Study

Set-aside promotes insect and plant diversity in a Central European country

  • Published source details Kovács-Hostyánszki A., Kőrösi Á, Orci K.M., Batáry P. & Báldi A. (2011) Set-aside promotes insect and plant diversity in a Central European country. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 141, 296-301.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide or retain set‐aside areas in farmland

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation

Maintain species-rich, semi-natural grassland

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Provide or retain set‐aside areas in farmland

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2008 in a mixed farming region in Hungary (Kovács-Hostyánszki et al. 2011) found that sown set-aside fields had a higher abundance and species richness of butterflies than cereal fields, and this did not change with set-aside age. In set-aside fields both the abundance (28–33 individuals/field) and species richness (7–9 species/field) of butterflies were higher than in winter wheat fields (abundance: 4 individuals/field; richness: 2 species/field). There was no difference between 1-, 2- and 3-year-old set-aside fields (see paper for details). See paper for details of individual species. Seventeen set-aside fields were sown with one legume and two grass species in autumn 2005–2007, had no chemicals applied, and were mown once/year in June. Sixteen winter wheat fields were fertilized (70 kg/ha/year nitrogen), sprayed once/year in spring with herbicide and insecticide, and harvested in June. From May–August 2008, butterflies were surveyed on fixed transects four times in each field. Each field was surveyed for 10, 20 or 30 minutes, depending on field size.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

  2. Maintain species-rich, semi-natural grassland

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2008 in a mixed farming region in Hungary (Kovács-Hostyánszki et al. 2011) found that established semi-natural grassland supported a higher abundance and species richness of butterflies than cereal fields. In semi-natural grassland fields both the abundance (74 individuals/field) and species richness (8 species/field) of butterflies were higher than in winter wheat fields (abundance: 4 individuals/field; richness: 2 species/field). See paper for details of individual species. From at least 2005, six established semi-natural grassland fields had no fertilizer or chemicals applied, and were either lightly grazed or mown once/year in May–June. Sixteen winter wheat fields were fertilized (70 kg/ha/year nitrogen), sprayed once/year in spring with herbicide and insecticide, and harvested in June. From May–August 2008, butterflies were surveyed on fixed transects four times in each field. Each field was surveyed for 10, 20 or 30 minutes, depending on field size.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

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