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On the surrogate value of red-listed butterflies for butterflies and grasshoppers: A case study in Grammos site of Natura 2000, Greece


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We tested the surrogate value of butterflies, red-listed butterflies and grasshoppers for each other in terms of diversity patterns congruence and complementarity at a site in the NATURA 2000 network. Grammos Mountain is proposed as a new Prime Butterfly Area for Greece: it supports a total of 56 grasshopper species and 112 butterfly species, 24 of which are of European conservation concern (SPEC) and two of Prime Butterflies Area Project. We found a strong congruence in the species richness patterns of SPEC butterflies, butterflies and grasshoppers, because three common ecological factors influenced them: number of flower heads, altitude, and cover of low trees or bushes (Redundancy Analysis, CANOCO). Each complementarity network maintained quite well the species richness of the other two target groups (<18% average species loss). SPEC butterflies were the best surrogate group overall and therefore we propose that they should be monitored on a permanent basis.
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On the surrogate value of red-listed butterflies for butterflies
and grasshoppers: a case study in Grammos site of Natura
2000, Greece
Konstantina Zografou ÆSpyros Sfenthourakis Æ
Andrew Pullin ÆVassiliki Kati
Received: 19 July 2008 / Accepted: 19 November 2008 / Published online: 9 December 2008
ÓSpringer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008
Abstract We tested the surrogate value of butterflies,
red-listed butterflies and grasshoppers for each other in
terms of diversity patterns congruence and complemen-
tarity at a site in the NATURA 2000 network. Grammos
Mountain is proposed as a new Prime Butterfly Area for
Greece: it supports a total of 56 grasshopper species and
112 butterfly species, 24 of which are of European con-
servation concern (SPEC) and two of Prime Butterflies
Area Project. We found a strong congruence in the species
richness patterns of SPEC butterflies, butterflies and
grasshoppers, because three common ecological factors
influenced them: number of flower heads, altitude, and
cover of low trees or bushes (Redundancy Analysis,
CANOCO). Each complementarity network maintained
quite well the species richness of the other two target
groups (\18% average species loss). SPEC butterflies were
the best surrogate group overall and therefore we propose
that they should be monitored on a permanent basis.
Keywords Complementarity Conservation
Mountain biodiversity Indicators Lepidoptera
Orthoptera Protected area
One of the 22 headline indicators to assess progress
towards the 2010 target of halting further biodiversity loss
is the monitoring of selected species (Mace and Baillie
2007). Given the restricted funding, expertise and time
resources to monitor the full spectrum of species diversity,
we need to identify taxa which are well-known, readily
surveyed, and can also reflect the distribution patterns of
other unrelated taxa more difficult to sample or identify
(Gregory 2006; Noss 1990). If such surrogate taxa become
available, conservation practitioners could make good
management decisions and apply monitoring schemes
without needing multi-taxa data. In this vein, several
studies attempted to reveal indicator taxa, in the sense of
cross-taxon surrogacy (e.g., Bilton et al. 2006; Howard
et al. 1998; Jonsson and Jonsell 1999; Kati et al. 2004c;
Lawler and White 2008; Lawton et al. 1998; Prendergast
et al. 1993; Ricketts et al. 2002; Sauberer et al. 2004).
Given that only a small fraction of the global number of
species is known, and that more than half of them are
insects (Thomas 2005), the need to identify robust surro-
gates for insect diversity is even more pronounced.
Butterflies (Lepidoptera, Papilionoidea and Hesperioi-
dea) are among the most popular taxa with well-known
distribution patterns and population trends at least for some
parts of the world, such as Europe (van Swaay and Warren
1999). They are among the most threatened known taxa,
exhibiting declining trends due to severe habitat loss and
climate change (Thomas et al. 2004; Warren et al. 2001).
Because butterflies are among the few invertebrate taxa
that can be monitored cost-effectively at a national or a
European scale (Roy et al. 2007), their surrogate value
towards other target taxa has been often tested and proved
to be either good (e.g., Pearman and Weber 2007) or poor
K. Zografou V. Kati (&)
Department of Environmental & Natural Resources
Management, University of Ioannina, Seferi 2, 30100 Agrinio,
S. Sfenthourakis
Section of Animal Biology, Department of Biology,
University of Patras, 26500 Patra, Greece
A. Pullin
School of the Environment and Natural Resources, Bangor,
Gwynedd LL57 2UW, UK
J Insect Conserv (2009) 13:505–514
DOI 10.1007/s10841-008-9198-6
(e.g., Gutie
´rrez and Mene
´ndez 2007; Lawton et al. 1998;
Lovell et al. 2007).
On the other hand, grasshoppers (Orthoptera) are a
major component of rural biodiversity (Ryszkowski et al.
1993); they play a central role in food webs, as primary
herbivores and abundant food resource for other taxa.
Some species have been used as indicators of land use
change and disturbance (e.g., Andersen et al. 2001; Baldi
and Kisbenedek 1997; Kati et al. 2006; Kruess and
Tscharntke 2002), but their value as surrogates of other
target taxa is usually poor (e.g., Duelli and Obrist 1998).
Besides, the species-level taxonomy, ecological require-
ments, distribution patterns and vulnerability status of this
group are still poorly known, and high expertise is needed
for their identification (Green 1998). For these reasons,
conservationists consider them only rarely for conservation
management and monitoring schemes (Kati et al. 2004a).
Greece is among the richest countries in Europe in terms
of insect diversity and one of the least studied (Balletto and
Casale 1991; Munguira 1995). In the present study, we
investigated the diversity patterns of both butterflies and
grasshoppers on the Grammos Mountain, a remote area of
NW Greece, which is also a protected site of the European
network NATURA 2000. Apart from general studies cov-
ering the distribution patterns of both groups at a national
scale (Pamperis 1997; Willemse 1984), no research has
ever been conducted in the Grammos area. The main
purposes of the present study are: (a) to explore red-listed
Lepidoptera, Lepidoptera and Orthoptera value as surro-
gates of each other in terms of diversity pattern covariance
and of complementarity and (b) to explore the ecological
factors affecting the relationships found. In doing so, our
study earns also a practical scope, that of exploring the
conservation value of the Grammos site for insect diversity
and interpreting our findings in the context of conservation
management decision for this area.
Study area and sites
The study area is situated in northwestern Greece (long.
20°500, lat. 40°210). It is a protected site of the European
network NATURA 2000 (GR1320002) and its area covers
350 km
. Altitude varies between 600 and 2,520 m, and
climate is of the mountainous type (average annual tem-
perature 8–12°C, average annual rainfall 800–2,200 mm).
The main habitat types encountered in Grammos Mt are
broadleaved forests (41%), grasslands (30%) conifer for-
ests (21%), rocky slopes (5%) and rural mosaics (3%)
(Fig. 1). It is a sparsely populated area, where logging,
periodical livestock grazing and small-scale cultivations
constitute the main, low impact, human activities. We
selected 22 sites, including nine forested, seven grassland
and six agricultural sites, in order to represent the main
vegetation types of the study area (Table 1; Fig. 1).
