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Individual study: No clear beneficial effects of ecological compensation areas on spider and butterfly communities found in a case study in two different arable regions in Switzerland

Published source details

Jeanneret P., Schüpbach B., Steiger J., Waldburger M. & Bigler F. (2000) Evaluation of ecological measures: Spiders and butterflies. Agrarforschung, 7, 112-116


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

Reduce management intensity on permanent grasslands (several interventions at once) Farmland Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in summer 1997 and 1998 in 109 sites of two arable regions in Switzerland (Jeanneret et al. 2000) found mixed effects of reduced management intensity on grasslands on butterflies (Lepidoptera) and spiders (Araneae). For butterflies, species richness did not differ significantly between low-intensity or extensively managed meadows and intensively managed meadows, however butterfly species richness was higher in extensively managed meadows (but not in low-intensity meadows) than in cereal fields. The number of spider species was found to be higher in low-intensity meadows (but not in extensively managed meadows) than in cereal fields, but no difference was detected between extensive, low- and high-intensively managed meadows. Spider community composition differed between the intensively managed meadows and the two meadow types with reduced management intensity. The investigated habitat types were forest edges, arable fields (winter wheat and intensively managed meadow) and ecological compensation areas including hedgerows, extensively managed and low-intensity meadows, wildflower strips on set-aside land and orchard meadows. Spiders were collected in pitfall traps in May and June 1997. Butterflies were observed during six visits (10 minutes, covering 0.25 ha) in each site in 1998. This was part of the same study as (Jeanneret et al. 2003a, Jeanneret et al. 2003b).

 

Plant nectar flower mixture/wildflower strips Farmland Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in summer 1997 and 1998 in Switzerland (Jeanneret et al. 2000) found that the number of spider (Araneae) and butterfly (Lepidoptera) species in wildflower strips sown on set-aside areas did not differ significantly from winter wheat fields. The number of spider species in wildflower strips was among the lowest reported (average 20 species), significantly lower than in low-intensity meadows (more than 25 species) and forest edges (more than 35 species). Butterfly species richness in the wildflower strips (more than 6 species) differed significantly only from forest edges (less than 4 species). However, for both taxa, wildflower strips attracted some species that were never or only rarely found in other habitats. The investigated habitat types were forest edges, arable fields (winter wheat and intensively managed meadow) and ecological compensation areas including hedgerows, extensively managed and low-intensity meadows, wildflower strips on set-aside land and orchard meadows. There were 109 sites in two arable regions. Spiders were collected in pitfall traps in May and June 1997. Butterflies were observed during six visits (10 minutes, covering 0.25 ha) in each site in 1998. This was part of the same study as Jeanneret et al. 2003.