Study

The influence of grazing intensity and landscape composition on the diversity and abundance of flower-visiting insects

  • Published source details Sjödin N.E., Bengtsson J. & Ekbom B. (2008) The influence of grazing intensity and landscape composition on the diversity and abundance of flower-visiting insects. Journal of Applied Ecology, 45, 763-772.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Reduce grazing intensity on grassland by reducing stocking density

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation

Cease grazing on grassland to allow early succession

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Reduce grazing intensity on grassland by reducing stocking density

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2004 in an agricultural region in central Sweden (Sjodin et al. 2008) found that grasslands grazed at low intensity did not have a greater abundance or species richness of butterflies and burnet moths than intensively grazed or abandoned grasslands. On low intensity pasture, the abundance (22.9 individuals/visit) and species richness (9.1 species/visit) of butterflies and burnet moths was not significantly different from either intensively grazed pasture (abundance: 22.8 individuals/visit; richness: 9.4 species/visit) or abandoned grassland (abundance: 29.5 individuals/visit; richness: 10.4 species/visit). Three pastures, >2 km apart, were selected in each of eight sites (>10 km apart). Within a site, one low intensity pasture was managed by cattle or horse grazing, one high intensity pasture was managed by cattle grazing, and one abandoned pasture had been ungrazed for >10 years. From June–August 2004, flower-visiting insects were surveyed four times on four 5 × 5 m plots/pasture. Plots were observed for 10 minutes/visit.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

  2. Cease grazing on grassland to allow early succession

    A replicated, site comparsion study in 2004 in an agricultural region in central Sweden (Sjodin et al. 2008) found that abandoned grasslands did not have a greater abundance or species richness of butterflies and burnet moths than low intensity or intensively grazed pasture. On abandoned grassland, the abundance (29.5 individuals/visit) and species richness (10.4 species/visit) of butterflies and burnet moths was not significantly different from either low intensity pasture (abundance: 22.9 individuals/visit; richness: 9.1 species/visit) or intensively grazed pasture (abundance: 22.8 individuals/visit; richness: 9.4 species/visit). Three pastures, >2 km apart, were selected in each of eight sites (>10 km apart). Within a site, one abandoned pasture had been ungrazed for >10 years, one low intensity pasture was managed by horse or cattle grazing, and one high intensity pasture was managed by cattle grazing. From June–August 2004, flower-visiting insects were surveyed four times on four 5 × 5 m plots/pasture. Plots were observed for 10 minutes/visit.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

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