We sampled Lepidoptera in 22 predefined plots of
100 m 9100 m, one per site. We covered each plot with
systematic transects, recording all individuals for a stan-
dard time period of 60 min (time for specimen
identification excluded). We visited each plot three times in
2007 at 25 day intervals: May, June and July (66 plots in
total). We recorded the presence of Orthoptera species in 5
smaller quadrats of 10 m 910 m, randomly located within
each of the above plots, at a distance of at least 10 m away
from each other (110 quadrats in total). Sampling was
conducted once (August) at the peak of Orthoptera adult
activity. We sampled the above groups using a hand held
net and only between temperatures of 19 and 27°Cto
standardize sampling efficiency. We recorded 15 environ-
mental parameters in the 110 quadrats in each sampling
period (440 quadrats in total) (Table 1). We estimated the
cover of trees (T
) and bushes (Sh
) as the vertical
projection of their crown area (%), the percentage cover of
herbs (He), rocky substrate (R
) and bare ground (B).
We also recorded the altitude (Alt), the slope (Sl), the
average height of herbs (Hh) by taking four measures (cm)
in each quadrat, the number of flower heads (F) and soil
humidity (using Hobo U12 data logger). Finally, we esti-
mated grazing intensity (G) (minimal: occasional livestock
passage, low: periodical grazing) and human disturbance
(D) in a zone of 500 m (minimal: dirt road presence, low:
asphalted road and human settlements).
Data analysis
We estimated the overall number of species, using the non-
parametric species estimators (1,000 permutations) that
consider the presence of rare species recorded by 1–2
individuals (Chao 1), or present in 1–2 quadrats (Chao 2)
for Lepidoptera and Orthoptera, respectively (Colwell
2006; Magurran 2004). The diversity of Lepidoptera was
calculated in terms of species richness (S) and the Shannon
index (H), considering the total number of individuals
recorded per plot (N1) in all three seasons. We calculated
the Orthoptera species richness (S) and the overall fre-
quency of species presence across the five quadrats per plot
(N2). We tested the surrogate value of Lepidoptera species
of Conservation Concern (SPECs), of all Lepidoptera
species and of Orthoptera by comparing the congruence of
their species richness patterns using Spearman rank cor-
relation coefficient. Considering one group as the surrogate
506 J Insect Conserv (2009) 13:505–514
group and the other two as the target groups, we formed the
complementary network after the surrogate group, starting
by the richest-in-species site and adding those sites con-
tributing more new species, until all species were included
in the network. For the SPEC network, we followed the
same procedure, starting with the sites including more
SPEC 2, 3 and 4 species successively. We then calculated
the species proportion of every group included in each step
of the networking procedure and we calculated their
average difference. This was a measure of efficiency of the
surrogate complementary network vis-a
`-vis the target
groups, without the bias of the area selected (different
number of sites forming the network).
We calculated the per plot average values (5 quadrats)
of the environmental parameter for Lepidoptera (mean
values of the 3 seasons) and for Orthoptera. In order to
explore the environmental factors shaping the community
composition, we conducted a Redundancy Analysis
(RDA) using CANOCO software (ter Braak and Smil-
auer 2002). The RDA method extracts the major
gradients in the data that are accounted for by the
measured environmental parameters. The position of a
species in the resulting diagram indicates the degree of
dependence by the closest environmental parameters
(arrows). The diagram shows only the species of con-
servation concern together with the species sufficiently
influenced by the parameters (fit [25%), and only the
significant (P\0.05) environmental variables that did
not suffer from collinearity (1,000 iterations of Monte–
Carlo test).
Fig. 1 Main habitat types and
sampling sites in the study area
(Grammos Mt, Greece)
J Insect Conserv (2009) 13:505–514 507
Species richness
We recorded a total of 112 Lepidoptera species (2,115
individuals), 24 of which were of European conservation
concern (SPEC), and 3 more species were protected under
Bern Convention (Appendix 1). Nine of the SPEC species
had a threatened status in Europe with their global popu-
lation concentrated in Europe (SPEC 2) or not (SPEC 3) and
fifteen species had their global population concentrated
mainly in Europe (SPEC 4) (Appendix 1). Two of the SPEC
species sampled (Parnassius apollo and Euphydryas auri-
nia) were also target-species of Prime Butterfly Areas
project (PBAs) (van Swaay and Warren 1999). We sampled
56 Orthoptera species (Appendix 2), including Pholidop-
tera fallax, whose distribution is known to be limited in
eastern Greece (Willemse 1984). The estimated species
number was 118 for Lepidoptera (Chao 1) and 56.7 for
Orthoptera (Chao 2), proving our sampling to be exhaustive
for both groups (95 and 99% species sampled, respectively).
Diversity patterns
A mixed thermophilous forest (F3a) was one of the most
species-rich sites for both Lepidoptera and Orthoptera
(Table 2). It was a low semi-open forest including a stream,
a well-developed shrub undergrowth and herb layer. Simi-
larly, an abandoned rural mosaic (A4a), combining fields
with hedges and thermophilous wood plots supported great
species richness for both groups. Sub-alpine grasslands at
lower (1,300 m) and higher (1,500–1,800 m) altitudes were
also species-rich habitats for Lepidoptera (G3c) and
Orthoptera (G2b, G3a), respectively. On the other hand,
Table 1 Site description on the basis of the average values of the environmental variables recorded in the five quadrates (10 m 910 m)
Site Habitat code Habitat description Topography Vegetation Ground Impact
Alt (m) Sl T
He Hh
F1a 9,130 Beech forests of Fagus spp. 1,751 2 5 0 0 0 3 2 4 1 1 2 51 ??
F1b 1,839 2 5 0 0 1 3 2 3 1 1 2 44 ?
F2a (924A) Oak forests of Quercus spp. 946 1 3 2 1 1 4 3 2 0 0 3 51 ??
F2b 1,085 2 3 2 2 2 3 3 3 0 0 1 58 ??
F3a (925A) Mixed thermophilous forests 1,100 2 0 3 2 0 3 3 6 2 1 1 52 ?
F3b 932 2 0 4 3 1 2 2 1 0 0 3 40 ?
F4 3,220 Riverine vegetation 690 1 0 2 1 1 1 2 3 3 0 2 48 ???
F5 9,270 Fir forest of A. borisii-regis 1,329 1 5 0 2 1 2 2 3 2 0 2 49
F6 9,530* Pine forest of P. nigra 1,118 1 4 2 0 1 4 3 3 0 0 2 51 ?
G1a 4,090 Grassland-opening in pine forest 1,473 1 0 0 0 0 5 3 8 0 0 0 48 ?? ?
G1b 1,236 2 1 0 0 1 4 3 5 1 1 1 57 ?? ??
G2a Grassland-opening in beechwood 1,914 2 0 0 0 0 5 3 7 0 0 0 55 ?
G2b 1,745 2 0 2 0 3 3 3 7 0 0 1 52 ??
G3a Subalpine grassland 1,672 2 0 0 0 0 4 2 8 1 0 1 59 ??
G3b 2,077 2 0 0 0 4 4 3 4 2 0 2 50 ?
G3c 1,300 2 0 1 0 0 5 3 8 1 0 0 61 ?
A1a 1,020 Rural mosaic (fields with hedges) 1,132 1 0 2 0 0 5 3 5 0 0 0 62 ???
