Friday Cat-erpillar Blogging: Nuances of Habitat Management

Butterfly

Appalachian Brown Butterfly
Photo: F. Model

The Appalachian Brown Butterfly, Satyrodes appalachia, lives in moist forested areas where it feeds on sedge (Carex). It is not an endangered species but it is rare in parts of its range. A group of scientists* interested in conservation measures, experimented with techniques for increasing the Appalachian Brown Butterfly population in areas where it is rare. They removed trees which allowed growth of more host plants. However, tree removal and more hosts had minimal effect on the population because of predation by ground dwelling insects. However, if the trees were removed and the wetlands dammed to create more standing water, the Appalachian Brown Butterfly population increased because the standing water limited predation. While habitat and host plants are important, other components of the habitat may have a larger influence than host plant density.

*ERIK T. ASCHEHOUG, F. S. SIVAKOFF, H. L. CAYTON, W. F. MORRIS, AND N. M. HADDAD. Habitat restoration affects immature stages of a wetland butterfly through indirect effects on predation. Ecology, 96(7), 2015, pp. 1761–1767

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in by jjneal, Caterpillar Blogging, Endangered Species, Environment. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Friday Cat-erpillar Blogging: Nuances of Habitat Management

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