Age of grassy strips influences biodiversity of ground beetles in organic agro-ecosystems


The following investigations were conducted to evaluate grassy strips of different age for organic arable fields. From September 2009 to October 2010, adult ground beetles were sampled by pitfall traps in three grassy strips (2, 4, and 9 years old), their adjacent cropping areas, their field edges, and a control field (age 0) in Schleswig-Holstein, northern Germany. Carabid assemblages were similar among the fields, strips and edges. Grassy strips and edges had higher species richness and lower activity density than the control field. Activity density increased with increasing distance from the field edge in grassy strips and in the adjacent fields. In cropping areas, species richness andShannon’s H increased with increasing age of strips, whereas evenness and activity density decreased with increasing distance from the field edges. Compared to carnivorous and phytophagous carbides, omnivorous species were affected less by age of strips and distance from field margins. In the strips, species richness of the dominant species increased with age and decreased with distance, but the effect of strip age on species richness was still found in more than150 mfrom the margin. A positive effect of the age of grassy strips on species richness was found for cropping fields, grassy strips and field edges. Old grassy strips also exerted greater influence on the species richness and biodiversity of the adjacent arable fields than the younger strips.

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Ranjha, M. and Irmler, U. (2013) Age of grassy strips influences biodiversity of ground beetles in organic agro-ecosystems. Agricultural Sciences, 4, 209-218. doi: 10.4236/as.2013.45030.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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