Smaller fields support more butterflies: Comparing two neighbouring European countries with different socioeconomic heritage

  • Published source details Konvicka M., Benes J. & Poláková S. (2016) Smaller fields support more butterflies: Comparing two neighbouring European countries with different socioeconomic heritage. Journal of Insect Conservation, 20, 1113-1118.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Reduce field size (or maintain small fields)

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Reduce field size (or maintain small fields)

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2009 in two arable farmland areas in Opava-Raciborz, Czech Republic and Poland (Konvicka et al. 2016) found that land farmed with smaller field sizes had twice as many individual butterflies and butterfly species than land farmed with larger field sizes. Both the abundance (14 individuals/visit) and species richness (3 species/visit) of butterflies were higher where field sizes were small (in Poland) than where field sizes were large (in the Czech Republic; abundance: 6 individuals/visit, richness: 2 species/visit). See paper for individual species results. In Poland, the land had been managed as small, family farms for decades, whereas in the Czech Republic the field sizes were on average 10-times larger than in Poland (average field sizes not given). From May–September 2009, butterflies were recorded for five minutes, once/month, in a 10-m diameter circle at each of 20 points/country. Survey points were within 500 m of the state border, at least 200 m apart, and adjoined more than one crop.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

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