In examining the influence of hedges on butterflies it is appropriate to consider the whole hedgerow complex, which may include verges and other adjacent land. This paper examines our knowledge of the role that hedgerows play in the ecology of butterflies in Britain. Optimum butterfly habitats such as unimproved grassland and coppiced woodland occupy only a tiny fraction of Britain and hedgerows may provide surrogate habitat for butterflies of such habitats in the wider countryside. We discuss the species typical of hedgerow habitats, the factors that affect butterfly distribution within hedgerows, their role as movement corridors and barriers, the relative merits of different hedgerow types and management suitable for butterflies.
An improved understanding of how hedgerow management affects butterflies is required to ensure that the biodiversity potential of this widespread habitat is optimised in the wider countryside.
Plants themselves could be considered surrogates for their pollinators, and are natural starting points for conservation interventions in urban landscapes. It could be cost-effective to flesh out pollinator networks supported by common urban plant species for multiple taxa by extending studies on the foraging preferences of butterflies or nectarivorous birds to other insect taxa which also visit the same flowers.
Reliable photographic records sourced under a Collegial framework [ 56 ] could contribute significantly to enhancing urban pollinator diversity in cities generally by informing more judicious plant selection [ 93 ]. This line of enquiry could equally contribute much to our understanding of how to manage urban pollinator communities to support in situ urban plant conservation [ ].
An important caveat is offered with respect to the research questions discussed above: the historical approach adopted above could offer limited insights towards prospects for the use of CS in UE over the long term, especially in response to developments in mobile technology and database infrastructure [ ]. This is because the method for category selection we used focuses on historical disjunctions between CS and UE research; research themes which have recently emerged or equally un-represented in both CS and UE work would not have been identified.
However, to the extent that research priorities are first identified by professional scientists before involvement of non-professionals is up-scaled, we suggest that the topics identified through this review could be relevant to the development of CS for UE in the near future.
The above discussion has considered potential avenues for expanding CS contributions to urban ecological questions that could be generalised beyond the two taxa examined. Substantial synergies of effort and outcomes exist where CS meets UE. This review is a first step in describing the character of the science at the interstices of these two disciplines, and mapped out the broad themes relevant to engaging meaningfully with both these two scientific domains at this point in their development.
Urban ecologists can benefit by making more intentional and systematic efforts to design volunteer-led primary data collection, while amateur scientists and citizen volunteers have much to gain from pooling resources with each other and with professional ecologists. We hope that the synthesis of perspectives provided in this review will facilitate deeper dialogue and engagement between these young and promising fields of scientific enquiry. The authors wish to thank Arthur Shapiro, Robert Robbins and five other anonymous reviewers, whose comments have greatly improved this manuscript.
Zhou Boyi contributed updates on citizen science programmes run by the National Parks Board, Singapore. Conceived and designed the experiments: JWW. Analyzed the data: JWW.
Ecology and Conservation of Butterflies (Applications Series; 1)
Browse Subject Areas? Click through the PLOS taxonomy to find articles in your field. Abstract Citizen science has gained widespread currency as a tool for ecological research over the past decade. Funding: The authors received no specific funding for this work.
Introduction Citizen science hereafter known as CS —the mass involvement of non-professionals in scientific research—has gained significant traction over the past decade as a tool for advancing ecological science [ 1 , 2 ]. The specific aims of this review were: To identify the main themes open to CS involvement that urban ecological research has addressed in the past decade for birds and butterflies, and to quantify the extent to which CS datasets have actually contributed to these themes; To characterize different paradigms of CS sensu Shirk et al.
Materials and Methods a. Search criteria We searched five databases for journal articles relevant to the practice of UE and CS published from January to July Download: PPT. Fig 1. Table 1. Search terms, databases and respective article yield applied for this literature review. Tagging criteria We developed a three-tiered hierarchical scheme for categorising UE research themes encountered according to the scope of this review. Table 2. Description of 19 research domains and 61 research categories sub-domains identified from scientific papers selected for review as relevant for the urban ecology of birds and butterflies, published between and Table 3.
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Five engagement modes describing possible relationships between scientists and citizen scientists in the development and implementation of citizen science studies, sensu Shirk et al. Results The number of journal articles selected for urban bird ecology greatly exceeded those selected for urban butterfly ecology vs. Table 4. Parameters of CS contributions to UE for birds and butterflies combined summed total, not weighted total and compared for birds and butterflies.
Representation of thematic categories between the UE and CS literature A general observation was that studies on species-environment relationships were under-represented in the CS literature compared to the UE literature for both taxa Fig 3 , Table 5. Table 5.
Top ten research categories under-represented in the CS compared to UE literature for birds and butterflies, ranked by the difference between z-scores for UE and CS respectively. Discussion a. Key findings Citizen science data were used in approximately one-fifth of all journal publications on the UE of birds and butterflies that could have employed CS methods over the last decade.
Investigative paradigms of citizen science Whereas the general merits of citizen science for investigating broad spatial and temporal scales have been recognised [ 3 ], and CS engagement modes have been analysed in relation to social and institutional needs [ 33 ], the matching of CS investigative paradigms to specific spatio-temporal domains is useful in terms of providing an a priori principle for identifying which mode of CS engagement may be best suited to particular research objectives. Implications for the design of citizen science programmes Considering that the practice of CS depends critically on modes of social organisation and administration available to programme managers in specific social contexts, it may often be the case that the engagement mode required for a CS project pre-empts and constrains the formal identification and codification of specific research questions.
Model programmes in relation to engagement modes of CS Collegial CS: for birds, the research categories investigated by Collegial-mode CS were clearly grouped into four categories that mostly enjoy high CS involvement, namely Competition: macro, Analysis: foraging and Species Distribution Modelling: current.
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Table 6. Summary of research questions of potential value towards improving CS contributions to UE. Conclusion The above discussion has considered potential avenues for expanding CS contributions to urban ecological questions that could be generalised beyond the two taxa examined. Supporting Information.
S1 Table. S2 Table. Summary diagram of the methodological and logical framework applied in this review. S3 Table. Citizen science and urban ecology metrics for birds. S4 Table. Citizen science and urban ecology metrics for butterflies. S5 Table. Full list of references and tags for birds. S6 Table. Full list of references and tags for butterflies. Acknowledgments The authors wish to thank Arthur Shapiro, Robert Robbins and five other anonymous reviewers, whose comments have greatly improved this manuscript.
References 1. Silvertown J. A new dawn for citizen science. Trends Ecol Evol.
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