Butterflies and diurnal moths along road verges: does road type affect diversity and abundance?

  • Published source details Saarinen K., Valtonen A., Jantunen J. & Saarnio S. (2005) Butterflies and diurnal moths along road verges: does road type affect diversity and abundance?. Biological Conservation, 123, 403-412.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Restore or maintain species-rich grassland along road/railway verges

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Restore or maintain species-rich grassland along road/railway verges

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2002–2003 along 51 road verges in South Karelia, Finland (Saarinen et al 2005) found that meadow-specialist moth, but not butterfly, species richness was higher along road verges with higher plant species richness, but plant species richness did not affect meadow-specialist butterfly or moth abundance. Richness of all butterfly and moth species and meadow-specialist butterfly species, and abundance of all individuals and meadow-specialist butterflies and moths were not affected by plant species richness, but meadow-specialist moth species richness was higher along verges with higher plant species richness. In additional, total species richness and species richness and abundance of meadow-specialist moths were not affected by the abundance of nectar-bearing plants, but abundance of all butterflies and moths, and meadow-specialist butterfly species richness and abundance, were higher along verges with a higher abundance of nectar-bearing plants. No raw data was provided. In June–August 2002–2003, butterflies and day-flying moths were surveyed weekly along thirteen 250-m transects on 51 verges of highways, urban roads and rural roads on the route from Lappeenranta to Imatra in south-eastern Finland. Plant species were recorded monthly June–August in ten 1-m2 quadrats every 25 m along transects and the number of plants in flower was converted to an index of nectar abundance.

    (Summarised by: Eleanor Bladon)

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