Responses of plant, insect and spider biodiversity to local and landscape scale management intensity in cereal crops and grasslands

Péter Batáry, Andrea Holzschuh, Kirill Márk Orci, Ferenc Samu, Teja Tscharntke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

86 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to determine the relative effects of landscape scale management intensity, agroecosystem type, local management intensity and edges on diversity patterns of functional groups of plants, carabid beetles, spiders and grasshoppers. Nine landscapes were selected differing in percent intensively used agricultural area (IAA), each with a pair of organic and conventional winter wheat fields and a pair of organic and conventional mown meadows. Within fields, plants were surveyed in the edge and in the interior. Carabid beetles and spiders were captured by funnel traps, while grasshoppers were sweep-netted in the meadows. Diversity patterns of study organisms were affected both by local variables (local management, agroecosystem type and within-field position) and by landscape scale management intensity. Species richness of grasses, presumably because of sowing low-diversity mixtures, and hunting spiders decreased with percent cover of IAA. Meadows differed from wheat fields in that they had higher species richness of forbs and grasses, as well as higher densities of hunting spiders. In contrast, more carabid individuals, especially of non-carnivore species, were captured in wheat fields. In field edges with their reduced management intensity and increased immigration, species richness of plants, carabids and spiders was higher than in the interiors regardless of agroecosystem type and management. Organic management enhanced forb richness and cover in both agroecosystem types. Organic management also increased grass cover in wheat fields, but not in meadows, and promoted species richness of non-carnivore carabids and hunting spiders, but not grasshoppers. The results show that agri-environmental management needs to be targeted to the agroecosystem's field size, because higher edge area led to higher species richness. Organic management affected several functional groups positively (forbs, non-carnivore carabids, hunting spiders), while lower landscape scale management intensity only increased species richness of grasses and spiders. The great differences in responses of functional groups to local cereal and grassland as well as landscape management suggest implementing more scale and group specific targets for agri-environmental schemes to improve their efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-136
Number of pages7
JournalAgriculture, Ecosystems and Environment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2012



  • Carabid beetles
  • Functional groups
  • Grasshoppers
  • Meadows
  • Organic management
  • Species traits
  • Wheat fields

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science

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