Study

Butterflies and bumblebees in greenways and sown wildflower strips in southern Sweden

  • Published source details Haaland C. & Gyllin M. (2010) Butterflies and bumblebees in greenways and sown wildflower strips in southern Sweden. Journal of Insect Conservation, 14, 125-132.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Plant grass buffer strips/margins around arable or pasture fields

Action Link
Farmland Conservation

Plant nectar flower mixture/wildflower strips

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Plant grass buffer strips/margins around arable or pasture fields

    A replicated study in summer 2007 in south Sweden (Haaland & Gyllin 2010) found lower densities and species richness of butterflies (Lepidoptera) and bumblebees Bombus spp. in margins mainly sown with a mix of grass species, 4 m-wide (greenways or ‘beträdor’) than in sown wildflower strips. Fourteen percent of the recorded butterflies, and 17% of the bumblebees, were found in grass strips, and butterfly density was nearly 20 times lower in grass strips than in wildflower strips. Bumblebees were almost absent in the sown grass strips. However, the presence of bushes adjacent to grass strips positively influenced butterfly species richness and abundance of both butterflies and bumblebees. Butterflies and bumblebees were recorded on three grass strips (14 transects) and one wildflower strip (six transects) on five occasions on four arable farms. Butterflies and bumblebees were counted within 2 m either side of the observer and the flower species visited by the insects noted.

  2. Plant nectar flower mixture/wildflower strips

    A replicated study in summer 2007 in south Sweden (Haaland & Gyllin 2010) found higher densities and species richness of butterflies (Lepidoptera) and bumblebees Bombus spp. in sown wildflower strips than in strips consisting mainly of grass species (greenways or ‘beträdor’). Eighty-six percent of the recorded butterflies and 83% of the bumblebees were found in wildflower strips. Butterfly density was nearly 20 times higher in wildflower strips than in the grass strips. The most common flowers visited were field scabious Knautia arvensis and knapweeds Centaurea spp. for butterflies, and knapweeds for bumblebees (72% of all recordings). The presence of bushes adjacent to the strip positively affected the number of butterfly species and individual numbers of both butterflies and bumblebees. Butterflies and bumblebees were recorded on one wildflower strip (six transects) and three grass strips (14 transects) on five occasions on four arable farms. Butterflies and bumblebees were counted within 2 m either side of the observer, and the flower species visited by the insects noted.

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