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Institute of

BD Biodiversity

Project

Impacts of agricultural land use and landscape structure on butterflies in agricultural landscapes



© Thünen-Institut/Toni Kasiske
The peacock butterfly (Aglais io) - one of the most common butterfly species in German agricultural landscapes

Butterflies in agricultural landscapes: impacts of agricultural land use and landscape structure across multiple temporal and spatial scales

Studies analysing the effects of land use on biodiversity across large spatial extents remain scarce. Thus, this project aims to increase our knowledge about the effects of land use and landscape structure on biodiversity over large spatial scales covering whole Germany.

Background and Objective

Because of their mobility, short life cycles as well as their sensitivity to habitat quality, butterflies are known as indicator organisms for the health of grassland ecosystems. As part of the German Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (“DEBMS”) organized by the Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), volunteers count butterflies all over Germany by repeated transect walks since 2005. Based on a collaborative project between the UFZ and the Thünen-Institute of Biodiversity we now aim to analyse data from the DEBMS to deepen our knowledge about the impacts of agricultural land use and landscape structure on butterflies across multiple temporal and spatial scales.

The collaborative project addresses the following two main objectives:

  1. to analyze the effects of agricultural land use and landscape structure on butterflies across multiple temporal and spatial scales, and
  2. to evaluate the representativeness of the DEBMS in terms of agricultural landscapes and diverse land-use intensities in Germany.

Approach

The project consists of several tasks, each of them addressing a specific research question. Within our first task we will analyse the effects of land use and land-use intensity on butterflies. To do so, we set up specific indicators based on agricultural census data at municipality level. Further understanding of the importance of habitat quality will give a second task, where we will focus specifically on the land-use intensity on grasslands by analysing the impact of mowing events on butterfly diversity based on remote sensing data. Additional tasks will concentrate on the representativeness of the DEBMS in regard of agricultural landscapes and diverse land-use intensities in Germany.

Involved external Thünen-Partners

Funding Body

  • Federal Ministry of Food und Agriculture (BMEL)
    (national, öffentlich)

Duration

11.2020 - 5.2024

More Information

Project status: ongoing

Publications

  1. 0

    Kasiske T, Dauber J, Harpke A, Klimek S, Kühn E, Settele J, Musche M (2023) Livestock density affects species richness and community composition of butterflies: A nationwide study. Ecol Indic 146:109866, DOI:10.1016/j.ecolind.2023.109866

    https://literatur.thuenen.de/digbib_extern/dn065917.pdf

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