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  • This dataset consists of behaviour and distribution data of Lepidoptera from chalk grassland fragments at the Stonehenge World Heritage Site in Wiltshire, UK, in 2011. The landscape consists of small fragments of ancient chalk grassland on slopes and groups of burial mounds (barrows) which have retained many of the characteristic chalk grassland plant and butterfly species. Surveys were located at four of these chalk grassland fragments. At each chalk grassland fragment, four 20 m long survey boundaries, were set up on boundaries with adjacent land cover of either arable land or new grassland re-creation sown in the years 2009 or 2010. Control surveys were also carried out in areas of continuous habitat within the chalk grassland fragment and in the adjoining land cover type. Surveys of Lepidoptera behaviour were carried out from May to July between 10am and 4pm and effort was taken to survey the same site at different times of the day in order to minimise the effect of survey time on behaviour. Standing at the chalk grassland fragment edge the flight path of individual Lepidoptera was tracked in the survey area for up to three minutes. Measures of vegetation characteristics and nectar flower availability were recorded for each plot. 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. Full details about this dataset can be found at https://doi.org/10.5285/61561232-3307-470a-b8dc-a923b25e1641

  • This dataset consists of behaviour and distribution data of Lepidoptera from mown chalk grassland boundaries at the Stonehenge World Heritage Site in Wiltshire, UK, between July and August 2012. The landscape consisted of a mosaic of chalk grassland fragments on ancient burial mounds (barrows) and slopes, grassland re-creation fields of different ages since sowing, semi-improved pasture, arable farmland and woodland. In one of the grassland re-creation fields, two large areas were mown and eight 20 m long survey boundaries were set up. Four of these were set up on the edge of one of two mown areas and four were set up in areas of continuous un-mown grass which had dummy 'boundaries' parallel to the mown boundaries. The survey was conducted from the survey boundary and the flight path of individual Lepidoptera was tracked in the area 10 m either side of the survey boundary. Each individual Lepidoptera flight path was surveyed for three minutes. Each boundary was surveyed for a total of 20 minutes on three occasions over a five week period. The sequence of boundaries surveyed was chosen randomly and equal survey effort was allocated to visually searching both sides of the boundary. The order and time of day for surveying each survey area was random so to spread surveys throughout the survey period and throughout the day. Measures of vegetation characteristics and nectar flower availability were recorded for survey areas. Recorded vegetation characteristics included vegetation height and density. Nectar flower availability was measured as the number of flowering units of nectar flowers and numbers of those in the Asteraceae, Fabaceae and Dipsacaceae families. The data were collected as part of a PhD project funded by the Natural Environment Research Council and the National Trust. Full details about this dataset can be found at https://doi.org/10.5285/e3598268-22d7-4913-a736-890728ea858b

  • 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. Full details about this dataset can be found at https://doi.org/10.5285/a384bdfb-0bf2-4c3e-80ab-e171f38d503d