Journal of Insect Conservation

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 125–132

Butterflies and bumblebees in greenways and sown wildflower strips in southern Sweden

Original Paper


Greenways have recently been established in some intensively farmed areas of South Sweden in order to enhance recreation opportunities and biodiversity, but the effects of these green structures on biodiversity have not yet been determined. In this study, greenways and experimental sown wildflower strips were investigated for butterfly and bumblebee diversity. In total, 1,769 butterflies of 18 species and 1,216 foraging bumblebees of eight species were recorded. Sown wildflower strips proved to support much higher abundances and species numbers of butterflies and bumblebees than greenways, with 86% of all butterflies and 83% of all bumblebees being observed in the sown flower strips. However, in both types of green structure mostly common species were found. Counts of flower visits showed that Knautia, Centaurea and Cirsium were the most commonly visited plant species. The greenways studied did not seem to fulfil their function of enhancing biodiversity—at least not for butterflies and bumblebees. However, these greenways could easily be improved for common bumblebee and butterfly species by sowing wildflower strips along their margins.


Agri-environmental schemes Enhancing biodiversity Intensive agriculture Green structure Peri-urban 


  1. Aviron S, Herzog F, Klaus I, Luka H, Pfiffner L, Schupbach B, Jeanneret P (2007) Effects of Swiss agri-environmental measures on arthropod biodiversity in arable landscapes. Asp Appl Biol 81:101–109Google Scholar
  2. Backman J-PC, Tiainen J (2002) Habitat quality of field margins in a Finnish farmland area for bumblebees (Hymenoptera: Bombus and Psithyrus). Agric Ecosyst Environ 89:53–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Carvell C, Meek WR, Pywell RF, Nowakowski M (2004) The response of foraging bumblebees to successional change in newly created arable field margins. Biol Conserv 118:327–339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Carvell C, Westrich P, Meek WR, Pywell RF, Nowakowski M (2006) Assessing the value of annual and perennial forage mixtures for bumblebees by direct observation and pollen analysis. Apidologie 37:326–340CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Carvell C, Meek WR, Pywell RF, Goulson D, Nowakowski M (2007) Comparing the efficacy of agri-environment schemes to enhance bumble bee abundance and diversity on arable field margins. J Appl Ecol 44:29–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Critchley CNR, Fowbert JA, Sherwood AJ, Pywell RF (2006) Vegetation development of sown grass margins in arable fields under a countrywide agri-environment scheme. Biol Conserv 132:1–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Croxton PJ, Carvell C, Mountford JO, Sparks TH (2002) A comparison of green lanes and field margins as bumblebee habitat in an arable landscape. Biol Conserv 107:365–374CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dover J, Sparks T, Clarke S, Gobbett K, Glossop S (2000) Linear features and butterflies: the importance of green lanes. Agric Ecosyst Environ 80:227–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dramstad W, Fry G (1995) Foraging activity of bumblebees (Bombus) in relation to flower resources on arable land. Agric Ecosyst Environ 53:123–135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Feber RE, Smith H, Macdonald DW (1996) The effects on butterfly abundance of the management of uncropped edges of arable field. J Appl Ecol 33:1191–1205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Feber RE, Johnson PJ, Firbank LG, Hopkins A, Macdonald DW (2007) A comparison of butterfly populations on organically and conventionally managed farmland. J Zool Lond 273:30–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Field RG, Gardiner T, Mason CF, Hill J (2007) Agri-environment schemes and butterflies: the utilisation of two metre arable field margins. Biodivers Conserv 16:465–474CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Government Offices of Sweden (2007) Rural development programme for Sweden the period 2007–2013. Accessed 14 Jan 2008
  14. Hojring K (2002) The right to roam the countryside—law and reality concerning public access to the landscape in Denmark. Landsc Urban Plan 59:29–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kells AR, Holland JM, Goulson D (2001) The value of uncropped field margins for foraging bumblebees. J Insect Conserv 5:283–291CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kuussaari M, Heliola J, Luoto M, Poyry J (2007) Determinants of local species richness of diurnal Lepidoptera in boreal agricultural landscapes. Agric Ecosyst Environ 122:366–376CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Meek B, Loxton D, Sparks T, Pywell R, Pickett H, Nowakowski M (2002) The effect of arable field margin composition on invertebrate biodiversity. Biol Conserv 106:259–271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Minitab Inc. (2007) State College, PA.
  19. Ockinger E, Smith HG (2007) Semi-natural grasslands as population sources for pollinating insects in agricultural landscapes. J Appl Ecol 44:50–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Pollard E, Yates TJ (1993) Monitoring butterflies for ecology and conservation. Chapman & Hall, LondonGoogle Scholar
  21. Pywell RF, Warman EA, Carvell C, Sparks TH, Dicks LV, Bennett D, Wright A, Critchley CNR, Sherwood A (2005) Providing foraging resources for bumblebees in intensively farmed landscapes. Biol Conserv 121:479–494CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Pywell RF, Warman EA, Hulmes L, Hulmes S, Nuttall R, Sparks TH, Critchley CNR, Sherwood A (2006) Effectiveness of new agri-environment schemes in providing foraging resources for bumblebees in intensively farmed landscapes. Biol Conserv 129:192–206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Rundlof M, Smith HG (2006) The effect of organic farming on butterfly diversity depends on landscape context. J Appl Ecol 43:1121–1127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. StatSoft (1997) Statistica 5.1 StatSoft, Tusla, USAGoogle Scholar
  25. ter Braak CJF, Šmilauer P (2002) CANOCO reference manual and CanoDraw for Windows user’s guide: software for canonical community ordination (version 4.5). Microcomputer Power, Ithaca, NY, USAGoogle Scholar
  26. Van Swaay C, Warren M, Lois G (2006) Biotope use and trends of European butterflies. J Insect Conserv 10:189–209CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Woodcock BA, Westbury DB, Tscheulin T, Harrison-Cripps J, Harris SJ, Ramsey AJ, Brown VK, Potts SG (2008) Effects of seed mixture and management on beetle assemblages of arable field margins. Agric Ecosyst Environ 125:246–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Wretenberg J, Lindstrom A, Svensson S, Part T (2007) Linking agricultural policies to population trends of Swedish farmland birds in different agricultural regions. J Appl Ecol 44(5):933–941CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Landscape Management, Design & ConstructionSwedish University of Agricultural SciencesAlnarpSweden
  2. 2.Work Science, Business Economics and Environmental PsychologySwedish University of Agricultural SciencesAlnarpSweden

Personalised recommendations