Overwintering of arthropods in soils of arable fields and adjacent semi-natural habitats

  • Published source details Pfiffner L. & Luka H. (2000) Overwintering of arthropods in soils of arable fields and adjacent semi-natural habitats. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 78, 215-222.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Plant nectar flower mixture/wildflower strips

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Plant nectar flower mixture/wildflower strips

    A replicated, controlled study in winter 1995-1996 in northwest Switzerland (Pfiffner & Luka 2000) found significantly higher abundances of arthropods in sown wildflower strips than in adjacent arable habitats in two of three paired sites on two arable farms. Species numbers were generally higher in the wildflower strips but this was not statistically tested. Many of the most frequent arthropod species were pest predators, e.g. rove beetles (Staphylinidae), ground beetles (Carabidae) and spiders (Araneae). Two of the wildflower strips (5 years old, 4-5 m-wide) were paired to winter wheat fields on an integrated farm. Both strips were sown with grass-clover mixtures and an additional 14 wildflower species and cut 2-3 times a year. The third wildflower strip (2 years old, 3 m-wide) was on an organic farm and paired to a ploughed strip (formerly wildflower strip, 6 months old). In each habitat, 24 soil samples were taken three times during the study period using a soil borer (25 cm depth, 8 cm diameter). In arable habitats, soil samples were taken 30 m parallel to the field margins.

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