Managing Land for Butterflies

  • Doug TaronEmail author


Because butterflies are important contributors to biodiversity of natural areas, their habitat needs should be considered when making decisions regarding land management. In order to do this effectively it’s important to know what factors are essential components of butterfly habitat. In addition to host plants and nectar resources, a wide variety of parameters, including vegetative structure, presence of mutualist organisms, and edaphic as well as other factors all contribute to the overall quality of butterfly habitat. Population structure is also an important consideration, particularly in cases where metapopulation dynamics are present. Land managers can simplify their task considerably by limiting their considerations to those species that require the habitats that are under active management while recognizing that species that are adapted to the broader landscape are much less likely to be affected by management activities.

Management of natural areas is typically important for maintaining butterfly populations and for controlling invasive species, many of which have deleterious effects on butterfly populations. Decisions regarding the application of management techniques, particularly fire, can be challenging, in part because of the range of opinions held by researchers regarding both optimal implementation of these techniques and their effects on butterflies. In general, land managers should apply management techniques, including fire, as conservatively as possible while being consistent with management objectives.


Land Manager Gypsy Moth Butterfly Species Habitat Model Metapopulation Dynamic 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Chicago Academy of SciencesPeggy Notebaert Nature MuseumChicagoUSA

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