Conservation Ecology Group

The picture shows two six-spot burnets on a purple flower
Karl-Olof Bergman

We focus to two systems: species-rich grassland and deciduous forests. Both have seen dramatic changes in management and exploitation, and both have lots of organisms confined to them. Many of the shared species have become rare and their long-term persistence endangered because the amount of available habitat or resource has decreased.

For long-term preservation, we need to understand the dynamics of loss of species in space and time. One source of data of particular value here is those collected in large-scale biodiversity monitoring systems.

Examples of aims and projects are:

  • Identify factors affecting the diversity of day-flying butterflies in semi-natural pastures, e.g. cover of trees and bushes, grazing intensity and area of the pasture.
  • Identify the importance of agricultural landscape elements (small, linear or non-linear habitat islands in or near crop fields) to the diversity of day-flying butterflies.
  • Investigate how the biodiversity of dayflying butterflies are affected in a landscape perspective, e.g. area of semi-natural pastures in the neighborhood, distance to nearest semi-natural pastures and the effect of different matrix (deciduous and coniferous forest and agricultural fields).
  • Identify indicator species and study if other indicator elements (vegetational and physical structures) could be used for evaluating the conservation value of semi-natural pastures and landscape elements.
  • Analyzing monitoring data and how an effective and accurate monitoring of biodiversity (butterflies and bumblebees) should be performed with respect to: natural variation between seasons, variation within season, weather variations and stochastic environmental variation to be able to estimate “real” changes in species number, communities and abundance.

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