Study

The Swiss agri-environment scheme enhances pollinator diversity and plant reproductive success in nearby intensively managed farmland

  • Published source details Albrecht M., Duelli P., Müller C., Kleijn D. & Schmid B. (2007) The Swiss agri-environment scheme enhances pollinator diversity and plant reproductive success in nearby intensively managed farmland. Journal of Applied Ecology, 813-822.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Reduce the intensity of farmland meadow management

Action Link
Bee Conservation

Reduce management intensity on permanent grasslands (several interventions at once)

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation

Pay farmers to cover the costs of conservation measures (as in agri-environment schemes or conservation incentives)

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation

Reduce management intensity on permanent grasslands (several interventions at once)

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Reduce the intensity of farmland meadow management

    A replicated trial of 13 meadows under the Swiss Ecological Compensation Area agri-environment scheme in 2004 found that the species richness and abundance of solitary and social bees visiting potted flowering plants were higher in meadows under the scheme than in adjacent, intensively managed meadows (Albrecht et al. 2007).

  2. Reduce management intensity on permanent grasslands (several interventions at once)

    A replicated, paired, controlled study in 2004 in 13 hay meadows in Aargau, Switzerland (Albrecht et al. 2007) found that meadows managed with low inputs had a higher species richness and abundance of butterflies compared to intensively managed meadows. Species richness and abundance of butterflies was higher in low-input meadows than in intensively managed meadows (data presented as model results). However, species richness and abundance of butterflies in intensively managed meadows did not change with distance from the low-input meadows (data presented as model results). The 13 low-input meadows (0.48–2.15 ha) had been managed as “Ecological Compensation Areas”, with no fertilizer application and not mown until after 15 June, for at least 5 years, and were paired with adjacent intensively managed meadows. In May 2004 four pots, each containing one plant of radish Raphanus sativus, clustered bellflower Campanula glomerata, and common catsear Hypochaeris radicata, were placed in each low-input meadow, and at 25, 50, 100 and 200 m into the adjacent intensive meadow. Flower visiting insects were collected between 10:00 and 16:00 in one 20-minute session/station in each of May, July and August 2004.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

  3. Pay farmers to cover the costs of conservation measures (as in agri-environment schemes or conservation incentives)

    A replicated, paired, controlled study in 2004 in 13 hay meadows in Aargau, Switzerland (Albrecht et al. 2007) found that paying farmers to manage meadows for wildlife resulted in higher species richness and abundance of butterflies compared to intensively managed meadows. Species richness and abundance of butterflies was higher in meadows managed under agri-environment schemes (AES) than in intensively managed meadows (data presented as model results). However, species richness and abundance of butterflies in intensively managed meadows was the same closer to and further from AES meadows (data presented as model results). The 13 low-input meadows (0.48–2.15 ha) had been managed as “Ecological Compensation Areas”, with no fertilizer application and not mown until after 15 June, for at least 5 years, and were paired with adjacent intensively managed meadows. In May 2004 four pots, each containing one plant of radish Raphanus sativus, clustered bellflower Campanula glomerata, and common catsear Hypochaeris radicata, were placed in each AES meadow, and at 25, 50, 100 and 200 m into the adjacent intensive meadow. Flower visiting insects were collected between 10:00 and 16:00 in one 20-minute session/station in each of May, July and August 2004.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

  4. Reduce management intensity on permanent grasslands (several interventions at once)

    A replicated trial in 2004 of 13 meadows managed under the Swiss Ecological Compensation Area agri-environment scheme for at least five years (Albrecht et al. 2007) found that the species richness and abundance of hoverflies (Syrphidae), solitary bees (Apidae) and large-sized pollinators (mainly social bees and butterflies (Lepidoptera)) visiting potted flowering plants were higher in meadows under the scheme than in adjacent, intensively managed meadows. The total area of each Ecological Compensation Area meadow (0.48 - 2.15 ha) had no significant influence on the wild pollinator communities in this study.

     

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