Linear hotspots? The floral and butterfly diversity of green lanes

TitleLinear hotspots? The floral and butterfly diversity of green lanes
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsCroxton, PJ, Hann, JP, J. Greatorex-Davies, N, Sparks, TH
JournalBiological Conservation
Date PublishedFebruary 2005
ISBN Number0006-3207
KeywordsButterflies, Farmland, Green lanes, Hedgerows, Linear features

In this study we compared the vascular flora and butterfly fauna of green lanes, single hedged tracks and grass verges. Green lanes supported a significantly more diverse flora with >30% more species in a 200 m transect than other linear features. Indicator values confirmed the lower light and higher moisture levels expected in green lanes, but in this study did not confirm lower nitrogen levels or greater stress tolerator incidence. Significantly more butterfly species were recorded in the green lanes and butterfly abundance was more than double that along the other linear features. Greater numbers of butterfly species were associated with greater numbers of floral species and green lanes also supported more butterfly larval foodplants. Given the value of butterflies as indicator species reflecting both the quality of habitat in the countryside and changes in the environment these results combine to emphasise the biodiversity value of green lanes in addition to their historical and aesthetic value.

Short TitleBiological Conservation