Journal of Insect Conservation

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 175–185 | Cite as

Combining larval habitat quality and metapopulation structure – the key for successful management of pre-alpine Euphydryas aurinia colonies

  • Nils Anthes
  • Thomas Fartmann
  • Gabriel Hermann
  • Giselher Kaule
Article

Abstract

This study aims to analyse larval habitat preferences and landscape level population structure of the threatened Marsh Fritillary butterfly, Euphydryas aurinia, and discusses implications for the conservation and management of this strongly declining species in central Europe. Whereas current management strategies are mainly based on studies of habitat requirements of adult individuals, we intend to emphasise larval habitat quality and population processes at the landscape level as additional key factors. Microhabitat preference analysis of egg-laying females showed that eggs were predominantly laid on prominent large-sized host plant individuals. Additionally, when Succisa pratensis was used as a host plant (as opposed to Gentiana asclepiadea), host individuals in open vegetation structure were preferred. Optimal oviposition conditions were present in recently abandoned calcareous fen meadows and at the edges of such meadows currently in use. A two-year patch-occupancy study in the northern pre-alpine region of south-west Germany indicated that E. aurinia lives in a metapopulation. In a logistic-regression model, patch size, isolation, and habitat quality explained 82% of the observed patch-occupancy pattern in 2001. Our data suggest that a suitable conservation strategy must incorporate both the conservation of a network of suitable habitat patches, and efforts to maximise local habitat quality by ensuring that host plants can grow to a large size and are surrounded by sparse and low vegetation cover.

