Flower abundance and vegetation height as predictors fornectar-feeding insect occurrence in Swedish semi-natural grasslands
2016 (English)In: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, ISSN 0167-8809, E-ISSN 1873-2305, Vol. 230, 47-54 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
With steadily shrinking areas of species-rich semi-natural grasslands in Europe, the management of theremaining fragments becomes ever more crucial for the preservation of key elements of biodiversity inthe agricultural landscape. Detailed knowledge about species-wise, as well as group-wise, relationshipscan provide guidelines for conservation management and a basis for predictions about differentmanagement scenarios. In the present study, we related the occurrence of species of bumblebees (N = 12),butterflies (31) and day-flying moths (4) and their total richness in 424 sites in southern Sweden to threegrass sward attributes, (i)flower abundance, (ii) height of the grass sward and (iii) within-site variation inheight of vegetation. The abundance of nectar-bearingflowers proved overall the best predictor ofrichness and in most of the occurrence-based species-wise models. However, both high grass swardheight and high variation in grass sward height contributed significantly to species richness andoccurrence of individual species. There was a tendency for bumblebees to respond less positively toflower abundance and vegetation height than butterflies and moths. One expectation was that grasslandspecialists, red-listed species, or species decreasing in other part of Europe, would be more responsive totall vegetation orflower abundance but there was no support for this in the data. Hence, managementstrategies that promote common species will also benefit all, or most of, the rare ones as well.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 230, 47-54 p.
Grazing, Management, Nectar, Pollinator, Semi-natural grassland, Sweden
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-129210DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2016.05.029OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-129210DiVA: diva2:936234