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Individual study: Numbers of Carabid species, but not abundance, was higher in arable fields with compost rather than inorganic fertiliser applications in eastern Austria

Published source details

Idinger J., Kromp B. & Steinberger K.H. (1996) Ground photoeclector evaluation of the numbers of carabid beetles and spiders found in and around cereal fields treated with either inorganic or compost fertilizers. Acta Jutlandica, 71, 255-267


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

Use organic rather than mineral fertilizers Farmland Conservation

A small controlled study in three fields on an organic farm at Obere Lobau, Austria (Idinger et al. 1996) (same study as (Idinger 1995, Idinger & Kromp 1997)) found that numbers of species, but not abundance of spiders (Araneae) and ground beetles (Carabidae) were higher in arable fields with compost rather than inorganic fertilizer applications. Numbers of ground beetle species were higher in compost and unfertilized plots (18 species) than inorganic plots (12), as was species diversity (Shannon’s H: unfertilized 2.1, compost 1.8, inorganic 1.2). Ground beetle abundance did not vary with treatment (4-5 individuals/trap). There were variations in the responses of different species with treatment. Numbers of spider species were higher in compost and unfertilized plots (30) compared to inorganic plots (21), species diversity did not differ (Shannon’s H: 2.2-2.3). Seven money spider (Linyphiidae) species made up approximately 85% of spiders in all treatments, thus numbers of additional species varied. Spider abundance did not vary with treatment (6-7/trap). Two plots (185 x 10 m) in a 4 ha wheat/rye field were either unfertilized since 1989 or fertilized with compost (80 t/ha in 1989 and 1991). A 7.6 ha field (potatoes/bean/cereal) received inorganic fertilizer (1990: 30 N, 75 P, 120 K kg/ha, 1991: 112 N, 104 Ca kg/ha) and herbicides. Five ground photoeclectors (0.25 m²) were placed 20 m apart in the centre of plots to sample arthropods. Traps were moved each month and emptied every two weeks, 5-6 times between May-November 1991-1992.