Strikingly high effect of geographic location on fauna and flora of European agricultural grasslands

Gisela Lüscher, Philippe Jeanneret, Manuel K. Schneider, Andrew Hector, Michaela Arndorfer, Katalin Balázs, A. Báldi, Debra Bailey, Jean Philippe Choisis, Peter Dennis, Sebastian Eiter, Z. Elek, Wendy Fjellstad, Phillipa K. Gillingham, Maximilian Kainz, Anikó Kovács-Hostyánszki, Kurt Jürgen Hülsbergen, Maurizio G. Paoletti, Susanne Papaja-Hülsbergen, Jean Pierre SarthouNorman Siebrecht, Sebastian Wolfrum, Felix Herzog

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Wild bees, spiders, earthworms and plants contribute considerably to biodiversity in grasslands and fulfil vital ecological functions. They also provide valuable services to agriculture, such as pollination, pest control and maintenance of soil quality. We investigated the responses of wild bees, spiders, earthworms and plants to geographic location, agricultural management and surrounding landscape variables using a dataset of 357 grassland fields within 88 farms in six European regions. Regions and taxonomic groups were selected to have contrasting properties, in order to capture the multiple facets of European grasslands. Geographic location alone had a dominant effect on the fauna and flora communities. Depending on the taxonomic group, various agricultural management and surrounding landscape variables alone had an additional significant effect on observed species richness, rarefied species richness and/or abundance, but it was always small. Bee species richness and abundance decreased with increasing number of mechanical operations (e.g. cutting). Observed spider species richness and abundance were unrelated to measured aspects of agricultural management or to surrounding landscape variables, whereas rarefied species richness showed significant relations to nitrogen input, habitat diversity and amount of grassland habitats in the surroundings. Earthworm abundance increased with increasing nitrogen input but earthworm species richness did not. Observed plant species richness decreased with increasing nitrogen input and increased when there were woody habitats in the surroundings. Rarefied plant species richness decreased with mechanical operations. Investigating multiple regions, taxonomic groups and aspects of fauna and flora communities allowed identifying the main factors structuring communities, which is necessary for designing appropriate conservation measures and ensuring continued supply of services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-290
Number of pages10
JournalBasic and Applied Ecology
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2015

Fingerprint

flora
species richness
grasslands
grassland
fauna
species diversity
earthworms
earthworm
agricultural management
bee
spider
Araneae
Apoidea
nitrogen
habitat
habitats
effect
ecological function
pest control
soil quality

Keywords

  • Abundance
  • Observed species richness
  • Partitioning of variation
  • Rarefied species richness
  • Species composition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Lüscher, G., Jeanneret, P., Schneider, M. K., Hector, A., Arndorfer, M., Balázs, K., ... Herzog, F. (2015). Strikingly high effect of geographic location on fauna and flora of European agricultural grasslands. Basic and Applied Ecology, 16(4), 281-290. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.baae.2015.04.003

Strikingly high effect of geographic location on fauna and flora of European agricultural grasslands. / Lüscher, Gisela; Jeanneret, Philippe; Schneider, Manuel K.; Hector, Andrew; Arndorfer, Michaela; Balázs, Katalin; Báldi, A.; Bailey, Debra; Choisis, Jean Philippe; Dennis, Peter; Eiter, Sebastian; Elek, Z.; Fjellstad, Wendy; Gillingham, Phillipa K.; Kainz, Maximilian; Kovács-Hostyánszki, Anikó; Hülsbergen, Kurt Jürgen; Paoletti, Maurizio G.; Papaja-Hülsbergen, Susanne; Sarthou, Jean Pierre; Siebrecht, Norman; Wolfrum, Sebastian; Herzog, Felix.

In: Basic and Applied Ecology, Vol. 16, No. 4, 01.06.2015, p. 281-290.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lüscher, G, Jeanneret, P, Schneider, MK, Hector, A, Arndorfer, M, Balázs, K, Báldi, A, Bailey, D, Choisis, JP, Dennis, P, Eiter, S, Elek, Z, Fjellstad, W, Gillingham, PK, Kainz, M, Kovács-Hostyánszki, A, Hülsbergen, KJ, Paoletti, MG, Papaja-Hülsbergen, S, Sarthou, JP, Siebrecht, N, Wolfrum, S & Herzog, F 2015, 'Strikingly high effect of geographic location on fauna and flora of European agricultural grasslands', Basic and Applied Ecology, vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 281-290. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.baae.2015.04.003
Lüscher, Gisela ; Jeanneret, Philippe ; Schneider, Manuel K. ; Hector, Andrew ; Arndorfer, Michaela ; Balázs, Katalin ; Báldi, A. ; Bailey, Debra ; Choisis, Jean Philippe ; Dennis, Peter ; Eiter, Sebastian ; Elek, Z. ; Fjellstad, Wendy ; Gillingham, Phillipa K. ; Kainz, Maximilian ; Kovács-Hostyánszki, Anikó ; Hülsbergen, Kurt Jürgen ; Paoletti, Maurizio G. ; Papaja-Hülsbergen, Susanne ; Sarthou, Jean Pierre ; Siebrecht, Norman ; Wolfrum, Sebastian ; Herzog, Felix. / Strikingly high effect of geographic location on fauna and flora of European agricultural grasslands. In: Basic and Applied Ecology. 2015 ; Vol. 16, No. 4. pp. 281-290.
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