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Grasslands as habitats for butterflies in Europe

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Chapter Summary

Butterflies are considered as indicators of the invertebrate diversity in European grasslands: they have been studied for ecologists to have knowledge of their distribution status and ecological relations; they occur in a range of grassland types; and they are sensitive to environmental change. A large part of the grassland butterfly fauna may well have persisted in the forested landscape as inhabitants of temporal clearings and open areas on rocky outcrops, infertile areas and floodplains. This chapter explores new aspects of conservation management to maintain biodiversity of the butterfly. It provides an overview of the status of grassland butterflies, the threats to their conservation and the impact of different types of grassland management. The chapter discusses threats that include: land drainage, land claims for coastal development, agricultural abandonment and improvement, habitat fragmentation and isolation. It concludes with priorities to secure the future of European butterflies.

Keywords: European grasslands; habitats for butterflies



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