Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1007/s10531-024-02861-6
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) Assessing landscape-level effects of permanent grassland management and landscape configuration on open-land butterflies based on national monitoring data
Author Kasiske, T.; Dauber, J.; Dieker, P.; Harpke, A.; Klimek, S.; Kühn, E.; Levers, C.; Schwieder, M.; Settele, J.; Musche, M.
Source Titel Biodiversity and Conservation
Year 2024
Department BZF; NSF; iDiv
Volume 33
Issue 8-9
Page From 2381
Page To 2404
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
Keywords Conservation; Citizen science; Biodiversity; Landscape configuration; Mowing regimes; Satellite imagery
Abstract Halting and reversing the ongoing insect decline requires in-depth knowledge on key drivers. Due to their sensitivity to habitat quality, butterflies are valuable indicators for grassland management intensity, including mowing. However, most studies examining mowing regime impacts on butterflies are limited to small spatial extents. Here, we tested the potential of citizen science butterfly monitoring data for assessing landscape-level effects of mowing regimes (number of mowing events and timing of the first event) and edge density (density of boundaries between different land-cover types) on butterfly richness, abundance, and community composition. We used generalised linear mixed-effects models to relate nationwide data from the German Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (DEBMS) to high-resolution satellite imagery on mowing events in permanent grasslands (grasslands excluded from crop rotation). As butterfly transects may not consistently be located within grasslands, we ran our models for different thresholds from 0 to 50%, representing increasing shares of the transect route situated within permanent grasslands (10% intervals). We did not find significant associations between mowing regimes and butterflies when focussing on species richness and abundance of all species inhabiting open land. However, we found strong positive associations of delayed mowing with the abundance of grassland specialists with increasing grassland shares per transect. Further, we found negative associations of delayed mowing with the annual number of generations and of more frequent mowing with the abundance of specialists, depending on the share of grassland per transect. Edge density had a positive association with species richness and abundance of species inhabiting open land, as well as abundance of grassland indicator species and grassland specialists in landscapes with a low grassland share per transect. Our findings underscore the importance of low-intensity managed permanent grasslands at the landscape scale for specialised butterflies. Additionally, we highlight the importance of a high density of boundaries for open-land and specialised butterflies, particularly in landscapes with highly fragmented permanent grasslands. To improve future analyses of grassland management impacts, we recommend expanding DEBMS monitoring sites to cover a larger grassland management intensity gradient and to place more transects within grasslands.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Kasiske, T., Dauber, J., Dieker, P., Harpke, A., Klimek, S., Kühn, E., Levers, C., Schwieder, M., Settele, J., Musche, M. (2024):
Assessing landscape-level effects of permanent grassland management and landscape configuration on open-land butterflies based on national monitoring data
Biodivers. Conserv. 33 (8-9), 2381 - 2404 10.1007/s10531-024-02861-6