+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ PDF Full Text Service
How our service works
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

Microhabitat selection in a grassland butterfly a trade-off between microclimate and food availability

Microhabitat selection in a grassland butterfly a trade-off between microclimate and food availability

Journal of Insect Conservation 16(6): 857-865

Understanding the factors that determine habitat quality is vital to ensuring appropriate habitat management. The main objective of this study was to assess the microhabitat preferences of egg-depositing females of the Grizzled Skipper (Pyrgus malvae) in calcareous grasslands of the Diemel Valley (Central Germany) for defining habitat quality. Based on this knowledge, we make management recommendations for the conservation of this threatened species. P. malvae generally preferred open and warm oviposition sites. However, there were considerable differences in the environmental conditions, depending on the selected host plant. On the small Potentilla tabernaemontani plants that grew in sparse vegetation with low-growing turf, mostly only one egg was found per plant. In contrast, occupied Agrimonia eupatoria host plants were larger and more prominent, regularly having more than one egg, and grew at sites with a taller and denser vegetation. The observed oviposition pattern reflects a trade-off between microclimate and food availability: Usually, occupied P. tabernaemontani plants grow under favourable microclimatic conditions. However, during hot years the risk of desiccation is high, leading to food shortage. In contrast, A. eupatoria generally provides more biomass, thrives on deeper soils and the vegetation has a cooler microclimate: hence, food shortage is somewhat unlikely. To meet the described habitat requirements of P. malvae, traditional rough grazing by sheep and goats seemed to be the most appropriate land management strategy. The re-introduction of coppicing in woodlands, particularly adjacent to calcareous grasslands, would also be beneficial.

Please choose payment method:

(PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90)

Accession: 036348871

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

DOI: 10.1007/s10841-012-9473-4

Related references

Do predation risk and food availability modify prey and mesopredator microhabitat selection in eelgrass Zostera marina habitat?. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 426-427(none), 2012

Effects of food availability and physical habitat on microhabitat selection Implications for growth and survivorship of juvenile Atlantic salmon. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 77(3 Suppl. Part 2): 327, 1996

Effects of microhabitat and microclimate selection on adult survivorship of the lesser prairie-chicken. Journal of Wildlife Management y; 69(3): 1270-1278, 2005

Effects of the vertical and horizontal availability of food resources: the diet selection of sheep grazing on natural grassland. Journal of Agricultural Science 153(02): 322-334, 2015

Microclimate and microhabitat selection in nocturnal rodents of central Chile: A test between biophysical and experimental approaches. Mammalia 60(2): 195-200, 1996

Resource availability, matrix quality, microclimate, and spatial pattern as predictors of patch use by the Karner blue butterfly. Biological Conservation 135(1): 135-144, 2007

Energy availability influences microclimate selection of hibernating bats. Journal of Experimental Biology 210(Pt 24): 4345-4350, 2007

Nest site selection in a hot desert: Trade-off between microclimate and predation risk?. The Condor 110(1): 116-124, 2008

Trade-offs between microhabitat selection and physiological plasticity in the Antarctic springtail, Cryptopygus antarcticus Willem. Polar Biology 31(6): 681-689, 2008

Juvenile Chinook Salmon Summer Microhabitat Availability, Use, and Selection in a Central Idaho Wilderness Stream. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 138(3): 633-644, 2009

Spider Size, Microhabitat Selection, and Use of Food. American Midland Naturalist 96(1): 76-87, 1976

From food insufficiency towards trade dependency: a historical analysis of global food availability. Plos one 8(12): E82714, 2013

Microhabitat selection of ostracods in relation to predation and food. Hydrobiologia 222(2): 115-120, 1991

The role of microhabitat and food availability in determining riparian invertebrate distributions on gravel bars: a habitat manipulation experiment. Ecohydrology 4(4): 512-519, 2011

Can intra-regional food trade increase food availability in the context of global climatic change in West Africa?. Climatic Change 145(1-2): 101-116, 2017