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  • 1.
    Johansson, Victor
    et al.
    Calluna AB, Sweden.
    Kindvall, Oskar
    Calluna AB, Sweden.
    Askling, John
    Calluna AB, Sweden.
    Franzén, Markus
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Intense grazing of calcareous grasslands has negative consequences for the threatened marsh fritillary butterfly2019In: Biological Conservation, ISSN 0006-3207, E-ISSN 1873-2917, Vol. 239, p. 1-9, article id 108280Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Grazing generally benefits grassland biodiversity as it prevents shrub and tree succession. However, too intense grazing may have negative effects for example many grassland insects. EU-subsidies for grazing of some habitats, aimed at promoting biodiversity, still require a relatively intense grazing, and could therefore have negative consequences for some species. We quantified how such grazing affects habitat quality for the marsh fritillary butterfly, and how this influence its colonization-extinction dynamics and persistence. Specifically, we studied a metapopulation on Gotland (Sweden), where the marsh fritillary occupies unfertilized calcareous grassland with a naturally slow succession. We quantified the difference in larvae autumn nests between grazed and ungrazed habitat, and used this difference to adjust the 'effective area' of 256 habitat patches in a 50 km(2) landscape. We then parameterized a metapopulation model based on the occurrence pattern of the adult butterfly, and simulated future population development under different grazing regimes. The results showed that ungrazed habitat harbored 4.8 times more nests than grazed habitat. Reducing the 'effective area' of grazed patches accordingly increased the local extinction probability and decreased colonization. Grazing all suitable habitat reduced the occupancy by over 80%, while no grazing increased the occupancy by up to 40%, based on projections of future dynamics. Current grazing is clearly too intense, and EU-subsidies are here, thus, a conservation measure with negative consequences for a threatened butterfly. To prevent this, subsidies for grazing need to be more flexible and better adapted to the prevailing soil conditions and requirements of the target species.

  • 2.
    Johansson, Victor
    et al.
    Swedish University of Agricultural Science.
    Knape, Jonas
    Swedish University of Agricultural Science.
    Franzén, Markus
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research - UfZ, Germany.
    Population dynamics and future persistence of the clouded Apollo butterfly in southern Scandinavia: The importance of low intensity grazing and creation of habitat patches2017In: Biological Conservation, ISSN 0006-3207, E-ISSN 1873-2917, Vol. 206, p. 120-131Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We investigated the population dynamics and future persistence of the last remaining Clouded Apollo butterfly metapopulation in southern Scandinavia. Based on three decades of surveys (1984-2015), we modelled colonization-extinction dynamics and local population sizes using habitat patch characteristics and connectivity, while accounting for imperfect detection and uncertainty in the local population sizes. The colonization probability increased with increasing connectivity and the local extinction probability decreased with increasing local population size in accordance with metapopulation theory. The local population size increased with increasing patch area, and was also affected by grazing intensity. Light grazing resulted in larger local populations compared to heavy grazing or no grazing at all. The butterfly population has decreased considerably during the study period and according to projections of future dynamics the estimated extinction risk within the coming 10 years is 17%. However, it is possible to change the negative trends and decrease the extinction risk considerably by conservation actions. By optimizing the grazing pressure in existing patches the extinction risk was reduced to 11% (a reduction with 35% compared to the scenario with no conservation action). If a few new patches are created close to the occupied ones the extinction risk can be reduced further. In conclusion, there is a large risk that the Clouded Apollo butterfly will go extinct from southern Scandinavia within the coming decade. However, conservation measures that are focused to the core area of the current distribution and applied soon can considerably improve the situation for the butterfly. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  • 3.
    Stewart, Joshua D.
    et al.
    University of California, USA ; The Manta Trust, UK.
    Beale, Calvin S.
    Misool Manta Project, Indonesia.
    Fernando, Daniel
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. The Manta Trust, UK ; Blue Resources, Sri Lanka.
    Sianipar, Abraham B.
    Conservation International, Indonesia.
    Burton, Ronald S.
    University of California, USA.
    Semmens, Brice X.
    University of California, USA.
    Aburto-Oropeza, Octavio
    University of California, USA.
    Spatial ecology and conservation of Manta birostris in the Indo-Pacific2016In: Biological Conservation, ISSN 0006-3207, E-ISSN 1873-2917, Vol. 200, p. 178-183Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Information on the movements and population connectivity of the oceanic manta ray (Manta birostris) is scarce. The species has been anecdotally classified as a highly migratory species based on the pelagic habitats it often occupies, and migratory behavior exhibited by similar species. As a result, in the absence of ecological data, population declines in oceanic manta have been addressed primarily with international-scale management and conservation efforts. Using a combination of satellite telemetry, stable isotope and genetic analyses we demonstrate that, contrary to previous assumptions, the species appears to exhibit restricted movements and fine-scale population structure. M. birostris tagged at four sites in the Indo-Pacific exhibited no long-range migratory movements and had non-overlapping geographic ranges. Using genetic and isotopic analysis, we demonstrate that the observed movements and population structure persist on multi-year and generational time scales. These data provide the first insights into the long-term movements and population structure of oceanic manta rays, and suggest that bottom-up, local or regional approaches to managing oceanic mantas could prove more effective than existing, international-scale management strategies. This case study highlights the importance of matching the scales at which management and relevant ecological processes occur to facilitate the effective conservation of threatened species.

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