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Linear hotspots? The floral and butterfly diversity of green lanes

Biological Conservation

Abstract

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 In 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. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Author(s): Croxton, PJ; Hann, JP; Greatorex-Davies, JN; Sparks, TH

Journal: Biological Conservation

Year: 2005

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