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Population size of the Alcon Blue - Maculinea alcon (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) in realation to the characteristics of its host plant patches in central Slovenia

Mitja Močilar (2017) Population size of the Alcon Blue - Maculinea alcon (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) in realation to the characteristics of its host plant patches in central Slovenia. MSc thesis.

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    Abstract

    The study of the Alcon Blue in central Slovenia and its habitats was conducted with the purpose to determine its current status and to provide guidelines for conservation in central Slovenia and in all similar habitats across Europe. We have closely examined the area around town Vrhnika. We discovered two populations in the area north of Vrhnika and detected no migration between them. This is however not conclusive evidence for the absence of the migrations between those two populations, as rare migrants are difficult to detect with the method we used. Lack of migrations despite proximity of both habitat patches can be attributed to thich hedges which are in some places 10 metres high. Estimated number of adults per patch was 94 for the larger and 64 for the smaller. Iinterstingly the density of eggs per plant was however twice higher in the smaller patch, whcih coincides with smaller number of host plants available. The females clearly prefered plants closer to the centre of the patch. We have discovered that density of eggs per plant is bigger on smaller habitat patches but the number of adult butterflies was lower on smaller habitat patch. The main conservation concerne in the study area is early mowing of majority of grasslands. Most of them were mowed at the end of june, which removed most of the flowering host plants in the area. Mowing is probably the main reason for higher density of eggs on smaller habitat patch, because butterflies are forced to lay eggs only on plants that were not cut down. To protect Alcon Blue on the area around Vrhnika, we must preserve the occupied habitats in its current state and lower the usage of fertilizers and pesticides in the neighbouring areas. In order to inprove the habitats and allow Alcon Blue to spread the simplest measure would be to perofrm mowing at the end of august, which would enable caterpillars to finalize their cycle at the host plants and move into the ant nests. With this simple measure we would increase the population size of the remaining populations and enable the formation of new populations nearby.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: Lepidoptera, Maculinea alcon distribution, conservation, threats
    Number of Pages: 67
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. dr. Rudi VerovnikMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=11608905)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 4520
    Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2017 12:43
    Last Modified: 05 Jul 2017 12:43
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/4520

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