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Individual study: More predatory beetles on an arable field two years after manure application; an experiment at Huele, Belgium

Published source details

Pietraszko R. & De Clercq R. (1982) Influence of organic matter on epigeic arthropods. Mededelingen van de Faculteit Landbouwwetenschappen Universiteit Gent, 47, 721-728

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Use organic rather than mineral fertilizers Farmland Conservation

A small unreplicated trial at Huele, Belgium, from 1978 to 1980 (Pietraszko & De Clercq 1982) found more predatory beetles (Coleoptera) on an arable field two years after manure application than on a control plot, or a plot manured the year before monitoring. A single two hectare field was split into three plots: one control plot and two plots with manure applied at 40,000 kg/ha. One plot had manure in October 1978, the other in October 1979. The field was planted with potatoes, then wheat. More ground beetles (Carabidae) and rove beetles (Staphylinidae) were found on the plot manured in 1978. There were 2,197 ground beetles and 1,456 rove beetles in total, compared to fewer than 1,800 ground beetles and less than 1,300 rove beetles on the other plots. There was no difference between plots in the total number of male spiders (Araneae), but there were significantly fewer female spiders on the plot manured in 1978 than on the other two plots (379 female spiders in total, compared to over 430 on the other plots). In all three arthropod groups, individual species responded differently, although most species were caught more often on a manured plot.