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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Habitat quality of wildflower strips for common voles (Microtus arvalis) and its relevance for agriculture.

Published source details

Briner T., Nentwig W. & Airoldi J.P. (2005) Habitat quality of wildflower strips for common voles (Microtus arvalis) and its relevance for agriculture. , 105, 173-179


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

Plant nectar flower mixture/wildflower strips Farmland Conservation

A replicated study in 2000 and 2001 south of Bern, Switzerland (Briner et al. 2005) found that most home ranges and core regions of common vole Microtus arvalis territories lay within a six-year-old wildflower strip (91% total home range, 100% core region found within wildflower strip). Thus, vole activity in the adjacent crop fields (maize and wheat in 2000, maize and sugar beet in 2001) was very low. Vole home ranges in the wildflower strip were small (median size 125 m2) compared to findings from other studies and habitats. The authors suggest that an abundance of food in the wildflower strip may account for the small range size. Daily home range sizes were stable between days (overlap of 61-99%). The wildflower strip (130 x 6 m) was dominated by tansy Tanacetum vulgare, Fuller’s teasel Dipsacus fullonum, wild parsnip Pastinaca sativa and grasses, and had not been mown. In total, 118 voles were captured using Longworth traps. Radio-transmitters (2 g) were attached with a nylon cable around the animals’ neck. Each vole was tracked every 60 seconds using automatic telemetry for one to five days. Data from 40 voles tracked for at least 24 h with >100 bearings per day were analysed. Individual home ranges were analysed in 2000 and 2001, in 2002 above ground activity patterns of 20 voles were analysed.