Open Access

The Influence of Invasive Alien Plants on Umbrella Butterflies of the Genus Phengaris and Diversity of Heteroptera True Bugs

   | Mar 31, 2023


The Natura 2000 initiative and National Parks are the most important forms of nature protection in European countries. However, conservation efforts are often hampered by biological invasions, which are some of the most serious environmental problems. The aim of this study was to assess, in protected areas, the impacts of invasive plants – alien Solidago spp. on Phengaris butterflies and Heracleum mantegazzianum on Heteroptera true bugs. Ph. teleius and Ph. nausithous were surveyed in the Jaworzno Meadows Natura 2000 site using the Capture-Mark-Recapture method. Heteroptera were surveyed using transect captures in Magurski National Park. The sizes of local populations of the butterflies were lower in patches with higher goldenrod cover. A high cover of the host plant may mitigate the negative impact of goldenrod during the early stage of invasion. In the case of poor habitat quality, nearby unprotected habitat patches act as ecological traps for butterflies due to the application of mowing during the butterfly flight period. The invasive giant hogweed had the most significant impact on reducing the number of Heteroptera individuals. Its influence was also observed at the assemblage level. The negative impact of hogweed has been detected despite the application of the first eradication treatments of this plant. Success in eradicating hogweed may be limited due to the spread of the plants from locations where removal is not applied.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, Ecology