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Gewählte Publikation:

Scharnhorst, VS; Fiedler, K; Frank, T; Moser, D; Rabl, D; Brandl, M; Hussain, RI; Walcher, R; Maas, B.
(2021): Ant community composition and functional traits in new grassland strips within agricultural landscapes
ECOL EVOL. 2021; 11(12): 8319-8331. FullText FullText_BOKU

Ongoing intensification and fragmentation of European agricultural landscapes dramatically reduce biodiversity and associated functions. Enhancing perennial noncrop areas holds great potential to support ecosystem services such as ant-mediated pest control. To study the potential of newly established grassland strips to enhance ant diversity and associated functions, we used hand collection data and predation experiments to investigate differences in (a) ant community composition and (b) biocontrol-related functional traits, and (c) natural pest control across habitats in cereal fields, old grasslands, and new grassland transects of three years of age. Ant species diversity was similar between new and old grasslands, but significantly higher in new grasslands than in surrounding cereal fields. Contrary, ant community composition of new grasslands was more similar to cereal fields and distinct from the species pool of old grasslands. The functional trait space covered by the ant communities showed the same distribution between old and new grasslands. Pest control did not differ significantly between habitat types and therefore could not be linked to the prevalence of functional ant traits related to biocontrol services in new grasslands. Our findings not only show trends of convergence between old and new grasslands, but also indicate that enhancing ant diversity through new grasslands takes longer than three years to provide comparable biodiversity and functionality. Synthesis and applications: Newly established grasslands can increase ant species richness and abundance and provide a consistent amount of biocontrol services in agroecosystems. However, three years after their establishment, new grasslands were still dominated by common agrobiont ant species and lacked habitat specialists present in old grasslands, which require a constant supply of food resources and long colony establishment times. New grasslands represent a promising measure for enhancing agricultural landscapes but must be preserved in the longer term to promote biodiversity and resilience of associated ecosystem services.
Autor*innen der BOKU Wien:
Brandl Manuela
Frank Thomas
Hussain Raja Imran
Maas Bea
Rabl Dominik
Scharnhorst Victor Sebastian
Walcher Ronnie
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Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
agricultural biodiversity
ant community composition
ecosystem services
functional traits

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