Flower strip networks offer promising long term effects on pollinator species richness in intensively cultivated agricultural areas

  • Published source details Buhk C., Oppermann R., Schanowski A., Bleil R., Lüdemann J. & Maus C. (2018) Flower strip networks offer promising long term effects on pollinator species richness in intensively cultivated agricultural areas. BMC Ecology, 18, 1-13.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Plant nectar flower mixture/wildflower strips

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Plant nectar flower mixture/wildflower strips

    A replicated, controlled, before-and-after study in 2010–2015 at two arable sites in Baden-Württemberg, Germany (Buhk et al, 2018) found that five years after starting to sow wildflower strips butterfly species richness increased at one site, but not at the other, compared to before sowing, and there was no difference in species diversity between before and after sowing at either site. At one site there were more butterfly species five years after sowing wildflower strips than before sowing (maximum species after: 21; before: 10), and on average there were seven more species in the areas sown with wildflowers than in areas not sown with wildflowers. At the other site there were no differences. There were no differences in species diversity between before and after sowing wildflowers in the areas that had been sown at either site. From 2011–2015, mixtures of annual seeds were sown in spring in strips distributed across 50 ha areas on two farms. From 2012–2015 perennial and winter-hardy seeds were also sown in autumn. On each farm, a 50 ha area with no wildflower sowing was also monitored as a control. From 2010–2015, butterflies were surveyed along 250 m transects in the most florally diverse areas of the treatment and control areas (5 transects in the treatment areas, 4 in the controls, in both farms). Each transect was surveyed twice daily on five days between April and August each year.

    (Summarised by: Eleanor Bladon)

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