History matters: impact of historical land use on butterfly diversity in clear-cuts in a boreal landscape
2011 (English)In: Forest Ecology and Management, ISSN 0378-1127, Vol. 261, no 11, 1885-1891 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In Swedish boreal landscapes, the loss of species-rich semi-natural grasslands is largely due to a longhistory of agricultural abandonment. Large areas historically managed as meadows have become matureconiferous forest. This study focused on the potential biological legacy following a long period of grasslandabandonment. The butterfly fauna in clear-cuts which was historically meadows and abandoned longenough to allow a generation of conifers to mature (70–90 years) was compared with clear-cuts whichwere historically coniferous forest. The results showed that clear-cuts historically managed as meadowswere: (i) much richer in individuals, (ii) more species-rich, and (iii) contained many more grasslandspecialists than clear-cuts with a history as forest, with many of these species threatened in other partsof Europe.The results from our study demonstrate for the first time, to our knowledge, that the legacy of historicalland-use in remnant plant communities can affect butterfly diversity in clear-cuts and hence the largescaledynamics over a timescale of a full tree rotation. The results of this study have implications for forestmanagement practices. Replanting clear-cuts on land that was previously meadows with deciduous treesor allowing the forest to regenerate naturally instead of planting conifers would make it possible topreserve a greater diversity of habitats for butterflies and other organisms.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier , 2011. Vol. 261, no 11, 1885-1891 p.
Conservation, Extinction debt, Clear-cuts, Historical impact, Butterflies, Matrix
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-67819DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2011.02.011ISI: 000291125700018OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-67819DiVA: diva2:413259