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Use of forest corridors by boreal Xestia moths


We studied movements of the noctuid moths Xestia speciosa and X. fennica in a fragmented forest landscape including old-growth spruce forest corridors in eastern Finland. We individually marked and released 1,796 adults of the habitat generalist X. speciosa and 683 individuals of X. fennica, which prefers old-growth spruce forests. Moths were recaptured with 60 sugar-bait traps that were placed within habitat corridors, in the non-habitat matrix and in surrounding old-growth forest patches. Both species favoured the corridors during their movements and tended to avoid entering the matrix. We analysed recapture rates and movements of the recaptured moths. Results suggest that X. speciosa moves longer distances than X. fennica. Though corridors clearly canalized movements by both species, the impact of old-growth forest corridors at the larger landscape scale was less clear in X. fennica. Movement behaviour of the two sexes differed more than that of the two species.

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We warmly thank Martti Salo, Mauno Romppanen and Juha Seilonen for their assistance during the field work. Martti Salo also helped us in preparing the database and the figures. Reima Leinonen kindly advised us at the first steps of the study. We are indebted to Ilkka Hanski who initiated this study and commented on several versions of the manuscript. We wish to thank Otso Ovaskainen, Saskya van Nouhuys and an anonymous referee for invaluable comments on an earlier draft of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Gergely Várkonyi.

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Várkonyi, G., Kuussaari, M. & Lappalainen, H. Use of forest corridors by boreal Xestia moths. Oecologia 137, 466–474 (2003).

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  • Mark-release-recapture
  • Movement behaviour
  • Habitat fragmentation
  • Boreal forests
  • Lepidoptera