Plant diversity enhances moth diversity in an intensive forest management experiment

  • Published source details Root H.T., Verschuyl J., Stokely T., Hammond P., Scherr M.A. & Betts M.G. (2017) Plant diversity enhances moth diversity in an intensive forest management experiment. Ecological Applications, 27, 134-142.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Reduce fertilizer, pesticide or herbicide use generally

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Reduce fertilizer, pesticide or herbicide use generally

    A replicated, randomized, paired, controlled study in 2011–2013 in eight forests in Oregon, USA (Root et al. 2017) found that replanted stands with limited or no herbicide applications had a higher species richness, but similar abundance, of moths to stands with more herbicide applied. In forest stands with limited or no herbicide treatment, the species richness of moths (42 species/stand) was higher than in stands with moderate or intensive herbicide treatments (38 species/stand). However, the abundance of moths was not significantly different between stands with different herbicide applications (none: 144–148; limited: 180–195; moderate: 132–138; intensive: 161–172 individuals/stand). In winter 2009–2010, four 10–19-ha stands within each of eight forest blocks were clearcut, and replanted with Douglas fir Pseudotsuga menziesii in spring 2011. Within each block, one stand received each of four herbicide treatments: no herbicide; limited herbicide treatment for herbaceous plants in year two and woody vegetation in year three; moderate treatment prior to planting and for woody vegetation control in years three and four; intensive treatment with the moderate applications plus herbaceous control in years two and three. The moderate treatment reflected standard management practice. From May–August 2012–2013, moths were sampled overnight once/month using three 22 W universal black-light traps/stand. Stands within a block were sampled on the same night.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

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