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Power-line corridors as source habitat for butterflies in forest landscapes
Swedish University of Agriculture Science, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
Swedish University of Agriculture Science, Sweden.
Swedish University of Agriculture Science, Sweden; Polish Academic Science, Poland.
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2016 (English)In: Biological Conservation, ISSN 0006-3207, E-ISSN 1873-2917, Vol. 201, 320-326 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Modern intensified agriculture has decreased farmland heterogeneity, which has led to strong negative effects on farmland biodiversity. However, partly forested landscapes seem to offer many alternative habitats for open habitat species such as butterflies, since modern forestry and development of infrastructure has created several new environments such as forest road verges and power-line corridors. The aim of the present study was to investigate the importance of power-line corridors (PLCs) as butterfly habitats by testing i) if species richness and abundance of butterflies in PLCs are affected by adjacent habitat composition (i.e. comparisons of PLCs with different adjacent habitats), ii) if PLCs act as source habitat through spill-over of individuals into adjacent forest roads and semi-natural pastures and iii) if species composition differs among the investigated habitat types. To investigate this we censured the butterfly fauna in 23 study landscapes in south-central Sweden. We found support for the hypothesis that PLCs may act as source habitats for butterflies in forest roads and pastures, since species richness and abundance were decreasing with increasing distance to PLC from 0 to 500 m. In addition, the species composition in forest roads and pastures close to and far from PLCs was similar, suggesting that this increase was not due to an increase of PLC specialists in the other two habitats. Thus, we have shown that PLCs in themselves are important butterfly habitats independently of adjacent habitat composition (adjacent mature forest, clear cuts or arable land), and they contribute to increased species richness and abundance of butterflies in surrounding areas over 10 times larger than their own width. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ELSEVIER SCI LTD , 2016. Vol. 201, 320-326 p.
Keyword [en]
Clearing of shrubs; Power-line rights-of-ways; Forest road verges; Species richness; Abundance; Species composition
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-132540DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2016.07.034ISI: 000384782800037OAI: diva2:1046369

Funding Agencies|Svenska Kraftnat; Trafikverket; Stiftelsen Oscar och Lili Lamms Minne

Available from: 2016-11-14 Created: 2016-11-13 Last updated: 2016-11-14

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