Faculté des sciences

Density and nutritional condition of carabid beetles in wildflower areas of different age

Frank, Thomas ; Kehrli, Patrik ; Germann, Christoph

In: Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 2007, vol. 120, no. 2-4, p. 377-383

Density and nutritional condition of the five carabid beetle species Agonum mülleri, Anchomenus dorsalis, Anisodactylus binotatus, Pterostichus vernalis and Poecilus cupreus was studied. Carabids were caught in sixteen 1–4-year-old wildflower areas, identified and counted, their nutritional condition was calculated and calculations were related to habitat... Plus

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    Summary
    Density and nutritional condition of the five carabid beetle species Agonum mülleri, Anchomenus dorsalis, Anisodactylus binotatus, Pterostichus vernalis and Poecilus cupreus was studied. Carabids were caught in sixteen 1–4-year-old wildflower areas, identified and counted, their nutritional condition was calculated and calculations were related to habitat parameters (i.e. wildflower area age, vegetation cover, soil water content, habitat size, surrounding landscape composition) and sex.Whereas the number of Anisodactylus binotatus caught responded positively to succession in wildflower areas, A. mülleri numbers tended to decrease and the other three species were unaffected. In a stepwise multiple regression species affiliation, sex and age of wildflower area explained together 98.5% of the variance in the pooled nutritional condition of Anchomenus dorsalis, Anisodactylus binotatus, A. mülleri and P. vernalis. Age of wildflower area alone explained 61.7% of the variance and age increased the nutritional condition of carabids. Correspondingly, nutritional condition of Poecilus cupreus was positively correlated with the age of wildflower area. Overall, the nutritional condition of the carabid assemblage studied increased from the first to the second year and then remained stable. To keep the proportion of 1-year-old wildflower areas low, wildflower areas should therefore be maintained for several years to improve the life conditions of carabid beetles and to enhance their beneficial effects in agroecosystems.