Landscapes with diverse topography and habitat types encourage population stability in butterflies, likely from greater availability of resources and microclimates.

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"Rugged, hilly landscapes with a range of different habitat types can help maintain more stable butterfly populations and thus aid their conservation

"The scientistsfound that sites with a greater diversity of habitat types (e.g. woodland, grassland, heathland) and more varied terrain tended to have butterfly populations that were more stable over time.

"The study's lead author, Dr Tom Oliver from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, said, 'More stable insect populations are better for conservation because it means that, in years with extreme weather (e.g. drought years), populations are less likely to go extinct'

"Co-author Dr Jane Hill of the Department of Biology at the University of York said, "Our findings show that more diverse landscapes may provide a greater range of resources and microclimates, which can buffer insect populations from declines in difficult years.'" (Science Daily 2010)


Conservation from space: landscape diversity helps to conserve insects

Journal article
Heterogeneous landscapes promote population stabilityEcology LettersFebruary 8, 2010
Tom Oliver, David B. Roy, Jane K. Hill, Tom Brereton, Chris D. Thomas

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