Study

The value of woody hedgerows for moth diversity on organic and conventional farms

  • Published source details Boutin C., Baril A., McCabe S.K., Martin P.A. & Guy M. (2011) The value of woody hedgerows for moth diversity on organic and conventional farms. Environmental Entomology, 40, 560-569.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Convert to organic farming

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation

Plant new hedges

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Convert to organic farming

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2001 on 16 arable farms in Ontario, Canada (Boutin et al. 2011) found that organic farms had a similar abundance and species richness of macro-moths to conventionally managed farms. On organic farms, the total abundance (51–418 individuals/trap) and species richness (8–26 species/trap) of moths were not significantly different to on conventional farms (abundance: 40–359 individuals/trap; richness: 9–21 species/trap). However, more species of the family Notodontidae were found in organic than conventional farms (data not presented). Of 126 species collected only once, 91 were found on organic farms compared to 35 on conventional farms (statistical significance not assessed). See paper for species results. Eight organic farms had no chemical inputs for at least three years. Eight conventional farms had chemical fertilizers and herbicides applied. From June–September 2001, macro-moths were sampled on six nights/site. Each night, one fluorescent UV black-light funnel trap was set halfway along a hedge, and one was set ~50 m away in the middle of the adjacent crop field. Two organic and two conventional farms were sampled each night, and all sites were sampled within five nights every two weeks.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

  2. Plant new hedges

    A replicated, paired, site comparison study in 2001 on 16 arable farms in Ontario, Canada (Boutin et al. 2011) found that woody hedgerows supported a higher abundance and species richness of macro-moths than crop fields. Along hedgerows, both the total abundance (80–418 individuals/trap) and species richness (13–26 species/trap) of moths were higher than in the centre of crop fields (abundance: 40–135 individuals/trap; richness: 8–17 species/trap). Of 126 species collected only once, 78 were found along hedgerows compared to 48 in crop fields (statistical significance not assessed). See paper for species results. Sixteen woody hedgerows (184–203 m long, 10–16 m wide, 18–21 m tall) and their adjacent arable fields were selected on eight organic farms (no chemical inputs for ≥3 years) and eight conventional farms (chemical fertilizers and herbicides applied). Hedgerows were trimmed when too wide, and dead trees were removed. From June–September 2001, macro-moths were sampled on six nights/site. Each night, one fluorescent UV black-light funnel trap was set halfway along a hedge, and one was set ~50 m away in the middle of the adjacent crop field. Two organic and two conventional farms were sampled each night, and all sites were sampled within five nights every two weeks.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

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