Study

Can pollination services, species diversity and conservation be simultaneously promoted by sown wildflower strips on farmland?

  • Published source details Korpela E.-L., Hyvonen T., Lindgren S. & Kuussaari M. (2013) Can pollination services, species diversity and conservation be simultaneously promoted by sown wildflower strips on farmland?. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 179, 18-24.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Plant nectar flower mixture/wildflower strips

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Plant nectar flower mixture/wildflower strips

    A replicated, controlled study in 2007–2010 in six arable fields in Jokioinen, Finland (Korpela et al. 2013) found that sown wildflower strips had a higher abundance of habitat specialist butterflies and total species richness of butterflies, moths and bumblebees (Bombus spp.) combined than either grass or cereal fields, or permanent field margins. Three years after sowing, the abundance of habitat specialist butterflies (1.5–3.1 individuals/strip) and total species richness of butterflies, moths and bumblebees (16–21 species/strip) were higher in wildflower strips than in reed canary grass Phalaris arundinacea (butterflies: 0.1–0.6 individuals/strip; richness: 2–7 species/strip), spring cereals (butterflies: 0 individuals/strip; richness: 1 species/strip) or permanent margins (butterflies: 0.9–1.2 individuals/strip; richness: 10–12 species/strip). Neither the diversity of the sown seed mixture, nor the shape, location or orientation of the wildflower strip, affected butterfly abundance or total species richness (see paper for details). In May 2007, six wildflower strips were sown in each of six fields. Five strips/field were sown with five wildflower species, and one was a monoculture of brown knapweed Centaurea jacea. Five strips/field were 5 × 50 m, and one was 10 × 25 m. Strips were located at the field edge, either adjacent to another field or to forest, or in the centre of the field. From May–August 2007–2010, butterflies, moths and bumblebees were surveyed seven times along one 5 × 50 m transect/wildflower strip, and in four strips/field within the surrounding crop (reed canary grass or spring cereals) and two strips/field in permanent, unsown field margins.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

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