Species-specific distribution of two sympatric Maculinea butterflies across different meadow edges

Péter Batáry, Ádám Körösi, Noémi Örvössy, Szilvia Kövér, László Peregovits

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)


An important consequence of habitat fragmentation is the increase of edge habitats. Environmental factors in the edges are different from those in the interiors, which causes changes in the distribution of plant and animal species. We aimed to study how edges affect the distribution of two butterfly species within meadow fragments. We therefore investigated the effect of distance from edge and edge type (road edge versus tree edge) on two sympatric large blue species (Maculinea teleius and M. nausithous). Our results showed that edge type had contrasting effects on the two species. M. teleius favoured both interiors and road edges, while M. nausithous preferred the tree edges. In the case of the latter species a strong positive edge effect was also found. This kind of within-habitat niche segregation is probably related to the different microenvironmental conditions at the edges. Foodplant density did not seem to limit the distribution of these species. Our results suggest that interiors of meadows are important for M. teleius, while tree edges maintain the habitats of the regionally rarer butterfly, M. nausithous.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-230
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Insect Conservation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2009


  • Edge effect
  • Foodplant
  • Habitat use
  • Myrmecophily
  • Niche segregation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Insect Science

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