearcutting) and size (0.3–2.5 ha) were selected. Paired patches were 150–4,720 m apart. Within each pair, one patch was directly connected to a network of open corridors (wide road verges and power line rights-of-way), and one patch was completely isolated by a belt of forest. From June–July 2012–2015, each patch was searched three times for butterflies (30 minutes/ha) within one or two consecutive years. Paired patches were surveyed consecutively. Butterflies were classified as “grassland species” for which semi-natural grasslands are their primary habitat, “open habitat species” which included the grassland species and other species which use a wider range of open habitat, and “forest species” which live mainly in woodland.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

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