Study

Butterfly richness and abundance increase in restored ponderosa pine ecosystem (Arizona)

  • Published source details Waltz A.E.M. & Covington W.W. (1999) Butterfly richness and abundance increase in restored ponderosa pine ecosystem (Arizona). Ecological Restoration, 17, 244-246.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Thin trees within forests

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation

Use prescribed fire to maintain or restore disturbance in forests

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Thin trees within forests

    A site comparison study in 1998 in two pine forests in Arizona, USA (Waltz & Covington 1999) found that a forest restored by thinning young trees and prescribed burning had a higher abundance and species richness of butterflies than an unrestored forest. Two years after thinning and burning, the restored forest had a higher abundance (6–46 individuals/visit) and species richness (3–11 species/visit) of butterflies than the unrestored forest (abundance: 0–7 individuals/visit; richness: 0–4 species/visit). One species, the checkered white Pieris protodice, was only found in the restored forest, but another, the California sister Limenitis bredowii, was only found in the unrestored forest. In 1996, a 40-acre ponderosa pine Pinus ponderosa forest was thinned (pole-sized trees removed) and burned to reopen the dense understorey. An adjacent forest was not restored. From May–July 1998, butterflies were surveyed six times (every two weeks) along a single 450-m transect in each forest.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

  2. Use prescribed fire to maintain or restore disturbance in forests

    A site comparison study in 1998 in two pine forests in Arizona, USA (Waltz & Covington 1999) found that a forest restored by prescribed burning and thinning young trees had a higher abundance and species richness of butterflies than an unrestored forest. Two years after burning and thinning, the restored forest had a higher abundance (6–46 individuals/visit) and species richness (3–11 species/visit) of butterflies than the unrestored forest (abundance: 0–7 individuals/visit; richness: 0–4 species/visit). One species, the checkered white Pieris protodice, was only found in the restored forest, but another, the California sister Limenitis bredowii, was only found in the unrestored forest. In 1996, a 40-acre ponderosa pine Pinus ponderosa forest was burned and thinned (pole-sized trees removed) to reopen the dense understorey. An adjacent forest was not restored. From May–July 1998, butterflies were surveyed six times (every two weeks) along a single 450-m transect in each forest.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

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