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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Resource provision for farmland gamebirds: the value of beetle banks

Published source details

Thomas S.R., Goulson D. & Holland J.M. (2001) Resource provision for farmland gamebirds: the value of beetle banks. Annals of Applied Biology, 139, 111-118


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

Create beetle banks Farmland Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in 1998-1999 (winter-summer) on five farm estates in Hampshire and Wiltshire, UK (Thomas et al. 2001) found that diversity and average total abundance of chick-food invertebrates in sweep-net samples was higher in permanent field margins (65 individuals from 15 samples) than beetle banks (47 individuals from 15 samples) in 1999, and this was consistent between farms. In winter, the amount of plant litter, dead grass and tussocks that form important nesting material for game birds was higher in beetle banks (61%) than in field margins (27%), but overall vegetation cover in the two habitats was not different, and similar to that in summer (62-97%). Older beetle banks had higher diversity but not abundance of invertebrates. Invertebrate diversity also increased with plant diversity in both beetle banks and field margins. Invertebrate abundance and diversity was measured by vacuum suction-sampling and sweep-netting. Vegetation cover and composition was assessed with 0.71 m2 quadrats. Four to 22 banks/margins on one to five estates were included in the study in the two years. This study was part of the same experimental set-up as (Thomas et al. 2000, Thomas 2001, Thomas 2002, Thomas et al. 2002).