Advertisement

Oecologia

, Volume 160, Issue 3, pp 577–587 | Cite as

Relative contributions of local and regional factors to species richness and total density of butterflies and moths in semi-natural grasslands

  • Juha Pöyry
  • Juho Paukkunen
  • Janne Heliölä
  • Mikko Kuussaari
Community Ecology - Original Paper

Abstract

Metapopulation theory predicts that species richness and total population density of habitat specialists increase with increasing area and regional connectivity of the habitat. To test these predictions, we examined the relative contributions of habitat patch area, connectivity of the regional habitat network and local habitat quality to species richness and total density of butterflies and day-active moths inhabiting semi-natural grasslands. We studied butterflies and moths in 48 replicate landscapes situated in southwest Finland, including a focal patch and the surrounding network of other semi-natural grasslands within a radius of 1.5 km from the focal patch. By applying the method of hierarchical partitioning, which can distinguish between independent and joint contributions of individual explanatory variables, we observed that variables of the local habitat quality (e.g. mean vegetation height and nectar plant abundance) generally showed the highest independent effect on species richness and total density of butterflies and moths. Habitat area did not show a significant independent contribution to species richness and total density of butterflies and moths. The effect of habitat connectivity was observed only for total density of the declining butterflies and moths. These observations indicate that the local habitat quality is of foremost importance in explaining variation in species richness and total density of butterflies and moths. In addition, declining butterflies and moths have larger populations in well-connected networks of semi-natural grasslands. Our results suggest that, while it is crucial to maintain high-quality habitats by management, with limited resources it would be appropriate to concentrate grassland management and restoration to areas with well-connected grassland networks in which the declining species currently have their strongest populations.

Keywords

Habitat connectivity Local habitat quality Metapopulation Partitioning methods Patch area 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Juha Pöyry was supported by a grant from the Finnish Cultural Foundation. Collection of plant and butterfly/moth data was funded by the Finnish Ministry of Environment (for the project ‘Maintaining biodiversity in traditional rural landscapes—optimal management and area networks’ through the Finnish Biodiversity Research Programme FIBRE coordinated by the Academy of Finland). Finalisation of the manuscript was supported by the EU FP6 project COCONUT (SSPI-CT-2006-044346). Atte Moilanen helped us with the calculation of the habitat connectivities. Thomas O. Crist, Ilkka Hanski, Risto Heikkinen, Henrik G. Smith, Keith S. Summerville and an anonymous reviewer provided valuable criticism on the manuscript. Michael J. Bailey corrected the English language.

Supplementary material

442_2009_1328_MOESM1_ESM.doc (646 kb)
Supplementary materials (DOC 646 kb)

