Journal of Insect Conservation

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 3–27 | Cite as

The influences of landscape structure on butterfly distribution and movement: a review

  • John Dover
  • Josef Settele
Review Paper


We review the literature on the influence of landscape structure on butterfly distribution and movement. We start by examining the definition of landscape commonly used in spatial ecology. Landscape-level processes are reviewed before focusing on the impact of the geometry and spatial arrangement of habitat patches on butterflies e.g. the nature of the matrix, patch size and shape, minimum area requirements, immigration and emigration, and temporal habitat dynamics. The role of landscape elements is reviewed in terms of corridors (and stepping-stones), barriers, nodes, environmental buffers, and prominent landmark features.


Landscape Dispersal Connectivity Spatial ecology Lepidoptera Patch Matrix 



This paper grew out of an earlier joint project with Matthias Dolek and Martin Konvicka and we gratefully acknowledge their help and assistance. We are also grateful to the large number of colleagues who have helped shape our views on butterfly-landscape interactions over the years. Roger Dennis provided much material and made helpful comments on a draft of this paper. We also acknowledge the helpful advice of two anonymous referees. JS was partly funded by the EU under the FP projects COCONUT (; SSPI-CT-2006–044343) and ALARM (; GOCE-CT-2003-506675; Settele et al. 2005).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Environment, Sustainability and RegenerationStaffordshire UniversityStoke-on-TrentUK
  2. 2.Department of Community EcologyUFZ – Helmholtz Centre for Environmental ResearchHalleGermany

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