Gentiana asclepiadea Host use Marsh Fritillary Microhabitat preferences Succisa pratensis 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Anthes N., Hermann G. and Fartmann T.2003. Wie lässt sich der Rückgang des Goldenen Scheckenfalters (Euphydryas aurinia) in Mitteleuropa stoppen? Erkenntnisse aus populationsökologischen Studien in voralpinen Niedermoorgebieten und der Arealentwicklung in Deutschland. Naturschutz und Landschaftsplanung35: 279–287.Google Scholar
  2. Asher J., Warren M., Fox R., Harding P., Jeffcoate G. and Jeffcoate S.2001. The millenium atlas of butterflies in Britain and Ireland. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Boughton D.A.1999. Empirical evidence for complex source-sink dynamics with alternative states in a butterfly metapopulation. Ecology80: 2727–2739.Google Scholar
  4. Bühler C. and Schmid B.2001. The influence of management regime and altitude on the population of Succisa pratensis: implications for vegetation monitoring. J. Appl. Ecol.38: 689–698.Google Scholar
  5. Dennis R.L.H. and Eales H.T.1997. Patch occupancy in Coenonympha tullia (Muller, 1764) (Lepidoptera: Satyrinae): habitat quality matters as much as patch size and isolation. J. Insect Conserv.1: 167–176.Google Scholar
  6. Dierschke H.1994. Pflanzensoziologie, Ulmer Verlag, Stuttgart.Google Scholar
  7. Dolek M.2000. Der Einsatz der Beweidung in der Landschaftspflege: Untersuchungen an Tagfaltern als Zeigergruppe. Laufener Seminarbeiträge4/2000: 63–77.Google Scholar
  8. Dolek M. and Geyer A.1997. Influence of management on butterflies of rare grassland ecosystems in Germany. J. Insect Conserv.1: 125–130.Google Scholar
  9. Dolek M., Radlmair S. and Geyer A.1999. Der Einfluss der Nutzung (Weide, Mahd, Brache) voralpiner Moorgebiete auf die Insektenfauna (Tagfalter, Heuschrecken). Schriftenreihe des Bayerischen Landesamts für Umweltschutz150: 133–140.Google Scholar
  10. Ebert G. and Rennwald E.1991. Die Schmetterlinge Baden-Württembergs. Band 1, Tagfalter I. Verlag Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart.Google Scholar
  11. Fartmann T.1997. Biozönologische Untersuchungen zur Heuschreckenfauna auf Magerrasen im Naturpark Märkische Schweiz (Ostbrandenburg). Arbeiten aus dem Institut für Landschaftsökologie, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster3: 1–62.Google Scholar
  12. Fartmann T., Hafner S. and Hermann G.2001. Skabiosen-Scheckenfalter (Euphydryas aurinia). In: Fartmann T., Gunnemann H., Salm P. and Schröder E. (eds), Berichtspflichten in Natura-2000-Gebieten. Empfehlungen zur Erfassung der Arten des Anhangs II und Charakterisierung der Lebensraumtypen des Anhangs I der FFH-Richtlinie (= Angewandte Landschaftsökologie, Heft 42), Bundesamt für Naturschutz, Bonn, pp. 363–368.Google Scholar
  13. Fischer K.1997. Zur ökologie des Skabiosen-Scheckenfalters Euphydryas aurinia (Rottemburg, 1775) (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). Nachr. Entomol. Ver. Apollo18: 287–300.Google Scholar
  14. Fischer K., Beinlich B. and Plachter H.1999. Population structure, mobility and habitat preferences of the violet copper Lycaena helle (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) in Western Germany: implications for conservation. J. Insect Conserv.3: 43–52.Google Scholar
  15. Ford H.D. and Ford E.B.1930. Fluctuation in numbers, and its influence on variation in Melitaea aurinia, Rott. (Lepidoptera). Trans. Entomol. Soc. Lond.78: 345–351.Google Scholar
  16. Hanski I.1994. A practical model of metapopulation dynamics. J. Anim. Ecol.63: 151–162.Google Scholar
  17. Hanski I.1999. Metapopulation Ecology, 1st edn, Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Hermann G.1998. Erfassung von Präimaginalstadien bei Tagfaltern–Ein notwendiger Standard für Bestandsaufnahmen zu Planungsvorhaben. Naturschutz und Landschaftsplanung30: 133–142.Google Scholar
  19. Hermann G. and Steiner R.1997. Eiablage-und Larvalhabitat des Komma-Dickkopffalters (Hesperia comma Linné 1758). Carolinea55: 35–42.Google Scholar
  20. Kuussaari M., Nieminen M. and Hanski I.1996. An experimental study of migration in the glanville fritillary butterfly Melitaea cinxia. J. Anim. Ecol.65: 791–801.Google Scholar
  21. Lavery T.A.1993. A review of the distribution, ecology and status of the marsh fritillary Euphydryas aurinia Rottemburg, 1775 (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) in Ireland. Ir. Nat. J.24: 192–199.Google Scholar
  22. Lewis O.T. and Hurford C.1997. Assessing the status of the marsh fritillary butterfly (Eurodryas aurinia): an example from Glamorgan, UK. J. Insect Conserv.1: 159–166.Google Scholar
  23. Lewis O.T., Thomas C.D., Hill J.K., Brookes M.I., Crane T.P.R., Graneau Y.A., Mallet J.L.B. and Rose O.C.1997. Three ways of assessing metapopulation structure in the butterfly Plebejus argus.Ecol. Entomol.22: 283–293.Google Scholar
