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Gewählte Publikation:

Steiner, M; Ockinger, E; Karrer, G; Winsa, M; Jonsell, M.
(2016): Restoration of semi-natural grasslands, a success for phytophagous beetles (Curculionidae)
BIODIVERS CONSERV. 2016; 25(14): 3005-3022. FullText FullText_BOKU

Semi-natural pastures have rich plant and animal communities of high conservation value which depend on extensive management. As the area of such land decreases, abandoned semi-natural grasslands have been restored to re-establish biodiversity. Restoration schemes, which include thinning of woody plants and reintroduction of grazing, are mainly designed according to the responses of well-studied groups (such as vascular plants and birds). Weevils (Curculionidae) are a very diverse phytophagous beetle family. Here, we evaluated the restoration success of pastures for weevils (Curculionidae), by comparing their species diversity in abandoned, restored, and continuously grazed semi-natural pastures on 24 sites in central Sweden. Weevils were sampled by sweep-netting. We recorded 3019 weevil individuals belonging to 104 species. There was no statistically significant difference in species numbers between the pasture management treatments. However, weevil species composition of abandoned pastures differed from those in restored and continuously managed pastures, but there was no significant difference in community composition between restored and continuously grazed pastures. The abandoned sites tended to be dominated by polyphagous species, whereas the grazed sites contained more monophagous and oligophagous species. The number of weevil species was positively related to understory vegetation height and connectivity to other semi-natural grasslands and negatively related to the cover of trees and shrubs in the pastures. We conclude that restoration of abandoned semi-natural pastures is a good approach to restore weevil communities. To maintain a species rich weevil community, pastures should be managed to be relatively open, but still have patches of tall field-layer vegetation. Restoration and conservation measures should primarily be targeted on regions and landscapes where a high proportion of semi-natural grassland still remains.
Autor*innen der BOKU Wien:
Karrer Gerhard

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
Agro-environment scheme
Community composition

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