Journal of Insect Conservation

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 113–121

Limited dispersal by the rare scarce heath butterfly—potential consequences for population persistence

Authors

    • Evolutionary Biology Centre, Program in Evolutionary Functional Genomics (former Department of Conservation Biology and Genetics)Uppsala University
    • Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
  • Per Sjögren-Gulve
    • Evolutionary Biology Centre, Program in Evolutionary Functional Genomics (former Department of Conservation Biology and Genetics)Uppsala University
    • The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10841-006-9023-z

Cite this article as:
Cassel-Lundhagen, A. & Sjögren-Gulve, P. J Insect Conserv (2007) 11: 113. doi:10.1007/s10841-006-9023-z

Abstract

Dispersal between habitat patches may be important for the long-term persistence of populations. We conducted a mark–release–recapture study and analysed the dispersal pattern in the scarce heath butterfly inhabiting a network of suitable habitat patches using stepwise logistic regression (SLR) and the Virtual Migration (VM) model. We also analysed the influence of different types of matrices.

We found that the majority of the recaptured butterflies remained within the patch where they were originally caught. However, dispersal between patches did occur and both the SLR analysis and the VM model indicated that the migration pattern was significantly associated with patch area and its level of isolation. The SLR model also showed that there was a positive association between immigration rate and tree density, supporting earlier observations that this species prefers semi-open habitat. We discuss the use of SLR versus the VM model to analyse recapture data in dispersal studies.

This system is not at equilibrium, as a number of the most important patches in the network are continuously being lost due to afforestation and a number of populations are facing deterministic extinction. This increases the risk of a chain reaction of local extinctions, which may cause a collapse of the whole system.

Keywords

Coenonympha heroLepidopteraMark–release–recaptureDispersalConservation

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006