A1b 1,201 1 0 1 1 0 5 3 10 0 0 0 22 ?
A2 (1,020) 9(9,250) Rural mosaic 9Q. trojana trees 798 1 0 2 1 1 5 3 8 1 0 1 58 ??
A3 (1,020) 9(1,050) Rural mosaic 9village ruins 971 2 0 1 1 1 4 2 7 2 0 1 65 ??? ?
A4a (1,020) 9(925A)
Rural mosaic 9mixed thermophilous
wood X bushes of J. communis
825 2 0 2 2 1 3 2 7 1 0 1 52 ?? ??
A4b 827 1 0 2 2 2 3 3 5 0 0 1 57
Habitat codes refer to Annex 1 of the Directive 92/43/EEC. Additional Hellenic habitat types in parenthesis
Topography-climate, Alt altitude (m), Sl slope (1:0–15%, 2:15–30%). Vegetation, T
trees ([10 m height), T
trees (2.5–10 m height), Sh
(0.5–2.5 m height), Sh
shrubs (\0.5 m height), He herb cover, Hh mean height of herbs (cm) (1:1–5%, 2:6–25%, 3:26–50%, 4:51–75%,
5[75%). Fflowerheads (1\10, 2:11–20, 3:21–50, 4:51–100, 5:101–200, 6:201–300, 7:301–400, 8:401–500, 9:500–600, 10:[600). Ground,
rocks (0.5–1.5 m diameter), R
rocks ([1.5 m diameter), Bbare ground. Hu humidity (%). Impact, Ggrazing intensity, Dhuman disturbance,
?minimal, ?? low, * priority habitat type
508 J Insect Conserv (2009) 13:505–514
closed canopy forests (e.g., F3b, F5) were among the
poorest sites for both groups (Tables 1,2).
Regarding the most threatened Lepidoptera species in
the study area, we recorded Thymelicus acteon (SPEC 2) in
the species-rich thermophilous forest (F3a) and in a rural
mosaic combining patches of fields and oakwoods (A2).
We recorded P. apollo (SPEC 3, PBA) in the sub-alpine
grassland (G2b) and in a beech forest opening (F1b) and
E. aurinia (SPEC 3, PBA) at the species-rich grassland
Surrogate value
We found significant congruence between all species
richness patterns examined. The patterns of Lepidoptera
species of European Conservation Concern (SPEC) were
congruent with those of Lepidoptera (rho =0.796,
P\0.01) and Orthoptera (rho =0.686, P\0.01).
Besides, Lepidoptera and Orthoptera had also congruent
species richness patterns (rho =0.659, P\0.01).
The SPEC Lepidoptera functioned as the best surrogate
group when complementarity is concerned. When com-
paring the average species richness included in each step of
the complementary network selection, SPEC network (10
sites) succeeded to conserve even more species (3%) of
Lepidoptera and lost only 9% of Orthoptera species on
average (Fig. 3). The complementary network of Lepi-
doptera (12 sites) lost on average a comparative proportion
of 11% of SPEC and 18% of Orthoptera species. Finally
the complementary network of Orthoptera (9 sites) lost on
average a comparative proportion of 14% of SPEC and
18% of Lepidoptera species (Fig. 3).
Environmental factors
The number of flower heads, cover by low trees (2.6–10 m)
and altitude influenced significantly the diversity patterns
of Lepidoptera, affecting positively 89, 80 and 20% of
species, respectively (34% of variance explained) (Fig. 2a).
Concerning the threatened butterfly species in Europe,
cover by low trees and flowering affected positively the
presence of T. acteon, Glaucopsyche alexis and Pseudo-
philotes vicrama. Flowering affected also significantly the
presence of E. aurinia and E. medusa, whilst low trees
determined the presence of Scolitantides orion. Altitude
determined significantly the presence of P. apollo,Poly-
ommatus eroides and Erebia medusa. None of the above
mentioned parameters affected the presence of Maculinea
The number of flower heads, cover by low bushes
(\0.5 m), altitude and bare soil influenced significantly the
diversity patterns of Orthoptera community, affecting
positively 75, 57, 45, and 18% of species, respectively
(35% of variance explained) (Fig. 2b).
Surrogate value
We found a strong congruence in the species richness
patterns of SPEC butterflies, butterflies and grasshoppers,
suggesting the potential use of each taxon as a good sur-
rogate for the other two. Although butterflies are a
Fig. 2 Redundancy analysis diagram (RDA) presenting the signifi-
cant (P\0.05) environmental factors affecting the community of a
butterflies and bgrasshoppers. Only SPEC species and species with a
fit [25% are shown
J Insect Conserv (2009) 13:505–514 509
charismatic group that is well-studied, easily identified and
monitored, fulfilling the criteria for a good ‘‘umbrella’
taxon (New 1997), studies on their surrogate value for
other taxa are contradictory. On one hand, they present
congruent diversity patterns with birds and tiger beetles at
continental scale (Pearson and Cassola 1992), with birds
and vascular plants at national scale (Pearman and Weber
2007) and with plants or bumblebees at local scale (Grill
et al. 2005; Niemela
¨and Baur 1998; Vessby et al. 2002).
On the other hand, several studies have shown their poor
surrogate value towards other taxa (Grill et al. 2005;
´rrez and Mene
´ndez 2007; Howard et al. 1998; Lawton
et al. 1998; Lovell et al. 2007; Niemela
¨and Baur 1998;
Osborn et al. 1999; Ricketts et al. 1999,2002). Grass-
hoppers are more difficult to identify and monitor and their
surrogate value has been more rarely tested. They are
known to have a good cross-taxon congruence with bryo-
phytes, vascular plants, gastropods spiders, carabid beetles,
ants, or birds in agricultural landscapes (Sauberer et al.
2004), but also poor surrogate value for a number of other
taxa (Duelli and Obrist 1998; Kati et al. 2004c; Niemela
and Baur 1998). Contrarily to our findings, butterflies and
grasshoppers are known to present incongruent diversity
patterns in temperate grasslands (Niemela
¨and Baur) and
savannas (Lovell et al. 2007).
