Twiston-Davies, G.; Mortimer, S. R.; Mitchley, J.

Lepidoptera distribution and behaviour data from transects within the Stonehenge landscape, UK, between 2010 and 2011

This dataset consists of behaviour and distribution data of Lepidoptera at the Stonehenge World Heritage Site in Wiltshire, UK, between 2010-2011. A long term landscape scale grassland restoration and re-creation project has been underway at the site since 2000. 200m long transects were located in the centre of different grassland re-creation fields of different ages, arable land, chalk grassland fragments on slopes and on ancient burial mounds, and semi-improved pasture. Transects were surveyed on three occasions spread across the field season (June to September), and throughout the day and were selected ad-hoc for survey in order to minimise the effect that the time of year and day would have on results. During the survey, the transect was walked at a slow, steady pace allowing five minutes for each 20m section of transect and the number and species of Lepidoptera present 5m either side and ahead were recorded. If Lepidoptera were observed feeding, then the nectar plant species was also recorded. Habitat quality, defined in terms of vegetation characteristics and nectar resources, was quantified throughout each transect by sampling quadrats in each 20m segment of the transect. Vegetation characteristics were measured as vegetation height and density and the percentage cover of bare ground and dead vegetation. Nectar resources were measured in terms of the number and percentage coverage of flowering units, the total number of nectar flowering units and of relevant families (Dipsacaceae, Fabaceae and Asteraceae). The data were collected as part of a PhD project funded by the Natural Environment Research Council and the National Trust.
Publication date: 2014-09-01