Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology


COCONUT: Understanding effects of land use changes on ecosystems to halt loss of biodiversity – due to habitat destruction, fragmentation and degradation

Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter, Jochen Krauss

Funding: EU (FP 6)
: November 2006 – October 2008

In the COCONUT project we studied time-delayed extinctions in vascular plants and butterflies on extensive grasslands in five European countries.  We showed that long-lived vascular plant species respond time delayed at a scale of 50 years after habitat loss, whereas short-lived butterflies did not show a time delay in extinctions (Krauss et al. 2010).

Study sites: Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Germany, Spain

Habitats: extensive grasslands

Species groups: Butterflies and vascular plants

Methods: Transect walks, quadrate sampling, GIS

Key publications:

Kuussaari, M., Bommarco, R., Heikkinen, R. K., Helm, A., Krauss, J., Lindborg, R., Öckinger, E., Pärtel, M., Pino, J., Rodà, F., Stefanescu, C., Teder, T., Zobel, M., Steffan-Dewenter, I. (2009): Extinction debt: a challenge for biodiversity conservation. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 24: 564-571.

Krauss, J., Bommarco, R. Guardiola, M., Heikkinen, R.K., Helm, A., Kuussaari, M., Lindborg, R., Öckinger, E., Pärtel, M., Pino, J., Pöyry, J., Raatikainen, K.M., Sang, A., Stefanescu, C., Teder, T., Zobel, M. & Steffan-Dewenter, I. (2010) Habitat fragmentation causes immediate and time-delayed biodiversity loss at different trophic levels. Ecology Letters 13: 597-605 (OPEN ONLINE).

Öckinger, E., Schweiger, O., Crist, T.O., Debinski, D.M., Krauss, J., Kuussaari, M., Petersen, J.D., Pöyry, J., Settele, J., Summerville, K.S. & Bommarco, R. (2010): Life-history traits predict species responses to habitat area and isolation – A cross-continental synthesis. Ecology Letters 13: 969-979.