We also found a strong correlation between red-listed
butterfly and overall butterfly species richness. This rela-
tionship is documented at a broader scale (Pearman and
Weber 2007) but not at local scale (Gutie
´rrez and Mene
2007). These discrepancies may be related to the effects of
the different habitat templates in the various studies and
indicate that the use of certain taxa as surrogates of
Table 2 Insect species
diversity in the sites sampled
and species of European
conservation concern
concentrated in Europe
(SPEC2) or not (SPEC3)
Numbers in parenthesis indicate
target-species of prime butterfly
areas (PBAs)
HShannon index, N1 sum of
individuals, N2 sum of
frequencies, Snumber of
Site Habitat description Lepidoptera Orthoptera
F1a Beech forests of Fagus spp. 25 81 2.79 1 11 14
F1b 20 55 2.64 1 (1) 7 8
F2a Oakwood of Quercus spp. 20 33 2.83 7 15
F2b 32 116 3.18 3 13 25
F3a Mixed thermophilous forests 53 156 3.79 1 1 19 42
F3b 5 5 1.6 2 2
F4 Riverine vegetation 30 79 3.16 6 10
F5 Fir forest of A. borisii-regis 9 17 1.97 2 3
F6 Pine forest of P. nigra 23 68 2.78 10 17
G1a Grassland-opening in pine forest 34 99 3.29 1 17 35
G1b 26 74 2.96 1 10 22
G2a Grassland-opening in beechwood 18 60 2.67 7 27
G2b 31 101 3.13 3 (1) 22 45
G3a Subalpine grassland 17 52 2.56 1 18 41
G3b 14 49 2.2 2 14 49
G3c 51 196 3.52 2 (1) 15 43
A1a Rural mosaic (fields with hedges) 27 75 3.1 8 21
A1b 40 180 3.45 1 11 27
A2 Rural mosaic 9Q. trojana trees 44 187 3.27 1 2 17 33
A3 Rural mosaic 9village ruins 33 108 3.23 13 33
A4a Rural mosaic 9mixed thermophilous
wood 9bushes of J. communis
51 183 3.51 1 18 31
A4b 35 141 3.22 14 26
Fig. 3 Average proportion of species richness included in each step
of the complementary network formation, designed after the surrogate
group (SPEC butterflies, butterflies and grasshoppers)
510 J Insect Conserv (2009) 13:505–514
biodiversity should not be uncritically generalized among
different scales and regions but should be locally evaluated.
Could we attribute the congruence found herein from an
ecological perspective? Butterflies and grasshoppers are
both terrestrial thermophilous taxa sharing similar traits in
their life history and ecology. We found that three common
environmental parameters influenced their patterns: num-
ber of flower heads, altitude, and cover of low trees or
bushes. Butterflies are positively affected by the number of
plants in flower because of the dependence of nectar-
feeding species (Grill et al. 2005;O
¨ckinger and Smith
2006). The response of grasshoppers may be due to the
indirect effect of the flowering season that coincides with
the peak of grasshopper activity at higher altitudes, or also
to their dependence on colourfull substrates as hiding
places against predators (Isely 1938). Both taxa also
respond to vegetation structure and negatively to altitudinal
gradient (Gebeyehu and Samways 2002; Gutie
´rrez and
´ndez 2007; Kati et al. 2004a; Sawchik et al. 2005;
Wettstein and Schmid 1999).
Testing the surrogate value of the taxa on the basis of
complementarity, we found that each surrogate network
maintained quite well the species richness of the other two
target groups (less than 18% average species loss). The
complementary networks of butterflies and grasshoppers
are known to conserve adequately several other unrelated
taxa in the tropics and Mediterranean regions, respectively
(Howard et al. 1998; Kati et al. 2004b). According to our
results, the complementary network of SPEC butterflies
was the most efficient of all, as it succeeded to conserve
overall butterfly richness (no loss) and grasshopper rich-
ness (\10% average loss).
Our results supported that the red-listed butterfly species
could be a good surrogate group for the conservation and
monitoring of butterflies and grasshoppers, because they
presented congruent diversity patterns with these taxa and
also the greatest efficiency in conserving them in their
complementary network. Butterflies satisfy a number of
criteria for a valuable surrogate for other insect taxa and
they are among the most well-studied invertebrate groups
(New 1997; Thomas 2005). During the last decades the
distribution and abundance of many European butterfly
species have declined seriously (12% of the total diversity)
because of the changes in the European environment (Pullin
1995; van Swaay and Warren 1999). In order to stop this
enormous loss a good database and monitoring network of
butterflies and their trends has been developed in several
countries to provide adequate information such as distri-
bution, threats and conservation measures for threatened
species (SPEC). Several studies also propose butterflies as
valuable indicators for environmental change, focusing on
their quick response to habitat destruction and demon-
strating that they can be used for monitoring trends in
habitat quality (Pywell et al. 2004; van Swaay et al. 2006).
More recently, butterflies have been assessed as one of the
most useful indicator groups of climate change (Forister and
Shapiro 2003; Mene
´ndez et al. 2007; Oostermeijer and van
Swaay 1998; Roy and Sparks 2000; Warren et al. 2001).
Grammos as a prime butterfly area
The area of Mt. Grammos is a site of the European NA-
TURA 2000 ecological network that satisfies also the
criteria of a Prime Butterfly Area (PBA), since it includes
populations of two target-species of the Prime Butterfly
Area project (van Swaay and Warren 1999). Furthermore,
Grammos area hosts great species richness with 120 out of
the 576 European Lepidoptera species, with a high pro-
portion (24%) of species of European Conservation
Concern (SPEC). The area includes also highly restricted
montane species which have a very limited possibility of
adapting to global warming and may be seriously threa-
tened in the future (Dennis 1993; Wilson et al. 2005). We
propose therefore that the Grammos protected area should
be added as an eleventh site in the network of Prime
Butterfly Areas (PBAs) of Greece.
Insect diversity conservation
The proposed selection of this mountain area as a PBA
would require specific conservation measures on the whole
mountain area, in order to secure viability of populations
through the supply of multiple favorable habitat patches.
We found that habitats hosting high diversity of butterflies
and grasshoppers are mostly those of an open structure,
such as subalpine grasslands, woodland clearings and old
rural mosaics. Traditional agricultural practices should be
encouraged (Grill and Cleary 2003), since further aban-
donment of agricultural land and its conversion to early
forested stages could lead to a decline of important butterfly
species such as E. aurinia (van Swaay et al. 2006). Rota-
tional grazing that supports high grass species richness and
abundance and also more grasshopper and butterfly species
should also be encouraged (Gebeyehu and Samways 2003;
Poyry et al. 2005; van Swaay et al. 2006; WallisDeVries
et al. 2002). Furthermore, in view of on-going climatic
change, the role of such mountainous and subalpine habitats
as refugia for lower altitude species can prove crucial in the
near future. According to our results, a monitoring network
of Red-listed butterfly species should be developed in order
to obtain detailed information on their population trends,
well reflecting also overall butterfly and grasshopper
diversity. Finally, the role of these insect groups as surro-
gates of overall biodiversity has to be evaluated further
through a more extensive survey of more taxa and indices of
habitat quality.
J Insect Conserv (2009) 13:505–514 511
Acknowledgments We are grateful to ‘‘Proodeutiki Enosi Pyrso-
giannis’’ for financially supporting our field research and to L.
Willemse and A. Grill for their valuable support and help in specimen
identification. We also thank H. Papaioannou, P. Gerofoka, G. The-
odoropoulos, G. Michaelides and G. Adamides for field assistance.
