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Effects of grassland abandonment, restoration and management on butterflies and vascular plants

Öckinger, Erik LU ; Eriksson, Anna K and Smith, Henrik LU (2006) In Biological Conservation 133(3). p.291-300
Abstract
When semi-natural pastures are abandoned, specialized grassland species are lost as a consequence of succession. As a counter-measure, previously abandoned grasslands may be restored by clearing shrubs and trees and re-introducing grazing livestock. In order to examine the effects of this type of habitat restoration, we compared species richness of plants and of specialized plants thought to be dependent on continuous management and species richness and abundance of butterflies and red-listed butterflies in 12 sets of matched continuously managed, abandoned and restored grassland in southern Sweden. We found no differences in species richness or abundance between the three grassland types. There were, however, some negative effects of... (More)
When semi-natural pastures are abandoned, specialized grassland species are lost as a consequence of succession. As a counter-measure, previously abandoned grasslands may be restored by clearing shrubs and trees and re-introducing grazing livestock. In order to examine the effects of this type of habitat restoration, we compared species richness of plants and of specialized plants thought to be dependent on continuous management and species richness and abundance of butterflies and red-listed butterflies in 12 sets of matched continuously managed, abandoned and restored grassland in southern Sweden. We found no differences in species richness or abundance between the three grassland types. There were, however, some negative effects of abandonment. The number of management-dependent plants decreased with increasing cover of trees and shrubs, and in restored sites species richness of all groups decreased with increasing cover of trees and shrubs before restoration. Also the present management significantly affected both butterflies and plants. Species richness of both groups increased with increasing vegetation height and differed between sites depending on the species of grazers, with negative effects of sheep compared to cattle or horses. Our study indicates that for grassland management to be efficient, the restoration actions should mainly be directed towards sites where the post-abandonment succession has not proceeded too far. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Habitat restoration, Lepidoptera, Grazing, Semi-natural pastures, Species richness, Succession
in
Biological Conservation
volume
133
issue
3
pages
291 - 300
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000242797500002
  • scopus:33749061682
ISSN
1873-2917
DOI
10.1016/j.biocon.2006.06.009
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
d07c1988-937d-438b-bc96-3aa7722fd1a5 (old id 164506)
date added to LUP
2007-06-26 13:15:21
date last changed
2019-08-18 03:25:01
@article{d07c1988-937d-438b-bc96-3aa7722fd1a5,
  abstract     = {When semi-natural pastures are abandoned, specialized grassland species are lost as a consequence of succession. As a counter-measure, previously abandoned grasslands may be restored by clearing shrubs and trees and re-introducing grazing livestock. In order to examine the effects of this type of habitat restoration, we compared species richness of plants and of specialized plants thought to be dependent on continuous management and species richness and abundance of butterflies and red-listed butterflies in 12 sets of matched continuously managed, abandoned and restored grassland in southern Sweden. We found no differences in species richness or abundance between the three grassland types. There were, however, some negative effects of abandonment. The number of management-dependent plants decreased with increasing cover of trees and shrubs, and in restored sites species richness of all groups decreased with increasing cover of trees and shrubs before restoration. Also the present management significantly affected both butterflies and plants. Species richness of both groups increased with increasing vegetation height and differed between sites depending on the species of grazers, with negative effects of sheep compared to cattle or horses. Our study indicates that for grassland management to be efficient, the restoration actions should mainly be directed towards sites where the post-abandonment succession has not proceeded too far.},
  author       = {Öckinger, Erik and Eriksson, Anna K and Smith, Henrik},
  issn         = {1873-2917},
  keyword      = {Habitat restoration,Lepidoptera,Grazing,Semi-natural pastures,Species richness,Succession},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {291--300},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Biological Conservation},
  title        = {Effects of grassland abandonment, restoration and management on butterflies and vascular plants},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2006.06.009},
  volume       = {133},
  year         = {2006},
}