Connectedness of habitat fragments boosts conservation benefits for butterflies, but only in landscapes with little cropland

Kormann, Urs G.; Scherber, Christoph; Tscharntke, Teja; Batáry, Péter; Rösch, Verena (2019). Connectedness of habitat fragments boosts conservation benefits for butterflies, but only in landscapes with little cropland. Landscape ecology, 34(5), pp. 1045-1056. Springer Netherlands 10.1007/s10980-019-00835-6

[img] Text
Kormann_LanEco2019.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (532kB) | Request a copy

Context Global change pressures (GCPs) imperilspecies and associated ecosystem functions, but studies investigating interactions of landscape-scale pressures remain scarce. Loss of species-rich habitat and agricultural expansion are major threats for biodiversity, but if or how these factors interactively determine community-level shifts and conservation outcomes remains unclear. Objectives We tested whether matrix simplification (dominance of cropland) and reduced connectivity (i.e. landscape-scale habitat loss) either additively, synergistically or antagonistically cause community shifts in butterflies, a group of high conservation relevance. Methods We surveyed butterflies on 30 small calcareous grassland fragments (<1 ha) in Central Germany, representing independent gradients in grassland connectivity (an index combining grassland area and proximity), and matrix quality (landscape proportion of cropland). Using proportional odds logistic regression, we assessed whether connectivity and matrix quality interactively altered the distribution of Red List statuses, and assessed effects of local scale management (mowing, grazing, short-term abandonment). Results We found synergistic, conservation relevant effects: Connectivity boosted the proportion of redlisted species from 20 to 52% in crop land poor landscapes, but not in crop land rich landscapes, particularly driven by endangered and critically endangered species. Grazed sites had the lowest species richness, abundance, and proportions of conservation relevant butterflies. Implications Mitigation measures targeting one landscape-scale pressure only may be inefficient, particularly for red-listed species. Increasing habitat connectivity bolsters butterfly communities and potential pollination services, but only if accompanied by measures to soften the matrix. Hence, halting biodiversity losses needs better understanding and implementation of complex conservation measures at the landscape scale.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE) > Conservation Biology

UniBE Contributor:

Kormann, Urs

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)

ISSN:

0921-2973

Publisher:

Springer Netherlands

Language:

English

Submitter:

Olivier Roth

Date Deposited:

01 Apr 2020 11:44

Last Modified:

05 Apr 2020 02:49

Publisher DOI:

10.1007/s10980-019-00835-6

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.141438

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/141438

Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback