Community Ecology

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 28–39 | Cite as

Traits in Lepidoptera assemblages are differently influenced by local and landscape scale factors in farmland habitat islands

  • F. SamuEmail author
  • C. Szabóky
  • A. Horváth
  • D. Neidert
  • M. Tóth


Semi-natural grassland islands have a key role in slowing down biodiversity decline in intensively cultivated agricultural landscapes. Assemblages in such habitat patches are not only limited by local habitat quality, but are also influenced by the suitability and distribution of different habitat types in the surrounding landscape. If we want to preserve a functionally diverse Lepidoptera fauna, both local and landscape scale environmental effects, including land use and management, should be considered. In the present study, we describe trait-based characteristics of noctuid dominated macro-moth assemblages (MMAs) in grassland remnants of an intensively cultivated agricultural area. By gathering environmental data from local to landscape scales, we aimed to identify the most influential scales, possible interactions between scales and the role of integrated arable fields in shaping MMAs. We conducted abundance weighted trait-based multivariate analysis of the assemblages based on six trait groups. Both local and landscape scale variables had important influence, acting on different traits of the assemblages. By variance partitioning, we could identify variables that exerted maximal effect at 50 m and 250 m radii circles. Variables describing local vegetation and identity of neighbouring crop were responsible for species richness and rarity status, while the area of arable and wooded habitats within 250 m were responsible for total catch and pest status related traits. There was significant interaction between principal components axes representing local and landscape variables. Rarity, more than other traits, was influenced by the interaction. Integrated fields had no effect on MMAs. The present study highlights the contributions of both local and landscape scales to the shaping of MMAs and suggests that the preservation of both local habitat quality and landscape heterogeneity are important if we would like to maintain species rich and functionally diverse Lepidoptera fauna.


Agri-environmental scheme Baited trap Landscape use Macro-moth Scale dependent Trait-based 



Agri-Environmental Schemes


Arable fields in AES


Arable fields


Bottom Humidity


Meadow habitats


noctuid dominated Macro-Moth Assemblage


Neighbouring crop


Neighbourhood Richness




Shrub dominance


Slope steepness


Southern exposition


Number of Species


Total number of individuals caught


Vegetation Height


Vegetation Richness




abundance weighted Mobility score


Wooded habitats


abundance weighted Pest status score


abundance weighted body Size score


abundance weighted Voltinism score


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Supplementary material

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© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest 2016

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Samu
    • 1
    Email author
  • C. Szabóky
    • 2
  • A. Horváth
    • 3
  • D. Neidert
    • 1
  • M. Tóth
    • 1
  1. 1.Plant Protection Institute, Centre for Agricultural ResearchHungarian Academy of SciencesBudapestHungary
  2. 2.Self employmentBudapestHungary
  3. 3.Institute of Botany, Centre for Ecological ResearchHungarian Academy of SciencesVácrátótHungary

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