Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 410104
Title Conservation where people work: A role for business districts and industrial areas in enhancing endangered butterfly populations?
Author(s) Snep, R.P.H.; Wallis de Vries, M.F.; Opdam, P.
Source Landscape and Urban Planning 103 (2011). - ISSN 0169-2046 - p. 94 - 101.
Department(s) CL - Urban and Regional Development
Laboratory of Entomology
Land Use Planning
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2011
Keyword(s) habitat restoration - species richness - urban landscape - se finland - biodiversity - diversity - urbanization - vegetation - reserves - insects
Abstract Urbanization is often identified as a primary cause of species decline. Yet little is known about biodiversity conservation in human settlements, the ‘places where people live and work’. In this study, conducted in the densely populated Netherlands, our main objective was to explore new conservation planning strategies to strengthen metapopulations in urbanized landscapes. We focused on a rarely studied part of the city: business sites, the places where people work. We selected eight endangered butterfly species, all habitat specialists of low-productive, early-successional vegetation. Potentially, vacant lots, lawns and green roofs at business sites could offer habitat patches for these butterflies. Our analysis combined national distribution data on both butterflies and business sites. We explored the extent to which the creation of additional habitat at business sites within dispersal distance of adjoining populations could enhance the sustainability of the entire population network. We found that for four endangered butterfly species (Aricia agestis, Hipparchia semele, Issoria lathonia and Ochlodes sylvanus), additional habitat developed at nearby business sites could support a substantial proportion (19–33%) of the currently vulnerable populations in the Netherlands. Moreover, in numerous occasions the business sites could offer sufficient habitat to upgrade vulnerable butterfly populations into viable metapopulations. The present study illustrates that – even for habitat specialists such as the selected butterfly species – urbanized areas may provide yet unexplored conservation opportunities.
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