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Moth species richness, abundance and diversity in fragmented urban woodlands: Implications for conservation and management strategies

Park, Kirsty J.; Blackmore, Lorna M.; Lintott, Paul; Bunnefeld, Nils; Fuentes-Montemayor, Elisa; Minderman, Jeroen; Goulson, Dave


Kirsty J. Park

Lorna M. Blackmore

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Paul Lintott
Senior Lecturer in Conservation Science

Nils Bunnefeld

Elisa Fuentes-Montemayor

Jeroen Minderman

Dave Goulson


Urban expansion threatens global biodiversity through the destruction of natural and semi-natural habitats and increased levels of disturbance. Whilst woodlands in urban areas may reduce the impact of urbanisation on biodiversity, they are often subject to under or over-management and consist of small, fragmented patches which may be isolated. Effective management strategies for urban woodland require an understanding of the ecology and habitat requirements of all relevant taxa. Yet, little is known of how invertebrate, and in particular moth, assemblages utilise urban woodland despite being commonly found within the urban landscape. Here we show that the abundance, species richness, and species diversity of moth assemblages found within urban woodlands are determined by woodland vegetation character, patch configuration and the surrounding landscape. In general, mature broadleaved woodlands supported the highest abundance and diversity of moths. Large compact woodlands with proportionally less edge exposed to the surrounding matrix were associated with higher moth abundance than small complex woodlands. Woodland vegetation characteristics were more important than the surrounding landscape, suggesting that management at a local scale to ensure provision of good quality habitat may be relatively more important for moth populations than improving habitat connectivity across the urban matrix. Our results show that the planting of broadleaved woodlands, retaining mature trees and minimising woodland fragmentation will be beneficial for moth assemblages. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Park, K. J., Blackmore, L. M., Lintott, P., Bunnefeld, N., Fuentes-Montemayor, E., Minderman, J., & Goulson, D. (2014). Moth species richness, abundance and diversity in fragmented urban woodlands: Implications for conservation and management strategies. Biodiversity and Conservation, 23(11), 2875-2901.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 25, 2014
Publication Date Jan 1, 2014
Deposit Date Nov 10, 2017
Journal Biodiversity and Conservation
Print ISSN 0960-3115
Electronic ISSN 1572-9710
Publisher Springer (part of Springer Nature)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 23
Issue 11
Pages 2875-2901
Keywords urban ecology, habitat fragmentation, habitat loss, landscape, lepidoptera, urbanisation
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