Table 3 Lepidoptera species
(120) in Grammos protected
area (2007) and their
conservation status according to
the Red Data Book for
European Butterflies (van
Swaay and Warren 1999)
The nomenclature used follows
Karsholt and Razowski (1996)
Species annexed in Bern
SPEC 4; * PBAs; species in
parenthesis are recorded outside
the sites sampled
PAPILIONIDAE Melitaea trivia Lycaena thersamon
Iphiclides podalirius Mellicta athalia Lycaena tityrus
Papilio alexanor
(Nymphalis antiopa) Lycaena virgaureae
Papilio machaon Nymphalis polychloros Polyommatus bellargus
Parnassius apollo
*Polygonia c-album (Polyommatus coridon)
Parnassius mnemosyne
(Polygonia egea) Maculinea alco
Zerynthia polyxena
Vanessa atalanta Polyommatus daphnis
PIERIDAE Vanessa cardui Plebeius argus
Anthocharis cardamines LIBYTHEIDAE Plebeius argyrognomon
Aporia crataegi Libythea celtis Plebeius idas
Pieris ergane RIONIDAE Plebeius pylaon
Pieris mannii Hamearis lucina Polyommatus dorylas
Pieris napi HESPERIIDAE Polyommatus eroides
Pieris rapae Carcharodus alceae Polyommatus icarus
Colias alfacariensis
Erynnis tages
Pseudophilotes vicrama
Colias aurorina Ochlodes venata (Satyrium acaciae)
Colias croceus Pyrgus armoricanus Satyrium ilicis
(Gonepteryx cleopatra) Pyrgus malvae Satyrium spini
Gonepteryx rhamni Pyrgus sidae Scolitantides orion
Leptidea duponcheli Spialia orbifer Aricia anteros
Leptidea sinapis complex Spialia phlomidis SATYRIDAE
Pieris brassicae Thymelicus acteon
Coenonympha arcania
Pontia daplidice complex Thymelicus lineola Coenonympha leander
NYMPHALIDAE Thymelicus sylvestris
Coenonympha pamphilus
Aglais urticae LYCAENIDAE Coenonympha rhodopensis
Argynnis adippe Polyommatus escheri
Erebia medusa
Argynnis aglaja Polyommatus thersites (Erebia melas)
Argynnis niobe Polyommatus admetus
Erebia ottomana
Argynnis Pandora Polyommatus amandus Hipparchia fagi
Argynnis paphia (Agrodiaetus damon)
Hipparchia syriaca
Boloria graeca
Polyommatus ripartii Hipparchia volgensis
Brenthis hecate Aricia agestis Hyponephele lupinus
Brenthis daphne Callophrys rubi Brintesia circe
Boloria dia Celastrina argiolus Kirinia roxelana
Boloria euphrosyne Cupido minimus Lasiommata maera
Euphydryas aurinia
*Cupido osiris Lasiommata megera
Inachis io Cyaniris semiargus Lasiommata petropolitana
Issoria lathonia Cupido alcetas Maniola jurtina
(Limenitis reducta) Glaucopsyche alexis
Melanargia galathea
Melitaea arduinna Leptotes pirithous Melanargia larissa
Melitaea cinxia Lycaena alciphron Pararge aegeria
Melitaea didyma Lycaena hippothoe Pyronia tithonus
Melitaea phoebe Lycaena phlaeas
Appendix 1
See Table 3.
512 J Insect Conserv (2009) 13:505–514
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Pachytrachis gracilis Chortippus apricarius
Pholidoptera fallax Dociostaurus maroccanus
Pholidoptera femorata Euchorthippus declivus
Pholidoptera macedonica Euthystira brachyptera
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Platycleis affinis Oedipoda caerulescens
Platycleis albopunctata
Oedipoda germanica
Platycleis intermedia Omocestus haemorrhoidalis
Platycleis nigrosignata Omocestus minutus
Platycleis orina Omocestus rufipes
Platycleis sepium Omocestus viridulus
Poecilimon affinis Oropodisma macedonica
Poecilimon ionicus ionicus Paracaloptenus caloptenoides
Psorodonotus fieberi
Pezotettix giornae
Rhacocleis germanica Podisma pedestris pedestris
Tettigonia viridissima Sphingonotus caerulans
Tylopsis lilifolia Stauroderus scalaris
GRYLLIDAE Stenobothrus fischeri
Gryllomorpha dalmatina Stenobothrus lineatus
Gryllus campestris Stenobothrus nigromaculatus
Oecanthus pellucens
Stenobothrus rubincundulus
Tetrix tenuicornis
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... But, what is important for the EU biodiversity strategy is that this was a result that was independent of the annex status of the species involved, and that it applies to multiple biodiversity components (threat status, species to hotspots, etc.). A number of studies have found that the N2K may at least partially cover a fraction of non-annex biodiversity (Chefaoui et al., 2005;Mart ınez et al., 2006;Zografou et al., 2009;Trochet & Schmeller, 2013;Lis on et al., 2015;S anchez-Fern andez & Abell an, 2015;Rosso et al., 2018), whereas other studies have not found that result (Maiorano et al., 2007;Jantke et al., 2011;Hern andez-Manrique et al., 2012;D'Amen et al., 2013). It seems clear that the coverage of non-annex species varies between groups and between regions, but limitations in data quality and resolution pose great constraints to reliable conclusions (EEA, 2015). ...
... This pattern held regardless of the criteria used for evaluation (total species richness or that of threatened or endemic species or hotspots). To the best of our knowledge, although the question has not been addressed at an EU-wide scale, there are more examples of similar effective umbrella results (Maiorano et al., 2007;Zografou et al., 2009;De la Montaña et al., 2011;Verovnik et al., 2011) compared to ineffective umbrella results (Albuquerque et al., 2013). In this last study (Albuquerque et al., 2013), the spatial grain difference between reserves and species was not measured through representation thresholds (R = 0). ...
Full-text available
The Natura 2000 network (N2K) was designed using species and habitats annexed in the European Union’s (EU) Directives of Birds (BD) and Habitats (HD). The selection of such species receives increasing criticism, as does the frequent use of design methods not based on Systematic Conservation Planning (SCP). As a result, a proportion of the EU’s biodiversity may remain uncovered by the network, irrespective of the degree of coverage of the annex species. Data limitations currently prevent rigorous EU‐wide gap analysis for multiple biodiversity components simultaneously (i.e., taxonomic groups, conservation attributes and organizational levels), but regional data at finer resolutions may add evidence of the breadth of the umbrella effect to be expected. We tested the hypothesis that an objectively designed N2K may confer the EU´s annex species an umbrella effect over multiple biodiversity components. This conjoint analysis of multiple taxa, attributes and levels is rarely done. We used distribution data of terrestrial vertebrates and invertebrates in one of the richest regions in the EU (Extremadura, Spain), whose reserves and biodiversity surpass many EU countries, and where the N2K was designed through SCP. We implemented a gap analysis explicitly including annex species status, conservation‐relevant attributes (rarity, endemicity and vulnerability) and organizational levels (species, richness and hotspots). The annexed species acted as an umbrella group at the species, richness and hotspot levels, successfully covering rarity, endemicity and vulnerability. Our results show that the set of species that currently forms the EU’s directives annexes has a wide umbrella potential, at least where objective SCP methods were used for reserve design. We suggest that, under such conditions, N2K design could essentially remain constant within a context of changing threat status, the challenge of conservation resting more on management measures than on redesigns of the network. An objectively designed Natura 2000 network (N2K) may confer the EU´s annex species an umbrella effect over multiple biodiversity components, which must be validated by an analysis of multiple taxa, conservation attributes and organization levels. We used distribution data of terrestrial vertebrates and invertebrates in one of the richest regions in the EU (Extremadura, Spain), where the N2K was designed through Systematic Conservation Planning (SCP). We implemented a gap analysis explicitly including annex species status, conservation‐relevant attributes (rarity, endemicity and vulnerability), and organizational levels (species, richness, and hotspots). The annexed species acted as an umbrella group at all levels, successfully covering conservation attributes. This set has a wide umbrella potential, at least where objective SCP methods were used for reserve design. Thus, N2K design could essentially remain constant within a context of changing threat status, the challenge of conservation resting more on management measures than on redesigns of the network.
