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For successful conservation it is of high importance to understand on which scales and how much habitat that is enough to preserve. Butterfly populations in Europe decrease with the decreasing herb-rich grasslands and woodlands as an effect of the changing agricultural landscape. Semi-natural grasslands has been shown in many studies to be one of the most species rich habitats in Europe. The result here show that only preserving semi-natural grasslands will not be enough to sustain species richness in the agriculture landscape. Even though semi-natural grasslands had high species richness in this study it was far from the habitat with the highest butterfly and burnet moth density and the effect at a landscape perspective was not as high as expected. It is of high importance to increase heterogeneity in the agricultural landscape and together with grasslands also preserve forest and grassy linear elements and patches.

Forests in the matrix makes the landscape more heterogeneous and provide more resources, and together with grassy elements the dispersal rate will increase between populations in a matrix dominated of arable land. To increase the possibility to conserve our butterfly fauna I want to emphasize the importance of looking at the whole landscape and not only protect areas where one finds high species richness.

Responsible for this page: Agneta Johansson
Last updated: 05/05/16