Publication Details

Reference Category Book chapters
Title (Primary) Butterflies of European ecosystems: impact of land use and options for conservation management
Title (Secondary) Ecology of butterflies in Europe
Author Settele, J.; Dover, J.; Dolek, M.; Konvička, M.;
Publisher Settele, J.; Shreeve, T.; Konvička, M.; Van Dyck, H.;
Year 2009
Department BZF;
Language englisch;
UFZ inventory Halle, Bibliothek, 00356145, 09-1163 BI 47 Eco

Land use has a profound effect on the presence and abundance of butterfly species. Butterflies rely on the presence and quality of a series of ecological resources for all life stages, all of which can be strongly influenced by the management of vegetation. This chapter gives an overview of current knowledge and experience with management aspects of different European biotopes from the viewpoint of butterfly conservation. Traditional management practices have been the driving force for the recent evolution of plant and animal communities of European ecosystems. In modern landscapes, most butterflies cannot survive without active management of their habitats. Biotopes reviewed include woodlands, alpine, subalpine and arctic ecosystems, heathlands, wetlands, grasslands, arable landscapes, and disturbed and urban landscapes. There is a recurrent pattern of dependency on early succession sites. This is also true for many woodland species; management has to be based on maintaining low tree densities with either permanent or dynamically managed clearings. A critical factor for butterfly survival in several biotopes is the continuation of natural disturbances (e.g. such as landslides, or animal grazing). Many sites of conservation interest are too small to sustain viable populations of threatened specialist species, consequently increased connectivity between remaining habitats (e.g. creation of stepping stones) can be crucial to the long-term survival of many species. Unified prescriptions applied across entire regions can be deleterious and possibly even disastrous for some species. Management strategies need to be regionally or locally adapted based on adequate data and knowledge. Agri-environmental schemes may offer the potential to conserve species of the wider countryside, but they should be appropriately targeted to improve significantly the resource base for wildlife. Urban areas also offer opportunities for butterfly survival; a small shift in aesthetic perception may turn city parks and gardens into enjoyable biodiversity spots.

ID 619
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Settele, J., Dover, J., Dolek, M., Konvička, M. (2009):
Butterflies of European ecosystems: impact of land use and options for conservation management
In: Settele, J., Shreeve, T., Konvička, M., Van Dyck, H. (eds.)
Ecology of butterflies in Europe
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, p. 353 - 370