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Moth declines are most severe in broadleaf woodlands despite a net gain in habitat availability

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Moth declines are most severe in broadleaf woodlands despite a net gain in habitat availability. / Blumgart, Dan; Botham, Marc S.; Menéndez, Rosa et al.

In: Insect Conservation and Diversity, Vol. 15, No. 5, 30.09.2022, p. 496-509.

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Blumgart D, Botham MS, Menéndez R, Bell JR. Moth declines are most severe in broadleaf woodlands despite a net gain in habitat availability. Insect Conservation and Diversity. 2022 Sep 30;15(5):496-509. Epub 2022 Apr 28. doi: 10.1111/icad.12578

Author

Blumgart, Dan ; Botham, Marc S. ; Menéndez, Rosa et al. / Moth declines are most severe in broadleaf woodlands despite a net gain in habitat availability. In: Insect Conservation and Diversity. 2022 ; Vol. 15, No. 5. pp. 496-509.

Bibtex

@article{ca4349c82bbe40f1a608497e1740a1f2,
title = "Moth declines are most severe in broadleaf woodlands despite a net gain in habitat availability",
abstract = "Abstract: While agricultural intensification and habitat loss are cited as key drivers of moth decline, these alone cannot explain declines observed in UK woodlands – a habitat that has expanded in area since 1968. We quantified how moth communities changed across habitats and regions and determined how species traits interacted with habitat in predicting moth abundance change. We hypothesised that, in woodlands, species more vulnerable to shading and browsing by deer (species specialising on forbs, shrubs and shade‐intolerant plants) had declined more severely than other species, and that moth decline in woodlands was more severe at sites more susceptible to deer damage. We modelled abundance, biomass, species richness and diversity from 1968 to 2016 and explored how these interacted with habitat and region. We also modelled the interaction between habitat and two moth species traits: larval feeding guild and shade‐tolerance of hostplant. Moth declines were consistently highest in broadleaf woodland. Abundance, biomass, species richness and diversity declined significantly by −51%, −52%, −14% and −15% in woodlands, respectively, compared to national trends of −34%, −39%, −1% (non‐significant) and +10%. Declines were no greater in woodlands more susceptible to deer browsing damage. Traits based analysis found no evidence that shading and intensive browsing by deer explained moth declines in woodland. Moth decline was more severe in broadleaf woodlands than in intensively managed farmlands. We found no evidence that deer browsing or increased shading has driven these trends: the primary cause of the decline of moths in woodlands remains unclear.",
keywords = "Original Article, Original Articles, broadleaf woodland, insect conservation, insect decline, traits based analysis, UK moth decline",
author = "Dan Blumgart and Botham, {Marc S.} and Rosa Men{\'e}ndez and Bell, {James R.}",
year = "2022",
month = sep,
day = "30",
doi = "10.1111/icad.12578",
language = "English",
volume = "15",
pages = "496--509",
journal = "Insect Conservation and Diversity",
issn = "1752-458X",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "5",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Moth declines are most severe in broadleaf woodlands despite a net gain in habitat availability

AU - Blumgart, Dan

AU - Botham, Marc S.

AU - Menéndez, Rosa

AU - Bell, James R.

PY - 2022/9/30

Y1 - 2022/9/30

N2 - Abstract: While agricultural intensification and habitat loss are cited as key drivers of moth decline, these alone cannot explain declines observed in UK woodlands – a habitat that has expanded in area since 1968. We quantified how moth communities changed across habitats and regions and determined how species traits interacted with habitat in predicting moth abundance change. We hypothesised that, in woodlands, species more vulnerable to shading and browsing by deer (species specialising on forbs, shrubs and shade‐intolerant plants) had declined more severely than other species, and that moth decline in woodlands was more severe at sites more susceptible to deer damage. We modelled abundance, biomass, species richness and diversity from 1968 to 2016 and explored how these interacted with habitat and region. We also modelled the interaction between habitat and two moth species traits: larval feeding guild and shade‐tolerance of hostplant. Moth declines were consistently highest in broadleaf woodland. Abundance, biomass, species richness and diversity declined significantly by −51%, −52%, −14% and −15% in woodlands, respectively, compared to national trends of −34%, −39%, −1% (non‐significant) and +10%. Declines were no greater in woodlands more susceptible to deer browsing damage. Traits based analysis found no evidence that shading and intensive browsing by deer explained moth declines in woodland. Moth decline was more severe in broadleaf woodlands than in intensively managed farmlands. We found no evidence that deer browsing or increased shading has driven these trends: the primary cause of the decline of moths in woodlands remains unclear.

AB - Abstract: While agricultural intensification and habitat loss are cited as key drivers of moth decline, these alone cannot explain declines observed in UK woodlands – a habitat that has expanded in area since 1968. We quantified how moth communities changed across habitats and regions and determined how species traits interacted with habitat in predicting moth abundance change. We hypothesised that, in woodlands, species more vulnerable to shading and browsing by deer (species specialising on forbs, shrubs and shade‐intolerant plants) had declined more severely than other species, and that moth decline in woodlands was more severe at sites more susceptible to deer damage. We modelled abundance, biomass, species richness and diversity from 1968 to 2016 and explored how these interacted with habitat and region. We also modelled the interaction between habitat and two moth species traits: larval feeding guild and shade‐tolerance of hostplant. Moth declines were consistently highest in broadleaf woodland. Abundance, biomass, species richness and diversity declined significantly by −51%, −52%, −14% and −15% in woodlands, respectively, compared to national trends of −34%, −39%, −1% (non‐significant) and +10%. Declines were no greater in woodlands more susceptible to deer browsing damage. Traits based analysis found no evidence that shading and intensive browsing by deer explained moth declines in woodland. Moth decline was more severe in broadleaf woodlands than in intensively managed farmlands. We found no evidence that deer browsing or increased shading has driven these trends: the primary cause of the decline of moths in woodlands remains unclear.

KW - Original Article

KW - Original Articles

KW - broadleaf woodland

KW - insect conservation

KW - insect decline

KW - traits based analysis

KW - UK moth decline

U2 - 10.1111/icad.12578

DO - 10.1111/icad.12578

M3 - Journal article

VL - 15

SP - 496

EP - 509

JO - Insect Conservation and Diversity

JF - Insect Conservation and Diversity

SN - 1752-458X

IS - 5

ER -