WP 4: Habitats & habitat models

Objectives of WP 4:

Data available on habitat requirements for Maculinea along a European gradient are being incorporated into models of habitat dynamics. Data from landscape structure and species ecology have been and continue to be combined as input parameters for population and metapopulation analyses. Landscape indices using population dynamic models are being derived using special model analyses on ant-butterfly interaction patterns and will eventually be used for decision support in conservation management. Ultimately, habitat models will be implemented into landscape analysis and maps of potential habitats of larger areas created. GIS techniques are being employed to exploit digitized land use data and explore the physical arrangements of habitats in time and space and verify habitat models with geographical incidence patterns.

Phengaris rebeli. Photo: Erk Dallmeyer
Maculinea rebeli. Photo: Erk Dallmeyer
Dusky Large Blue (Phengaris nausithous). Photo: André Künzelmann, UFZ
Dusky Large Blue (Maculinea nausithous). Photo: André Künzelmann, UFZ


  • To collate information from comparative studies on Maculinea/Myrmica species' habitat requirements and their intra-specific variation along a geographical gradient.
  • To incorporate data available on habitat requirements and incorporate them into models of habitat dynamics. This will be achieved by integrating different modelling approaches. The focus will be:
  • To quantify and model the role of ant-butterfly relations, food plants in combination with abiotic conditions, and parasitoids
  • To test and improve existing models and/or develop new ones
  • To estimate the adaptability of Maculinea to local plant and ant populations
  • To implement habitat models into landscape analysis and subsequently create maps of potential habitats for larger areas (historical, present day, future scenarios)
  • To verify habitat models based on Maculinea distribution pattern

The habitat models will be used for landscape analyses in WP 7.