Study

Ground beetles (Coleoptera, Carabidae) in 2 types of maize fields in Hungary

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Increase crop diversity

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Increase crop diversity

    A site comparison study from 1977 to 1979 in Hungary (Lovei 1984) found that monoculture fields had a more stable and abundant ground beetle (Carabidae) community than fields within a rotation.  Significantly more beetles were caught in a monoculture maize Zea mays field than in rotation (maize/wheat) fields each year (1,203-2,511 vs 368-1,057 beetles) and the activity density was almost three times higher in the monoculture (5.1 vs 1.6 beetles/trap/week). Ground beetle species diversity, however, was higher on rotation fields (18-26 species/year) than the monoculture (18-21). The activity periods of the most common species were longer in the monoculture. The ground beetle community also appeared to be more stable in the monoculture, with 65% of species being caught in the spring and autumn compared to just 31% caught in both seasons in the rotation fields. Each year two types of maize field were studied: the monoculture had been planted with maize for almost 20 years (400 ha), rotation fields previously sown with winter wheat were planted with maize in the first year of the study (28-78 ha). Monoculture and rotation fields were chosen to be as near to each other as possible (200-30,000 m apart). Invertebrates were sampled using a line of 10 pitfall traps extending from the field margin towards the centre of each field. Traps were checked weekly from May to August (monoculture) or October (rotations) each year.

     

Output references

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