Mobility-dependent effects on species richness in fragmented landscapes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In fragmented landscapes, mobility is an important trait for population persistence but the predictions on the relationship between habitat fragmentation and extinction risk are contradictory. Here, we test the effects of the two main aspects of fragmentation, patch area and isolation, on the species richness of groups of butterflies associated with semi-natural grasslands, differing in mobility. Total species richness increased with increasing patch area and with decreasing isolation, but the strength of these effects differed between mobility classes. The effect of patch area was strongest for the sedentary species, while the effect of isolation was only statistically significant for the mobile species. We interpret these results as evidence for a predominant influence of local processes on sedentary species, and an increasing influence of regional compared to local processes with increasing mobility. When groups of species respond differently to habitat loss and fragmentation this affects community composition, with potential implications for ecosystem processes. Similar effects can be expected for other traits than mobility, and this should be an important question for future studies. (C) 2009 Gesellschaft fur Okologie. Published by Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Ecology


  • Metapopulation, Lepidoptera, Isolation, Fragmentation, Dispersal, Diversity, Zygaenidae
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-578
JournalBasic and Applied Ecology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Publication categoryResearch