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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Diversity of grasshoppers, butterflies, bees and wasps in response to grazing intensity in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany

Published source details

Kruess A. & Tscharntke T. (2002) Grazing intensity and the diversity of grasshoppers, butterflies, and trap-nesting bees and wasps. Conservation Biology, 16, 1570-1580


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

Reduce grazing intensity on pastures Bee Conservation

In a comparison of six intensively (5.5 cattle/ha) and six lightly (1.5 cattle/ha) cattle-grazed meadows with six ungrazed meadows in Germany, meadows with light grazing had a greater number of individual cavity-nesting bees, wasps and their brood parasites than meadows with intensive grazing  (Kruess & Tscharntke 2002). There was an average of 47 emerging individuals/lightly grazed site, compared to 27 emerging individuals/intensively grazed site. Reduced intensity of grazing did not significantly increase the number of bee and wasp species.

Reduce grazing intensity on grassland (including seasonal removal of livestock) Farmland Conservation

A replicated comparison of six intensively (5.5 cattle/ha) and six lightly (1.5 cattle/ha) cattle-grazed meadows with six ungrazed meadows in Germany (Kruess & Tscharntke 2002) found that meadows with light grazing had a greater number of individual cavity-nesting bees, wasps (Hymenoptera) and their brood parasites than meadows with intensive grazing. There was an average of 47 emerging individuals/lightly grazed site, compared to 27 emerging individuals/intensively grazed site. Reduced intensity of grazing did not significantly increase the number of bee and wasp species. Both abundance and total species richness of these insects were significantly higher on ungrazed grassland (11.5 species) than on intensively (4.7 species) or lightly (6.2 species) grazed pastures. These results were linked to an increase in vegetation height as grazing intensity is reduced.