Create young plantations within mature woodland
Overall effectiveness category Awaiting assessment
Number of studies: 1
Background information and definitions
Although many species of butterflies and moths live within woodland, many are reliant upon open areas with a diverse habitat structure, which are sheltered by the surrounding trees. Traditional woodland management, such as small scale wood harvesting, which created these habitats has declined, leading to the closure of woodland canopies (Bubová et al. 2015). Creating young plantations within mature woodland may help to temporarily open up patches within the forest, and create new habitat for butterflies and moths by encouraging the growth of food plants on the woodland floor, or by creating sheltered, sunny sites for basking and territory defence.
Bubová T., Vrabec V., Kulma M. & Nowicki P. (2015) Land management impacts on European butterflies of conservation concern: a review. Journal of Insect Conservation, 19, 805–821.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A replicated, site comparison study in 1990–1991 in 52 woods in southern England, UK (Clarke & Robertson 1993) found that populations of pearl-bordered fritillary Boloria euphrosyne and small pearl-bordered fritillary Boloria selene were more likely to persist for up to 20 years in woodland containing more young plantations or actively coppiced areas. Woodlands with larger areas of young plantations or active coppicing were more likely to have retained populations of either fritillary species than woodlands with larger areas of mature conifer (data presented as model results). For pearl-bordered fritillary, woodlands with larger areas of young plantations were more likely to have retained populations than woodlands with larger areas of mature conifer wood or mature deciduous wood. Butterfly records from six data sources were used to identify 52 woods which had contained fritillary populations since 1970. The area of four habitat types was mapped in each wood: young plantation on a previously wooded site, established coppice cut within the last four years, mature deciduous woodland and mature conifers. In 1990–1991, all but one of the woods were visited to record whether fritillary populations were still present.Study and other actions tested
Referenced paperClarke S.A. & Robertson P.A. (1993) The relative effects of woodland management and pheasant Phasianus colchicus predation on the survival of the pearl-bordered and small pearl-bordered fritillaries Boloria euphrosyne and B. selene in the south of England. Biological Conservation, 65, 199-203.