Augmentation of beneficial arthropods by strip-management. 4. Surface activity, movements and activity density of abundant carabid beetles in a cereal field

  • Published source details Lys J.A. & Nentwig W. (1992) Augmentation of beneficial arthropods by strip-management. 4. Surface activity, movements and activity density of abundant carabid beetles in a cereal field. Oecologia, 92, 373-382.


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 the summers of 1990-1991 in a cereal field in Switzerland (Lys & Nentwig 1992) found higher recapture rates of three ground beetle species (Carabidae: Carabus granulatus, Poecilus cupreus, Pterostichus melanarius) in wildflower strips (57.7%, 41.8%, and 19.8% recaptured in a different trap to the trap of first capture) than in the cereal control area (20.0%, 26.7% and 8.8% recaptured) indicating these species were more active in the wildflower strips. The activity density of four ground beetle species (P. cupreus, Pterostichus anthracinus, Pt. melanarius, C. granulatus) was significantly higher in wildflower margins than in the crop. In 1991, two species moved significantly more from the cereal crop to the wildflower margins than vice versa (P. cupreus and Pt. melanarius). After harvest, only two species Harpalus rufipes and Pterostichus niger showed a strong association with wildflower strips, with most individuals being recaptured in wildflower strips, irrespective of the habitat they were initially caught in (crop or wildflower strip). Four wildflower strips (1.5 m-wide) were studied. Strips were sown in 1989 at 12, 24 and 36 m apart in one part of a winter cereal field. The remaining area of cereal field was used as a control. After establishment, strips were left untreated for three years. Ground beetles were sampled from May-September 1990 and April-July 1991 using a network of numbered pitfall traps (diameter 7 cm) placed in rows in the strips and the cereal field. Captured beetles were individually marked and released about 10 cm from the trap they were caught in. This study was performed within the same experimental site as (Nentwig 1989, Bürki & Hausammann 1993, Lys & Nentwig 1994, Lys et al. 1994, Zangger et al. 1994).

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