Do live fences help conserve butterfly diversity in agricultural landscapes?

  • Published source details Tobar D.E. & Ibrahim M. (2010) ¿Las cercas vivas ayudan a la conservación de la diversidad de mariposas en paisajes agropecuarios?. Revista de Biología Tropical, 58, 447-463.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Manage hedgerows to benefit wildlife (e.g. no spray, gap-filling and laying)

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Manage hedgerows to benefit wildlife (e.g. no spray, gap-filling and laying)

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2005–2006 in 10 hedgerows in cattle pastures in Central Pacific Region, Costa Rica (Tobar & Ibrahim 2010) found that structurally complex hedges had a higher abundance and species richness of butterflies than simple hedges. In structurally complex hedges, butterfly abundance (321 individuals/hedge) and species richness (37 species/hedge) was higher than in simple hedges (abundance: 235 individuals/hedge; richness: 28 species/hedge). In addition, 24 species were only recorded in complex hedges, including some forest-dependent species, while five species were only recorded in simple hedges, and 46 species were recorded in both hedge types (statistical significance not assessed). Ten hedges (>200 m long) in cattle pastures were studied. Five hedges were structurally complex, with up to 29 tree species (primarily copperwood Bursera simaruba, salmwood Cordia alliodora, and pink poui Tabebuia rosea) of different heights and widths (>6 m wide), and five hedges were simpler (<6 m high and <4 m wide) with smaller and pruned trees (primarily copperwood and pochote Bombacopsis quinata, up to 13 species). In 2005, and February–May 2006, butterflies were surveyed for 45 minutes on a 120-m transect along each hedge, four times in the dry season and four times in the rainy season.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

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