References

  1. Balmer O, Erhardt A (2000) Consequences of succession on extensively grazed grasslands for central European butterfly communities: rethinking conservation practices. Conserv Biol 14:746–757CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bergman K-O, Ask L, Askling J, Ignell H, Wahlman H, Milberg P (2008) Importance of boreal grasslands in Sweden for butterfly diversity and effects of local and landscape habitat factors. Biodivers Conserv 17:139–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Borcard D, Legendre P, Drapeau P (1992) Partialling out the spatial component of ecological variation. Ecology 73:1045–1055CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chevan A, Sutherland M (1991) Hierarchical partitioning. Am Stat 45:90–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Connor EF, McCoy ED (1979) The statistics and biology of the species-area relationship. Am Nat 113:791–833CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Crist TO, Pradhan-Devare SV, Summerville KS (2006) Spatial variation in insect community and species responses to habitat loss and plant community composition. Oecologia 147:510–521PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Douwes P (1976) An area census method for estimating butterfly population numbers. J Res Lepid 15:146–152Google Scholar
  8. Drakare S, Lennon JJ, Hillebrand H (2006) The imprint of the geographical, evolutionary and ecological context on species-area relationships. Ecol Lett 9:215–227PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Erhardt A (1985) Diurnal Lepidoptera: sensitive indicators of cultivated and abandoned grassland. J Appl Ecol 22:849–861CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ewers RM, Didham RK (2006) Confounding factors in the detection of species responses to habitat fragmentation. Biol Rev 81:117–142PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hambäck PA, Summerville KS, Steffan-Dewenter I, Krauss J, Englund G, Crist TO (2007) Habitat specialization, body size, and family identity explain lepidopteran density–area relationships in a cross-continental comparison. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104:8368–8373PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hanski I (1994) A practical model of metapopulation dynamics. J Anim Ecol 63:151–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hanski I (1999) Metapopulation ecology. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  14. Hanski I (2005) The shrinking world: ecological consequences of habitat loss. International Ecology Institute, Oldendorf/LuheGoogle Scholar
  15. Hanski I, Gyllenberg M (1997) Uniting two general patterns in the distribution of species. Science 275:397–400PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hanski I, Pöyry J (2007) Insect populations in fragmented habitats. In: Stewart AJA, New TR, Lewis OT (eds) Insect conservation biology. Proceedings of the Royal Entomological Society’s 23rd Symposium, CABI, Wallingford, pp 175–202Google Scholar
  17. Heikkinen RK, Luoto M, Virkkala R, Rainio K (2004) Effects of habitat cover, landscape structure and spatial variables on the abundance of birds in an agricultural-forest mosaic. J Appl Ecol 41:824–835CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hurlbert SH (1971) The nonconcept of species diversity: a critique and alternative parameters. Ecology 52:577–586CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kivinen S, Luoto M, Kuussaari M, Saarinen K (2007) Effects of land cover and climate on species richness of butterflies in boreal agricultural landscapes. Agric Ecosyst Environ 122:453–460CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Krauss J, Steffan-Dewenter I, Tscharntke T (2003) How does landscape context contribute to effects of habitat fragmentation on diversity and population density of butterflies? J Biogeogr 30:889–900CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kruess A, Tscharntke T (2002a) Contrasting responses of plant and insect diversity to variation in grazing intensity. Biol Conserv 106:293–302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kruess A, Tscharntke T (2002b) Grazing intensity and the diversity of grasshoppers, butterflies, and trap-nesting bees and wasps. Conserv Biol 16:1570–1580CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kuussaari M, Nieminen M, Hanski I (1996) An experimental study of migration in the Glanville fritillary butterfly Melitaea cinxia. J Anim Ecol 65:791–801CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kuussaari M, Heliölä J, Niininen I (2002) Results of the butterfly monitoring scheme in Finnish agricultural landscapes for the year 2001. Baptria 27:38–47 (in Finnish with English summary)Google Scholar
  25. Kuussaari M, Heliölä J, Pöyry J, Saarinen K (2007a) Contrasting trends of butterfly species preferring semi-natural grasslands, field margins and forest edges in northern Europe. J Insect Conserv 11:351–366CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kuussaari M, Heliölä J, Pöyry J, Saarinen K (2007b) Determinants of local species richness of diurnal Lepidoptera in boreal agricultural landscapes. Agric Ecosyst Environ 122:366–376CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Leibold MA et al (2004) The metacommunity concept: a framework for multi-scale community ecology. Ecol Lett 7:601–613CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Loertscher M, Erhardt A, Zettel J (1995) Microdistribution of butterflies in a mosaic-like habitat: the role of nectar sources. Ecography 18:15–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Mac Nally R (2000) Regression and model-building in conservation biology, biogeography and ecology: the distinction between—and reconciliation of—‘predictive’ and explanatory models. Biodivers Conserv 9:655–671CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mac Nally R, Walsh CJ (2004) Hierarchical partitioning public-domain software. Biodivers Conserv 13:659–660CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. MacArthur RH, Wilson EO (1967) The theory of insular biogeography. