Impact of historical land-use on butterfly diversity in clear-cuts in a boreal landscape
Background & aim
During the last century there has been a dramatic decreas in species rich grasslands used for hay production. In boreal regions this is a result of abandonment of farms. Large areas once covered by flower rich meadows have become dense coniferous forest.
Tha aim was to test if historical land-use has an impact on butterfly diversity in clear-cuts after a generation of coniferous forest.
Butterflies in clear-cuts, 12 historically managed as meadows and 12 with a long history as forest, were recorded. Cadastral maps from the late 19th century were used to find sites in Östergötland for the study. The figure is an example of a clear-cut placed on an area historically covered with meadows (green).
Old maps can be used to identify valuable areas for butterfly conservation in boreal landscapes. To maintain good butterfly habitat in these areas it is important to preserve a herb rich flora by avoiding dense even-aged coniferous forest.
Responsible for this page: Agneta Johansson
Last updated: 05/31/10