Restoration of butterfly and moth communities in semi-natural grasslands by cattle grazing

  • Published source details Poyry J., Lindgren S., Salminen J. & Kuussaari M. (2004) Restoration of butterfly and moth communities in semi-natural grasslands by cattle grazing. Ecological Applications, 14, 1656-1670.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Restore/create species-rich, semi-natural grassland

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Restore/create species-rich, semi-natural grassland

    A replicated site comparison study in 1999 and 2000 in southwest Finland (Poyry et al. 2004) (same study as (Pykala 2003, Poyry et al. 2005, Pykala 2005)) found that abandoned species-rich grasslands restored with cattle grazing had similar butterfly and day-flying moth (Lepidoptera) numbers to old grazed pastures. The abundance of butterflies and moths, and the number of species, did not differ between grazed and restored pastures. There were 22-26 species and 126 individuals/site in restored and old grazed pastures. Restored pastures varied more in the identities of species found than old grazed pastures. Some restored pastures had less ‘diverse’ butterfly and moth communities than old pastures because they were more likely to be dominated by abundant, common species. Some species only occurred in old pastures. Butterflies and moths were monitored in 1999 or 2000 on 11 old grazed pastures and 10 restored pastures abandoned for more than 10 years, with grazing re-started three to eight years before the study. All restored pastures received support under the Finish agri-environment support scheme for managing semi-natural grassland. Insects were counted along walked transects between four and seven times between May and August. Either transect length (2000) or searching time (1999) were standardized across sites.


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