Habitat models and habitat connectivity analysis for butterflies and burnet moths - The example of Zygaena carniolica and Coenonympha arcania

Birgit Binzenhöfer, Boris Schröder, Barbara Strauss, Robert Biedermann, Josef Settele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this paper, habitat models were used to predict potential habitat for endangered species, which is an important question in landscape and conservation planning. Based on logistic regression, we developed habitat distribution models for the burnet moth Zygaena carniolica and the nymphalid butterfly Coenonympha arcania in Northern Bavaria, Germany. The relation between adult occurrence and habitat parameters, including the influence of landscape context, was analyzed on 118 sites. Habitat connectivity analyses were carried out on the basis of (1) habitat suitability maps generated from these models and (2) dispersal data from mark recapture studies. Our results showed that (1) the presence of the burnet depended mainly on the presence of nectar plants and of nutrient-poor dry grasslands in direct vicinity, that of the nymphalid on larger areas of extensively used dry grasslands within 100 m vicinity in combination with small patches of higher shrubs and bushes. (2) Internal as well as external validation indicated the robustness and general applicability of the models. Transferability in time and space indicated their high potential relevance for applications in nature conservation, such as predicting possible effects of land use changes. (3) Habitat connectivity analyses revealed a high degree of habitat connectivity within the study area. Thus, we could show no effects of isolation or habitat size for both species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-259
Number of pages13
JournalBiological Conservation
Volume126
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2005
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Connectivity
  • Habitat model
  • Habitat quality
  • Landscape context
  • Model validation

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