... Our results clearly show that rural mosaics have a high ecological value for butterfly conservation, in line with previous studies in the Mediterranean area (Grill and Cleary 2003;Zografou et al. 2009). Their structural heterogeneity offers a variety of microhabitats, increases the availability of food resources and oviposition sites, providing a wider range of ecological niches for butterfly species than uniform landscapes (Flick et al. 2012). ...
... The number of flower heads was found to be the most important factor influencing the composition of butterfly communities, positively affecting several species, and it was further found to positively predict species richness and abundance, as well the species richness of endemic species. The number of flower heads is associated with the availability of nectar resources for adult butterflies, enhancing butterfly species richness in a range of ecosystems (Dempster 1997;Krauss et al. 2004;Kuussaari et al. 2007;Curtis et al. 2015), including in the Mediterranean Basin (Grill et al. 2005;Zografou et al. 2009;Serrat et al. 2015). Nevertheless, not all flower heads are suitable nectar resources for butterflies depending on the species preferences (Tudor et al. 2004). ...
Full-text available
In this study we investigate the environmental factors influencing butterfly communities and evaluate the Natura 2000 network’s effectiveness in representing butterfly species richness and abundance, taking as a case study the island of Cyprus. We sampled butterflies and 11 environmental factors in 60 randomly selected sites across four 500-m elevation zones, representing seven habitat types. Rural mosaics and riverine vegetation were the habitats with the highest diversity of butterflies. Within habitats, the number of flower heads was the most important factor favouring butterfly species richness and abundance and endemic butterfly richness, while soil humidity had a positive effect on species richness and abundance. Although the Natura 2000 network succeeds in including the majority of butterfly species and all Cyprian endemics, the transects sampled within the network did not support more butterfly species than those outside it, and were significantly poorer in terms of butterfly abundance and endemic butterfly species richness and abundance. We found a similar pattern for the Habitats Directive priority habitats, which held poorer overall and endemic butterfly communities than the other habitats. The effectiveness of existing protected area networks may need to be reassessed in regions such as the South East Mediterranean, to ensure that regionally important components of biological diversity are adequately protected. To this aim, our results suggest that new European and national policies as well as further inclusion of rural mosaics and riverine habitats in protected area networks are needed for effective butterfly conservation in Cyprus.
... Species that inhabit open landscapes are negatively affected (e.g. Moreira & Russo, 2007;Nikolov, 2010;Sirami, Brotons, Burfield, Fonderflick, & Martin, 2008;Zakkak, Chatzaki, Karamalis, & Kati, 2014;Zakkak, Kakalis, Radović, Halley, & Kati, 2014;Zografou, Sfenthourakis, Pullin, & Kati, 2009), but forestdwelling species are favoured (Regos et al., 2016). ...
... Farina, 1997;Jaggi & Baur, 1999;Martin & Lopez, 2002;Moreira & Russo, 2007;Newton, 1979;Regos et al., 2016;Sirami et al., 2008). This negative impact has been also documented specifically for the Balkan area for several invertebrate and vertebrate species of open and ecotone habitats (Kati et al. 2007;Zografou et al., 2009;Plexida, Sfougaris & Papadopoulos, 2012;Zakkak, Chatzaki et al., 2014;Zakkak et al., 2015). (Navarro & Pereira, 2012). ...
Question What are the woody vegetation encroachment patterns after agricultural land abandonment? Focusing on two parameters, woody plant species richness and vertical vegetation heterogeneity (number of different vegetation strata and their relative cover), we investigated: i) the effect of forest encroachment following land abandonment, ii) the comparative importance of forest encroachment vis‐a‐vis topographic and climatic parameters, and finally, iii) the ecological importance of eight land‐cover types encountered in abandoned agricultural landscapes. Location The Balkan Peninsula (Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece). Methods We set up a standard methodology for 1 x 1 km site selection (70 sites) and data collection within 497 plots, along a well‐defined forest‐encroachment gradient that reflects land abandonment in terms of woody vegetation cover. Results The pattern that emerged was neither clear nor common for the Balkan region, regarding the effect of forest encroachment on the woody plant species richness in young forests, formed from 20 to 50 years after land abandonment. However, at national level, species diversity was significantly affected by elevation (Bulgaria and Croatia) and temperature (Croatia), with lower and cooler areas being richer. Elevation was of great importance in determining vertical vegetation heterogeneity. Woodlots, broadleaved forests, hedges and shrublands held the highest woody species richness in comparison to the more open land‐cover types, and vertical vegetation heterogeneity was higher in open forests and woodlots. Conclusions We expect the expansion of broadleaved forests following land abandonment to enhance woody species richness. However, other land cover types that were found to be important for woody plants should be maintained. As woody plants play a keyrole in supporting overall biodiversity, by providing suitable habitat for many species, we consider the preservation of a mosaic of patches of different land‐cover types essential for the conservation of both plant and animal species diversity. Young forests should be preserved at intermediate stages of succession, through intermediate disturbance activities, including medium intensity grazing, and the enhancement of wild ungulates. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
... When L it ≤ 25, the indicator value of a group can be considered as important (Kati et al., 2004). We also tested the congruence of the species richness patterns of the two groups (SPEC; all butterflies), i.e. their pairwise correlation (Kati et al., 2004;Zografou et al., 2009 We used species richness (S) and Simpson's evenness index as measures of taxonomic diversity (TD). To measure functional diversity (FD) we calculated a dissimilarity matrix based on the 11 life-history traits using Gower distance approach in the trova function (de Bello et al., 2013b) in R. Gower distance considers only a single mean trait value per species and is very useful for combining different types of traits (quantitative, qualitative, semiquantitative), a feature that fits our variant trait list perfectly (Appendix S2). ...
... This result, however, does not necessarily preclude the indicator value of SPEC's. Previous studies have revealed a high correlation of red-listed butterfly and overall butterfly species richness at broad scale (Pearman & Weber, 2007) and at local scale (Zografou et al., 2009;but Guti errez & Men endez, 2007). Apparently, apart from the scale which is very important, because of the variant number of habitat types included (and possibly in a different degree), the particularities of each study area and each altitudinal zone are vital. ...
