The impact of hedge-forest connectivity and microhabitat conditions on spider and carabid beetle assemblages in agricultural landscapes

Christina Fischer, Hella Schlinkert, Martin Ludwig, Andrea Holzschuh, Róbert Gallé, Teja Tscharntke, P. Batáry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Agricultural intensification in terms of decreasing landscape complexity and connectivity has negatively affected biodiversity. Linear landscape elements composed of woody vegetation like hedges may counteract this negative trend by providing habitats and enhancing habitat connectivity for different organisms. Here, we tested the impacts of habitat type (forest edges vs. hedges) and hedges' isolation (connected vs. isolated hedges) from forests as well as microhabitat conditions (percentage of bare ground and width) on trait-specific occurrence of ground-dwelling arthropods, namely spiders and carabids. Arthropods were grouped by habitat specialisation (forest vs. open-habitat species vs. generalists), hunting strategy (web-building or hunting spiders) and dispersal ability (wing morphology of carabids). Spider and carabid assemblage composition was strongly influenced by habitat type and isolation, but not by microhabitat conditions. Activity density of forest species and brachypterous carabids was higher in forest edges compared to hedges, whereas open-habitat species and macropterous carabids showed reverse patterns, with no effects of isolation. Occurrence of generalist carabids, but not spiders, was higher in hedges compared to forest edges. Habitat type and isolation did not affect spiders with different hunting strategy. Microhabitat conditions were less important for spider and carabid occurrence. Our study concludes that on a landscape scale, type of linear woody habitat is more important for arthropod occurrence than isolation effects and microhabitat conditions, depending on traits. Hedges provide refuges for species specialised to open habitats and species with high dispersal ability, such as macropterous carabids. Forest edges enhance persistence of species specialised to forests and species with low dispersal ability, such as brachypterous carabids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1027-1038
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Insect Conservation
Volume17
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013

Fingerprint

microhabitat
spider
microhabitats
Araneae
connectivity
beetle
agricultural land
Coleoptera
forest edge
habitat
habitats
edge effects
habitat type
arthropod
hunting
arthropods
generalist
wing morphology
isolation effect
agricultural intensification

Keywords

  • Dispersal ability
  • Forest species
  • Generalists
  • Habitat isolation
  • Habitat type
  • Open-habitat species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Insect Science

Cite this

The impact of hedge-forest connectivity and microhabitat conditions on spider and carabid beetle assemblages in agricultural landscapes. / Fischer, Christina; Schlinkert, Hella; Ludwig, Martin; Holzschuh, Andrea; Gallé, Róbert; Tscharntke, Teja; Batáry, P.

In: Journal of Insect Conservation, Vol. 17, No. 5, 10.2013, p. 1027-1038.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fischer, Christina ; Schlinkert, Hella ; Ludwig, Martin ; Holzschuh, Andrea ; Gallé, Róbert ; Tscharntke, Teja ; Batáry, P. / The impact of hedge-forest connectivity and microhabitat conditions on spider and carabid beetle assemblages in agricultural landscapes. In: Journal of Insect Conservation. 2013 ; Vol. 17, No. 5. pp. 1027-1038.
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