The use of hedgerows as flight paths by moths in intensive farmland landscapes

Emma Coulthard, Duncan McCollin, James Littlemore

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    Linear boundary features such as hedgerows are important habitats for invertebrates in agricultural landscapes. Such features can provide shelter, larval food plants and nectar resources. UK butterflies are known to rely on such features, however their use by moths is understudied. With moth species suffering from significant declines, research into their ecology is important. This research aimed to determine whether UK moth species are using hedgerows as flight paths in intensive farmland. The directional movements of moths were recorded along hedgerows at 1, 5 and 10 m from the hedgerow face. The majority of moths recorded within the study were observed at 1 m from the hedgerow (68 %), and of these individuals, 69% were moving parallel in relation to the hedge. At further distances, the proportion of parallel movements was reduced. These results suggest that hedgerows may be providing sheltered corridors for flying insects in farmland landscapes, as well as likely providing food plants and nectar resources, emphasising the importance of resource-based approaches to conservation for Lepidoptera.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)345–350
    JournalJournal of Insect Conservation
    Volume20
    Issue number2
    Early online date23 Apr 2016
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Fingerprint

    moths
    agricultural land
    flight
    food plants
    nectar
    butterflies
    invertebrates
    Lepidoptera
    ecology
    insects
    habitats

    Keywords

    • Hedgerows
    • Lepidoptera
    • linear boundary features
    • moths
    • wildlife corridors

    Cite this

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    title = "The use of hedgerows as flight paths by moths in intensive farmland landscapes",
    abstract = "Linear boundary features such as hedgerows are important habitats for invertebrates in agricultural landscapes. Such features can provide shelter, larval food plants and nectar resources. UK butterflies are known to rely on such features, however their use by moths is understudied. With moth species suffering from significant declines, research into their ecology is important. This research aimed to determine whether UK moth species are using hedgerows as flight paths in intensive farmland. The directional movements of moths were recorded along hedgerows at 1, 5 and 10 m from the hedgerow face. The majority of moths recorded within the study were observed at 1 m from the hedgerow (68 {\%}), and of these individuals, 69{\%} were moving parallel in relation to the hedge. At further distances, the proportion of parallel movements was reduced. These results suggest that hedgerows may be providing sheltered corridors for flying insects in farmland landscapes, as well as likely providing food plants and nectar resources, emphasising the importance of resource-based approaches to conservation for Lepidoptera.",
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    author = "Emma Coulthard and Duncan McCollin and James Littlemore",
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    language = "English",
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    The use of hedgerows as flight paths by moths in intensive farmland landscapes. / Coulthard, Emma; McCollin, Duncan; Littlemore, James.

    In: Journal of Insect Conservation, Vol. 20, No. 2, 2016, p. 345–350.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - The use of hedgerows as flight paths by moths in intensive farmland landscapes

    AU - Coulthard, Emma

    AU - McCollin, Duncan

    AU - Littlemore, James

    PY - 2016

    Y1 - 2016

    N2 - Linear boundary features such as hedgerows are important habitats for invertebrates in agricultural landscapes. Such features can provide shelter, larval food plants and nectar resources. UK butterflies are known to rely on such features, however their use by moths is understudied. With moth species suffering from significant declines, research into their ecology is important. This research aimed to determine whether UK moth species are using hedgerows as flight paths in intensive farmland. The directional movements of moths were recorded along hedgerows at 1, 5 and 10 m from the hedgerow face. The majority of moths recorded within the study were observed at 1 m from the hedgerow (68 %), and of these individuals, 69% were moving parallel in relation to the hedge. At further distances, the proportion of parallel movements was reduced. These results suggest that hedgerows may be providing sheltered corridors for flying insects in farmland landscapes, as well as likely providing food plants and nectar resources, emphasising the importance of resource-based approaches to conservation for Lepidoptera.

    AB - Linear boundary features such as hedgerows are important habitats for invertebrates in agricultural landscapes. Such features can provide shelter, larval food plants and nectar resources. UK butterflies are known to rely on such features, however their use by moths is understudied. With moth species suffering from significant declines, research into their ecology is important. This research aimed to determine whether UK moth species are using hedgerows as flight paths in intensive farmland. The directional movements of moths were recorded along hedgerows at 1, 5 and 10 m from the hedgerow face. The majority of moths recorded within the study were observed at 1 m from the hedgerow (68 %), and of these individuals, 69% were moving parallel in relation to the hedge. At further distances, the proportion of parallel movements was reduced. These results suggest that hedgerows may be providing sheltered corridors for flying insects in farmland landscapes, as well as likely providing food plants and nectar resources, emphasising the importance of resource-based approaches to conservation for Lepidoptera.

    KW - Hedgerows

    KW - Lepidoptera

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    KW - moths

    KW - wildlife corridors

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