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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effectiveness of a newly created habitat strip as dispersal corridor for invertebrates in an agricultural landscape

Published source details

Gruttke H. & Willecke S. (2000) Effectiveness of a newly created habitat strip as dispersal corridor for invertebrates in an agricultural landscape. Environmental Encounters Series: Workshop on ecological corridors for invertebrates: strategies of dispersal and recolonisation in today's agricultural and forestry landscapes, Strasbourg, 67-80.


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

Connect areas of natural or semi-natural habitat Farmland Conservation

The same unreplicated site comparison study as (Gruttke 1994), between 1982 and 1998 (Gruttke & Willecke 2000) found marked differences in the effectiveness of the meadow and hedge-island habitat strip as a dispersal corridor for four invertebrate taxa: ground beetles (Carabidae), harvestmen (Opiliones), spiders (Araneae) and snails (Gastropoda). Nine years after planting, the strip did not (or not yet) function well as a dispersal corridor for ground beetles or harvestmen. Snails were the best colonizers, with the highest proportion of species migrating to the strip, including target woodland species. The authors suggest that passive travel by small snails on mammals or birds may have contributed to this. Spiders also had a high proportion of immigrating species, but many of them were not present in the source habitat and may have passively ‘ballooned’ in from the surrounding area, rather than using the strip as a dispersal corridor. The authors conclude that while the hedge islands appear to be working as stepping stones for species able to travel passively, this is not true for actively moving invertebrates such as ground beetles or harvestmen, perhaps because of the age, size or connectedness of hedge islands at the time of study. In addition to the sampling regime described in (Gruttke 1994), invertebrates were sampled from the surrounding area in 1992-1994 and 1997-1998. Spiders, harvestmen and ground beetles were sampled using pitfall traps and snails were sampled by flotation (in 1984, 1987 and 1990).

Plant new hedges Farmland Conservation

The same unreplicated site comparison study as (Gruttke 1994), between 1982 and 1998 (Gruttke & Willecke 2000) found marked differences in the effectiveness of the hedge-island and meadow habitat strip as a dispersal corridor for four invertebrate taxa: ground beetles (Carabidae), harvestmen (Opiliones), spiders (Araneae) and snails (Gastropoda). Nine years after planting, the hedge-island and meadow strip did not (or not yet) function well as a dispersal corridor for ground beetles or harvestmen. Snails were the best colonizers, with the highest proportion of species migrating to the strip, including target woodland species. The authors suggest that passive travel by small snails on mammals or birds may have contributed to this. Spiders also had a high proportion of immigrating species, but many of them were not present in the source habitat and may have passively ‘ballooned’ in from the surrounding area, rather than using the strip as a dispersal corridor. The authors conclude that while the hedge islands appear to be working as stepping stones for species able to travel passively, this is not true for actively moving invertebrates, such as ground beetles or harvestmen, perhaps because of the age, size or connectedness of hedge islands at the time of study. In addition to the sampling regime described in (Gruttke 1994), invertebrates were sampled from the surrounding area in 1992-1994 and 1997-1998. Spiders, harvestmen and ground beetles were sampled using pitfall traps and snails were sampled by flotation (in 1984, 1987 and 1990).