  24. Mazel R.1984. Trophisme, hybridation et Speciation chez Eurodryas aurinia Rottemburg (Lepidoptera–Nymphalidae). PhD thesis, University of Perpignan, France.Google Scholar
  25. Moilanen A. and Hanski I.2001. On the use of connectivity measures in spatial ecology. Oikos95: 147–151.Google Scholar
  26. Munguira M.L., Martin J., Garcia-Barros E. and Viejo J.L.1997. Use of space and resources in a Mediterranean population of the butterfly Euphydryas aurinia. Acta Oecologica18: 597–612.Google Scholar
  27. Oates M.R. and Warren M.S.1990. A Review of Butterfly Introductions in Britain and Ireland. World Wide Fund for Nature, Godalming.Google Scholar
  28. Oppermann R.1987. Tierökologische Untersuchungen zum Biotopmanagement in Feuchtwiesen. Ergebnisse einer Feldstudie an Schmetterlingen und Heuschrecken im württembergischen Alpenvorland. Natur und Landschaft62: 235–241.Google Scholar
  29. Porter K.1982. Basking behaviour in larvae of the butterfly Euphydryas aurinia. Oikos38: 308–312.Google Scholar
  30. Porter K.1983. Multivoltinism in Apanteles bignelli and the influence of weather on synchronisation with its host Euphydryas aurinia. Ent. exp. & appl.34: 155–162.Google Scholar
  31. Porter K.1992. Eggs and egg-laying. In: Dennis R.L.H. (Ed.)The ecology of butterflies in Britain, Oxford University Press, pp. 46–72.Google Scholar
  32. Reich M. and Grimm V.1995. Das Metapopulationskonzept in ökologie und Naturschutz: Eine kritische Bestandsaufnahme. Z. ökologie u. Naturschutz5: 123–139.Google Scholar
  33. SBN (Schweizer Bund für Naturschutz), 1991. Tagfalter und ihre Lebensräume. Arten, Gefährdung, Schutz. Band 1. Fotorotar, Basel.Google Scholar
  34. Scholle D., Hofmann C., Kaule G., Lederbogen D., Rosenthal G., Thumm U. and Trautner J.2002. Co-operative grazing systems ('Allmende'): An alternative concept for the management of endangered open and semi-open landscapes. In: Redecker B., Fink P., Härdtle W., Riecken U. and Schröder E. (eds), Pasture Landscapes and Nature Conservation, Springer, Berlin, pp. 387–398.Google Scholar
  35. Settele J.1998. Metapopulationsanalyse auf Rasterdatenbasis. Teubner Verlagsgesellschaft, Stuttgart.Google Scholar
  36. Sternberg K.1995. Populationsökologische Untersuchungen an einer Metapopulation der Hochmoor-Mosaikjungfer (Aeshna subarctica elisabethaea Djakonov, 1922) (Odonata, Aeshnidae) im Schwarzwald. Z. ökologie u. Naturschutz4: 53–60.Google Scholar
  37. Sundermeier A.1999. Zur Vegetationsdichte der Xerothermrasen nordwestlich von Halle/Saale–Erfassungsmethoden, strukturelle Vegetationstypen und der Einfluß der Vegetationsdichte auf das reproduktive Potential von Xerothermrasenarten. Dissertationes Botanicae316: 1–192.Google Scholar
  38. Thomas C.D., Wilson R.J. and Lewis O.T.2002. Short-term studies underestimate 30-generation changes in a butterfly metapopulation. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B269: 563–569.Google Scholar
  39. Thomas J.A., Bourn N.A.D., Clarke R.T., Stewart K.E., Simcox D.J., Pearman G.S., Curtis R. and Goodger B.2001. The quality and isolation of habitat patches both determine where butterflies persist in fragmented landscapes. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B268: 1791–1796.Google Scholar
  40. Thomas J.A. and Morris M.G.1994. Patterns, mechanisms and rates of decline among UK invertebrates. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B344: 47–54.Google Scholar
  41. van Swaay C. and Warren M.1999. Red data book of European butterflies (Rhopalocera). In: Council of Europe, Nature and Environment, No. 99, Strasbourg, France.Google Scholar
  42. Wahlberg N.2001. The phylogenetics and biochemistry of host-plant specialization in Melitaeine butterflies (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). Evolution55: 522–537.Google Scholar
  43. Wahlberg N., Klemetti T. and Hanski I.2002a. Dynamic populations in a dynamic landscape: the metapopulation structure of the marsh fritillary butterfly. Ecography25: 224–232.Google Scholar
  44. Wahlberg N., Klemetti T., Selonen V. and Hanski I.2002b. Metapopulation structure and movements in five species of checkerspott butterflies. Oecologia130: 33–43.Google Scholar
  45. Warren M.S.1994. The UK status and suspected metapopulation structure of a threatened European butterfly, the marsh fritillary (Eurodryas aurinia). Biol. Conserv.67: 239–249.Google Scholar
  46. Warren M.S., Munguira M.L. and Ferrin J.1994. Notes on the distribution, habitats and conservation of Eurodryas aurinia (Rottemburg) (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) in Spain. Entomologists' Gazette45: 5–12.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nils Anthes
    • 1
  • Thomas Fartmann
    • 1
  • Gabriel Hermann
    • 2
  • Giselher Kaule
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Landscape EcologyUniversity of MünsterMünsterGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Animal Evolution and EcologyUniversity of MünsterMünsterGermany

Personalised recommendations