What is it about?
Changes in agricultural practices can impact the agricultural environment. It is important to know how these changes in agricultural management can affect the environment, in order to do this, we can monitor butterflies because their diversity and abundance is linked to the changes in their environment. This study compares the sampling effort necessary to detect differences in butterflies across three different European regions, Sweden, Romania and Spain. Our study demonstrated the feasibility of an environmental monitoring programe in arable land using farmland butterflies across Europe
Photo by Krzysztof Niewolny on Unsplash
Why is it important?
Land erosion, pollution, climate change and a growing human population means that the pressures on the available agricultural land are very high. Humanity depends on the long term sustainability of agricultural land and for this reason it is very important to understand how management of agricultural land can affect the health of the agricultural system. In this study we wanted to know how many monitoring sites would be needed in order to detect changes in the butterfly populations in farmland and how this required sampling effort would change in different regions. In these study we focus on butterflies because a) butterflies have been found to reliably reflect changes in agricultural environments; b) butterflies contribute to pollination of plants and are an important part of farmland environments; c) butterflies are very attractive to people in general so in the EU there exist many citizen science monitoring schemes that focus on butterflies.
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: Monitoring environmental effects on farmland Lepidoptera: Does necessary sampling effort vary between different bio-geographic regions in Europe?, Ecological Indicators, July 2019, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2019.03.035.
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