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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Restored flower-rich grasslands support a diversity of ground beetles, but not the same species found in natural grasslands, in Dumfries, southern Scotland

Published source details

Blake R., Foster G.N., Fisher G.E.J. & Ligertwood G.L. (1996) Effects of management practices on the carabid fauna of newly established wildflower meadows in Scotland. Annales Zoologici Fennici, 33, 139-147


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Delay mowing or first grazing date on pasture or grassland Farmland Conservation

A trial at the Crichton Royal Farm, Dumfries, Scotland (Blake et al. 1996) found no detectable difference in the ground beetle (Carabidae) community between different cutting treatments on experimentally restored flower-rich grassland plots. A field was ploughed and sown with 17 plant species in August 1987 (five grasses, two clovers Trifolium spp. and twelve other flowering broadleaved species). It was managed without fertilizers. Half the field was cut once each July. The other half was cut twice, in May and July. Both were grazed in autumn and winter. Ground beetles were sampled in 18 pitfall traps (laid out in two lines) in each treatment area, between April and September in 1989 and again in 1993.

 

Delay mowing or first grazing date on pasture or grassland Natural Pest Control

A trial in Dumfries, UK (Blake et al. 1996) found no detectable difference in the ground beetle (Carabidae) community between different cutting treatments on experimentally restored flower-rich grassland plots. A field was ploughed and sown with 17 plant species in August 1987 (five grasses, two clovers Trifolium spp. and 12 other flowering broadleaved species) and managed without fertilizers. Half the field was cut once each July. The other half was cut twice, in May and July. Both were grazed in autumn and winter. Ground beetles were sampled in 18 pitfall traps (laid out in two lines) in each treatment area, between April and September in 1989 and 1993.

 

Restore/create species-rich, semi-natural grassland Farmland Conservation

A trial at the Crichton Royal Farm, Dumfries, Scotland (Blake et al. 1996) found more ground beetle (Carabidae) species at the restored wildflower sites (18-26 species/line of traps) than in more intensively managed grassland (17-23 species) or unmanaged grassland (15-16 species). However, an index of ground beetle diversity was highest at the unmanaged grassland nature reserve site. Beetles found there were larger, and a different set of species. The authors concluded that the beetle community found in natural grassland habitat in the area had not re-colonized the restored species-rich grasslands, even after five years. Two fields were ploughed and sown with 17 plant species in August 1987 (five grasses, two clovers Trifolium spp. and twelve other broadleaved flowering plant species). They were managed without fertilizers, cut once in July and grazed in autumn and winter. Ground beetles were sampled in 18 pitfall traps (laid out in two lines) in each treatment area, between April and September in 1989 and again in 1993. Ground beetles were also sampled at sites with continuously grazed perennial rye grass Lolium perenne, perennial rye grass fertilized with cattle slurry and mineral fertilizer and cut three times a year, and an unmanaged grassland on a nearby National Nature Reserve.