Differentiated management of alfalfa fields: a positive impact on butterfly populations (Lepidotera: Rhopalocera)
Published source details
Manil L. & Chague J. (2014) Gestion différenciée des parcelles de luzerne. Un impact positif sur les papillons de jour (Lepidoptera : Rhopalocera). Revue d'Écologie (La Terre et La Vie), 69, 101-111.
Published source details Manil L. & Chague J. (2014) Gestion différenciée des parcelles de luzerne. Un impact positif sur les papillons de jour (Lepidoptera : Rhopalocera). Revue d'Écologie (La Terre et La Vie), 69, 101-111.
This study is summarised as evidence for the following.
Leave unharvested crop headlands within arable fieldsAction Link
Leave unharvested crop headlands within arable fields
A replicated, paired, site comparison study in 2009–2010 on 24 farms in Champagne-Ardennes and Haute-Normandie, France (Manil & Chagué 2014) found that unharvested alfalfa Medicago sativa headlands had a higher abundance and species richness of butterflies than harvested alfalfa or wheat Triticum spp. fields. In unharvested strips of alfalfa, the abundance (53 individuals/transect) and species richness (4 species/transect) of butterflies was higher than in harvested alfalfa (abundance: 12–15 individuals/transect; richness: 2–3 species/transect) or in conventional wheat fields (abundance: 3–6 individuals/transect; richness: 1–2 species/transect). See paper for individual species results. On each of 24 farms, one alfalfa field was harvested conventionally 4–5 times/year, one alfalfa field had a rotational 7-m strip left unmown during each harvest, and one winter wheat field was managed conventionally. From May–September 2009–2010, butterflies were surveyed visually five times/year on two 200–400-m transects in each field (15–17 farms surveyed/year).
(Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)