1. We investigated the patterns of taxonomic and functional diversity of butterflies within the limits of the NATURA 2000 sites at two national parks, on the mountains Olympus and Rhodopes, in Greece. The study was conducted along an elevation gradient in 24 sampling sites on each mountain using the line transect technique. 2. Species richness and abundance followed a monotonic decline on Olympus which is much higher, steeper and has a smaller area size, whereas there was no significant pattern on Rhodopes where average richness and abundance were highest at the extended mid-elevations with flatter landscape. The altitudinal zonation of butterfly communities on both mountains was primarily due to the specificity of some red-listed species to high elevations, as well as to the preference of common butterfly species for low or intermediate altitudes. 3. Additive partitioning and null model analyses suggest an ecological redundancy on both mountains, as the environment is filtering species in terms of their environmental requirements rather than their functional position per se. Butterfly communities at high altitudes were not nested subsets of lowland communities. Environmental filtering led to the dominance of generalist species of which many were taxonomically close and had also similar life history traits. 4. The application of complementary networks showed that butterfly SPecies of European conservation Concern (SPEC) are good surrogates of the overall butterfly fauna on both mountains. Thus, our study highlights the importance of the conservation targeting of SPEC’s especially at high elevations, where red-listed butterflies are more frequent and potentially threatened by climate change.
... Greek mountains are documented to deliver essential ecosystem services and, together with Greek islands, to be centers of endemism of high conservation value (Kokkoris et al., 2018;Kougioumoutzis et al., 2021;Sfenthourakis and Legakis, 2001). Remote mountains can shelter large mammal species of Greece that avoid roads (Iliopoulos et al., 2014;Kati et al., 2020b), as well as red-listed and endemic invertebrate and plant species (Kaltsas et al., 2018;Panitsa et al., 2021;Zografou et al., 2009). We recommend further multilevel biodiversity research to comprehensively assess the ecological value of roadless sites (e.g., endemism, Key-Biodiversity Areas, carbon sink potential). ...
Preserving ecosystems of high ecological integrity is a crucial target in Biodiversity Strategies, also serving the 10 % target of strict land protection in the European Union (EU). We recommend roadless mapping to delineate wilderness and monitor progress against loss in natural areas. We mapped Greece's roadless land and assessed its ecological attributes. It accounted for 6.1 % of Greece and comprised 451 roadless sites of size over 1 km2: 389 roadless areas and 62 fully roadless islands. Roadless sites occurred in mountains and islands, were undeveloped (no artificial land), undisturbed (no major pressures, <1 % agricultural activity, low Human Influence Index), and natural (>99 % of natural and seminatural vegetation cover, 68 % of their extent in the Natura 2000 network). They also lay in a wilderness continuum of low landscape fragmentation index. Most roadless sites (302) were larger than 10 km2. Larger roadless areas occurred more in higher mountains and steeper terrains, had a lower Human Influence Index and a better Natura 2000 coverage. Roadless sites demonstrated a buffering capacity against naturalness loss and fires (2.5 times lower percentage of burnt land than the national average) but were vulnerable to Renewable Energy Sources deployment, particularly wind farms (33 % of roadless areas might be affected). In support of a roadless policy we suggest using roadless sites to delimit the strictly protected zones in the EU (and Greece), to map primary-old-growth forests, and pinpoint new candidate protected areas. We strongly recommend revisiting the REPowerEU plan to define roadless sites as non-go-to areas for relevant infrastructure deployments.
... The existence of this plant group supports the diversity of grasshoppers because it is associated with providing a larger source of food. Shrub and tree cover appears to be an important factor in establishing locust habitat, providing shelter, oviposition, and a source of food for some grasshopper species (Zografou et al. 2009). Many studies have examined the relationship between grasshopper communities' composition and vegetation patterns in grassland ecosystems worldwide (Joern 2005). ...
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Leksono AS, Yanuwiadi B, Afandhi A, Farhan M, Zairina A. 2020. The abundance and diversity of grasshopper communities in relation to elevation and land use in Malang, Indonesia. Biodiversitas 21: 5614-5620. Ecological factors include interactions of the community members with numerous biotic and abiotic factors such as temperature, humidity, precipitation, light intensity, and seasonality show an altitudinal gradient. Most grasshopper species play a role as herbivores and are a good source of protein for other animals such as amphibians, small reptiles, birds, and small mammals. This study aimed to analyze variations in the abundance, richness, and diversity of grasshopper species along an altitudinal gradient. This research was conducted in five locations in Malang District, East Java, Indonesia, namely Bantur, Sumber Pujung Lawang, Pujon, and Poncokusumo. Grasshopper sampling was carried out by the sweeping method using an insect net. Sweepings were carried out on four plots with each plot size of 2 x 10 m2. Sampling was conducted four times from June to August 2020. The data were analyzed using the Shannon Wiener index (diversity analysis) and the Bray-Curtis index. The differences between locations were tested by one-way analysis of variance. Land use was analyzed by ArcGIS, using Landsat imagery 8. The abundance of grasshoppers had a significant negative correlation with elevation. That correlation was positive to species richness and diversity of grasshoppers. That with species diversity was significant, while that with species richness was not significant. The greatest abundance of the grasshopper was found in the middle elevation in Lawang (19.39 ± 2.12). In contrast, the highest species richness and diversity were found in the highest elevation in Poncokusumo (richness = 15.75 ± 1.60 and H '= 2.58 ± 0.11). Land use variation was not significant on abundance, species, richness, and diversity of grasshoppers. Interestingly, the high similarity of the grasshopper compositions in low elevation habitats was detected, indicating that land use in the low land area was remarkable. The abundance of grasshopper had a significant positive correlation with temperature but negatively correlated with humidity. There was no significant correlation among species richness, species diversity with temperature and humidity.
... Vote count results were not influenced by any covariate. Metaanalysis results on Arthropods confirmed higher richness in traditional compared to overgrazed pastures, modulated by several factors: only mountainous shrubland showed no negative effects of overgrazing, most probably preventing forest encroachment, which usually drives a decrease of species preferring open and more heterogeneous habitats (Plexida, Sfougaris, & Papadopoulos, 2012;Zakkak, Chatzaki, Karamalis, & Kati, 2014;Zografou, Sfenthourakis, Pullin, & Kati, 2009). Similar suggestions come from the vote count: abandonment occurring in grassland had higher density and richness compared with woodland. ...
Land-use changes, both in terms of land abandonment and intensification, have led to fragmentation and loss of traditional agricultural habitats. Extensive grazing is among the forms of land use that have undergone the greatest changes. This represents one of the main threats to biodiversity; consequently, a comprehensive overview about the impacts on the biodiversity of changes that are happening in pastoral activities is needed. Moreover, a clear picture of the most widely studied geographical areas, habitats, and taxonomic groups needs to be developed in order to understand the situation. In this framework, we carried out a systematic review and a meta-analysis of the publications related to the impacts of pastoral activities on animal biodiversity in Europe. We analysed 223 articles by searching the ISI Web of Science platform and combining keywords related to "pastoral activities" and "biodiversity indicators”, applying a vote count approach, i.e. simply dividing articles into categories depending on their results (non-significant ones, significant positive results, significant negative ones). Moreover, we conducted a meta-analysis on 33 articles, selecting those focusing on Arthropods (the most studied taxa). To understand the main gaps in this scientific topic, we focused on: i) the identification of the geographical, environmental, and temporal structure of the studies; ii) the description of the main target groups used as bio-indicators; iii) the comparison of different management practices (overgrazing, traditional, agri-environment schemes - AESs), plus land abandonment, to determine which is the best for biodiversity conservation and to evaluate the effectiveness of AESs. There was a bias towards lowlands in comparison to uplands, as well as a lack of long-term studies. Plants were more sensitive than animals to grazing changes. Arthropods’ orders are the taxa used most frequently as indicators, in comparison with vertebrates, especially birds. We identified a generalised negative impact of overgrazing in all the habitats and geographical areas, apparently except in mountainous shrubland. Conversely, land abandonment resulted in a negative influence on biodiversity only in the mountainous areas of southern Europe (underlining the important role of traditional activities), whereas short term abandonment had a beneficial role in central Europe, where overgrazing was more widespread. The meta-analysis suggested that arthropod richness was higher in short to mid-term abandoned pastures than under either extensive or intensive grazing systems. Finally, the effectiveness of AESs for conservation purposes was not confirmed by the vote count approach, whilst meta-analysis detected a positive effect for Arthropods of these same management practices when compared to overgrazing. We highlight a lack of data on AESs, especially when compared with traditional extensive grazing or abandonment. Our findings suggest that AES seems to effectively mimic traditional pastures, contrasting overgrazing, which is one of its main goal. Since AES have a strong potential in influencing sustainable management and promoting biodiversity conservation, the European Union should focus on the most effective and well targeted AES based on research, and further studies will be necessary to continuously assess their effect.