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  32. Moilanen A, Nieminen M (2002) Simple connectivity measures in spatial ecology. Ecology 83:1131–1145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Morris MG (2000) The effects of structure and its dynamics on the ecology and conservation of arthropods in British grasslands. Biol Conserv 95:129–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Murphy DD, Launer AE, Ehrlich PR (1983) The role of adult feeding in egg production and population dynamics of the checkerspot butterfly Euphydryas editha. Oecologia 56:257–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Öckinger E, Smith HG (2006) Landscape composition and habitat area affects butterfly species richness in semi-natural grasslands. Oecologia 149:526–534PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Ovaskainen O, Hanski I (2004) Metapopulation dynamics in highly fragmented landscapes. In: Hanski I, Gaggiotti OE (eds) Metapopulation biology: ecology, genetics and evolution. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 73–103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Pollard E (1977) A method for assessing changes in the abundance of butterflies. Biol Conserv 12:115–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Pöyry J, Lindgren S, Salminen J, Kuussaari M (2004) Restoration of butterfly and moth communities in semi-natural grasslands by cattle grazing. Ecol Appl 14:1656–1670CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Pöyry J, Luoto M, Paukkunen J, Pykälä J, Raatikainen K, Kuussaari M (2006) Different responses of plants and herbivore insects to a gradient of vegetation height: an indicator of the vertebrate grazing intensity and successional age. Oikos 115:401–412CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Pykälä J, Heikkinen RK (2005) Complementarity-based algorithms for selecting sites to preserve grassland plant species. Agric Ecosyst Environ 106:41–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. R Development Core Team (2007) R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, ViennaGoogle Scholar
  42. Raatikainen KM, Heikkinen RK, Pykälä J (2007) Impacts of local and regional factors on vegetation of boreal semi-natural grasslands. Plant Ecol 189:155–173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Rosenzweig ML (1995) Species diversity in space and time. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  44. Simberloff D (1972) Properties of the rarefaction diversity measurement. Am Nat 106:414–418CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Steffan-Dewenter I (2003) Importance of habitat area and landscape context for species richness of bees and wasps in fragmented orchard meadows. Conserv Biol 17:1036–1044CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Steffan-Dewenter I, Tscharntke T (2000) Butterfly community structure in fragmented habitats. Ecol Lett 3:449–456CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Steffan-Dewenter I, Tscharntke T (2002) Insect communities and biotic interactions on fragmented calcareous grasslands—a mini review. Biol Conserv 104:275–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Stewart KEJ, Bourn NAD, Thomas JA (2001) An evaluation of three quick methods commonly used to assess sward height in ecology. J Appl Ecol 38:1148–1154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Summerville KS, Crist TO (2004) Contrasting effects of habitat quantity and quality on moth communities in fragmented landscapes. Ecography 27:3–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Swengel AB (2001) A literature review of insect responses to fire, compared to other conservation managements of open habitat. Biodivers Conserv 10:1141–1169CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Thomas CD, Hanski I (1997) Butterfly metapopulations. In: Hanski I, Gilpin ME (eds) Metapopulation biology: ecology, genetics and evolution. Academic Press, San Diego, pp 359–386Google Scholar
  52. Thomas CD, Hanski I (2004) Metapopulation dynamics in changing environments: butterfly responses to habitat and climate change. In: Hanski I, Gaggiotti OE (eds) Metapopulation biology: ecology, genetics and evolution. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 489–514CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Tscharntke T, Steffan-Dewenter I, Kruess A, Thies C (2002) Characteristics of insect populations on habitat fragments: a mini review. Ecol Res 17:229–239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Vessby K, Söderström B, Glimskär A, Svensson B (2002) Species-richness correlations of six different taxa in Swedish seminatural grasslands. Conserv Biol 16:430–439CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Watling JI, Donnelly MA (2006) Fragments as islands: a synthesis of faunal responses to habitat patchiness. Conserv Biol 20:1016–1025PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Wettstein W, Schmid B (1999) Conservation of arthropod diversity in montane wetlands: effect of altitude, habitat quality and habitat fragmentation on butterflies and grasshoppers. J Appl Ecol 36:363–373CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. With KA (2004) Metapopulation dynamics: perspectives from landscape ecology. In: Hanski I, Gaggiotti OE (eds) Metapopulation biology: ecology, genetics and evolution. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 23–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juha Pöyry
    • 1
  • Juho Paukkunen
    • 1
  • Janne Heliölä
    • 1
  • Mikko Kuussaari
    • 1
  1. 1.Finnish Environment InstituteResearch Programme for BiodiversityHelsinkiFinland

Personalised recommendations