Support for mending the matrix: resource seeking by butterflies in apparent non-resource zones

Dennis, R.L.H.; Hardy, P.B.. 2007 Support for mending the matrix: resource seeking by butterflies in apparent non-resource zones. Journal of Insect Conservation, 11 (2). 157-168.

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In conserving organisms, a bipolar view has generally been adopted of landscapes, in which resources are allocated to patches of habitats and the matrix ignored. Allocating additional resources to the matrix would depend on two conditions: first, that organisms search for resources in landscapes regardless of differences in vegetation types and resource availability; second, that when resources occur in the matrix they are used by species. Behavioural data linked to biotope and substrate types, on three pierid species (Pieris brassicae, P. rapae, P. napi), have been examined to explore the relationship between flight modes and resource availability. Search flight and resource use, taken as measures of resource quests, occur extensively in all biotopes and over all substrates in addition to direct linear flight, more typical of butterflies when migrating between habitat units. Resource seeking and using even exceed direct flight in some biotopes that have been regarded generally as lacking in resources for these butterflies. For example, such is the case for P. brassicae in woodland and for P. rapae in scrub. This finding supports the view for repairing the matrix and enhancing the general countryside outside habitat patches with resources increasingly being made for organisms. The proviso is that species’ requirements are adequately researched and resourced so as not to become sinks.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biodiversity
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: _ Ecological Processes & Modelling
ISSN: 1366-638X
Format Availability: Electronic, Print
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: The original publication is available at
Additional Keywords: habitat, linear flight, matrix, metapopulations, migration, search flight
NORA Subject Terms: Zoology
Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 09 Aug 2007 10:46 +0 (UTC)

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