... Several studies confirmed that the recent climatic changes strongly affect the abundance and geographic distribution of insects (Eo et al. 2017) and the richness of pests, particularly Orthoptera (Weiss et al. 2012). In addition, many researches consider Orthoptera as a bioindicators of the climate change (Báldi and Kisbenedek 1997) due to their sensitivity to microclimatic conditions (Zografou et al. 2009). The high temperature can affect directly and indirectly all arthropods by increasing or decreasing their metabolic rates, changing their activity patterns as well as their developmental rates (Zografou et al. 2017). ...
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The climatic condition is assumed as the main factor responsible for development and survival of insects; this investigation was conducted to study the responses of Caelifera to temperatures and precipitation variations during 2017 in three natural environments of Mzab Valley, Ghardaïa, Algeria. A total of 22 grasshopper species were collected, representing four families and eight subfamilies. The subfamily Oedipodinae was the dominant, followed by Pyrgomorphinae and Thrinchinae. Two species: Sphingonotus rubescens and Sphingonotus savignyi occurred frequently in the three sites. However, only one accidental species, Eunapiodes sp. was found. According to our observations, it is clear that the grasshopper diversity was higher in July and August coinciding with the increase in temperature. In such conditions, the precipitation has less influence on species diversity
... Butterflies are a popular group of insects which is appreciated by the public for their aesthetic, symbolic and intrinsic value . Moreover, as primary consumers, pollinators and prey they fulfil important roles in ecosystem functioning and are often used as indicators for the assessment of the state of ecosystems (Erhardt & Thomas, 1991;Van Swaay, Warren, & Loïs, 2006;Zografou, Sfenthourakis, Pullin, & Kati, 2009). They are frequently an object of research and probably the most surveyed group of insects, at least in Europe (Van Swaay, Nowicki, Settele, & Van Strien, 2008;Van Swaay et al., 2006). ...
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Aim To assess the effectiveness of protected areas in preventing biodiversity decline. We first test whether species richness of butterfly assemblages is higher within European Natura 2000 (N2000) sites than in their surroundings. We then assess temporal trends in butterfly richness and test whether these trends differ inside and outside the N2000 network. Location Germany, Europe. Methods We utilized generalized linear mixed‐effects models (GLMM) to analyse an 11‐year data series on species richness of butterfly assemblages collected on 245 transects across Germany, located inside and outside N2000 sites, and comprising a total of 122 butterfly species. Results Butterfly species richness was highest inside N2000 protected areas, while outside it constantly declined with increasing distance from N2000 sites. We found an overall decline in species richness by 10% within 11 years. This decline neither differed between transects located inside or outside the N2000 network nor varied with distance from N2000 sites. Main conclusions The higher species richness inside the N2000 network underlines their proper designation and their potential for the conservation of biodiversity. However, the current negative trend in butterfly species richness across Germany is not mitigated by the N2000 network, and we assume insufficient management or measures targeted at other organisms than butterflies as potential reasons.
This book was conceived to mark the Silver Jubilee of the British Butterfly Conservation Society. Interest in the conservation of butterflies has increased so rapidly that it is difficult to relate to the situation 25 years ago. Butterflies were on the decline in Britain, Europe and elsewhere but we lacked data on the extent of the decline and the underlying reasons, leaving us unable to implement effective conservation measures. An early recognition of the plight of British butterflies and moths led to the foundation of the society by a small group of conservationists in 1968. Today the society has over 10000 members, owns a number of reserves and sponsors research, conservation and monitoring activities at the local and national level. As part of the Silver Jubilee celebrations an international symposium was held at Keele University in September 1993 entitled 'Ecology and Conservation of Butterflies'. This symposium clearly showed how much important work has been done in recent years and also gave me the impression that the subject had reached a watershed. This was not because the decline of butterflies has stopped or even slowed down, far from it, the threat to our butterflies continues to increase from habitat destruction and intensification of land use. The watershed is in our understanding of the relationship between butterflies and their habitat.
The first expected symptoms of a climate change-generated biodiversity crisis are range contractions and extinctions at lower elevational and latitudinal limits to species distributions. However, whilst range expansions at high elevations and latitudes have been widely documented, there has been surprisingly little evidence for contractions at warm margins. We show that lower elevational limits for 16 butterfly species in central Spain have risen on average by 212 m (± SE 60) in 30 years, accompanying a 1.3 °C rise (equivalent to c. 225 m) in mean annual temperature. These elevational shifts signify an average reduction in habitable area by one-third, with losses of 50–80% projected for the coming century, given maintenance of the species thermal associations. The results suggest that many species have already suffered climate-mediated habitat losses that may threaten their long-term chances of survival.
The biological history of the past few million years has made the Mediterranean area one of the richest areas of Europe in terms of species diversity. Three-quarters of the total European insect fauna are found in the Mediterranean (Balletto and Casale, 1991). The structure of the three peninsulas surrounded by this sea, with mountains in the north isolating them, has resulted in a high level of endemic species and very rich butterfly communities.
The family of tiger beetles (Cicindelidae) is an appropriate indicator taxon for determining regional patterns of biodiversity because (1) its taxonomy is stabilized; (2) its biology and general life history are well understood, (3) individuals are readily observed and manipulated in the field, (4) the family occurs world-wide and in a broad range of habitat types; (5) each species tends to be specialized within a narrow habitat; (6) patterns of species richness are highly correlated with those of other vertebrate and invertebrate taxa; and (7) the taxon includes species of potential economic importance. Logistical advantages provide some of the strongest arguments for selecting tiger beetles as an appropriate indicator taxon. Species numbers of tiger beetles are relatively well known for 129 countries. Eight countries alone account for more than half the world total of 2028 known species. Species numbers are also indicated for eleven biogeographical zones of the world. For gridded squares across North America, the Indian subcontinent, and Australia, species richness of tiger beetles, birds, and butterflies shows significant positive correlations. However, tiger beetle species numbers can be reliably determined within fifty hours on a single site, compared to months or years for birds or butterflies, and the advantage of using tiger beetles in conservation biology is evident