Study

Margins of agricultural fields as habitats for pollinating insects

  • Published source details Lagerlöf J., Stark J. & Svensson B. (1992) Margins of agricultural fields as habitats for pollinating insects. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 40, 117-124.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Plant grass buffer strips/margins around arable or pasture fields

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation

Create uncultivated margins around intensive arable or pasture fields

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Plant grass buffer strips/margins around arable or pasture fields

    A site comparison study in 1989 on an arable farm in central Sweden (Lagerlöf et al. 1992) reported that sown grass margins had a higher abundance but similar species richness of butterflies and moths to uncultivated margins. Results were not tested for statistical significance. Over two months, more butterflies and moths were recorded in two sown grass margins (58–75 individuals) than in two uncultivated margins (38–44 individuals), but the number of species was similar (sown: 6 species; uncultivated: 7 species). Fewer butterflies (24 individuals) of more species (8 species) were recorded in a species-rich pasture. Four existing field margins and a species-rich pasture were compared. Two margins were sown (one with a mixture of legumes dominated by white melilot Melilota alba, the other with clover and ley grasses dominated by red clover Trifolium pratense) and two were uncultivated (one with diverse weeds, the other with diverse herbs and grasses on a ditch bank). From 19 June–22 August 1989, butterflies and moths were recorded in the morning and evening at each site, three times/week.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

  2. Create uncultivated margins around intensive arable or pasture fields

    A site comparison study in 1989 on an arable farm in central Sweden (Lagerlöf et al. 1992) reported that uncultivated margins had a lower abundance but similar species richness of butterflies and moths to sown margins. Results were not tested for statistical significance. Over two months, fewer butterflies and moths were recorded in two uncultivated field margins (38–44 individuals) than in two sown margins (58–75 individuals), but the number of species was similar (uncultivated: 7 species; sown: 6 species). Fewer butterflies (24 individuals) of more species (8 species) were recorded in a species-rich pasture. Four existing field margins and a species-rich pasture were compared. Two margins were uncultivated (one with diverse weeds, the other with diverse herbs and grasses on a ditch bank) and two were sown (one with a mixture of legumes dominated by white melilot Melilota alba, the other with clover and ley grasses dominated by red clover Trifolium pratense). From 19 June–22 August 1989, butterflies and moths were recorded in the morning and evening at each site, three times/week.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

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