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The historical ecology approach in species conservation – Identifying suitable habitat management for the endangered Clouded Apollo butterfly (Parnassius mnemosyne L.) in Sweden

Westin, Anna and Lennartsson, Tommy and Björklund, Jan-Olov (2018). The historical ecology approach in species conservation – Identifying suitable habitat management for the endangered Clouded Apollo butterfly (Parnassius mnemosyne L.) in Sweden. AIMS Environmental Science. 5, 244-272
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3934/environsci.2018.4.244

Abstract

A core task in biodiversity conservation is to protect and restore populations of endangered species. The analysis of causes of decline based on data sampled in declining populations in sub-optimal habitats risks overlooking necessary environmental factors because they are no longer present at the sites. It may therefore be necessary to search for conditions that were present before the species began to decline. We used an historical ecology approach to identify critical ecological needs for the endangered butterfly Clouded Apollo, Parnassius mnemosyne, in Sweden in relation to historical and current land use. The most suitable habitat structure and management was transformed into a plan for restoration and management, applied at two P. mnemosyne sites. The populations of P. mnemosyne and its host-plant, Corydalis solida were monitored annually 2004–2014. Based on previous knowledge about P. mnemosyne, the Swedish plan for conservation of the species recommends regular clearings of shrubs and trees in order to maintain a mosaic tree-grassland habitat, and a limited of removal of ground biomass. Our analysis suggested an alternative management approach, late and rather intense grazing. The populations of P. mnemosyne and its host plant increased in response to this management regime and the butterfly started dispersing to new sites. We suggest a structured method for combining ecological and historical knowledge, which can reveal habitat conditions difficult to detect in the field today, but that are of crucial importance for successful species conservation.

Authors/Creators:Westin, Anna and Lennartsson, Tommy and Björklund, Jan-Olov
Title:The historical ecology approach in species conservation – Identifying suitable habitat management for the endangered Clouded Apollo butterfly (Parnassius mnemosyne L.) in Sweden
Series/Journal:AIMS Environmental Science (2372-0352)
Year of publishing :2018
Volume:5
Page range:244-272
Number of Pages:28
Publisher:AIMS Press
ISSN:2372-0352
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Refereed:Yes
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 405 Other Agricultural Sciences > Fish and Wildlife Management
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 6 Humanities > 601 History and Archaeology > History
Keywords:Parnassius mnemosyne, land-use history, historical ecology, grassland management, species conservation
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-4984
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-4984
ID Code:15620
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Swedish Biodiversity Centre
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:11 Sep 2018 09:30
Metadata Last Modified:11 Sep 2018 09:30

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