Study

Relationships between polyphagous predator density and overwintering habitat within arable field margins and beetle banks

  • Published source details Collins K.L., Wilcox A., Chaney K. & Boatman N.D. (1996) Relationships between polyphagous predator density and overwintering habitat within arable field margins and beetle banks. British Crop Protection Conference: Pests and Diseases, Farnham, 635-640.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Create beetle banks

Action Link
Farmland Conservation

Create beetle banks

Action Link
Natural Pest Control
  1. Create beetle banks

    A replicated study in the winters of 1993-1994 to 1995-1996 on a lowland arable estate in Leicestershire, UK (Collins et al. 1996) (this study was continued in (Collins et al. 2003)) found that the average total predator, ground beetle (Carabidae) and rove beetle (Staphylinidae) (excluding aphid-specific species) density was higher in one hedge than one beetle bank over three winters. Out of five different grass species and areas of naturally regenerated vegetation, false oat-grass Arrhenatherum elatius, cock’s-foot Dactylis glomerata and timothy Phleum pratense held the highest densities of total predators, ground beetles and rove beetles on two other beetle banks. Beetle banks were 360-400 m long, 2-2.5 m wide, and sown in 1992-1993. Invertebrates were collected from soil samples using a cylindrical borer. This study was part of the same experimental set-up as (Moreby & Southway 2002, Murray et al. 2002, Bence et al. 2003, Collins et al. 2003).

     

  2. Create beetle banks

    A replicated study in the winters of 1993-1996 in Leicestershire, UK (Collins et al. 1996) found a beetle bank had lower densities of invertebrate predators (total of all groups combined), ground beetles (Carabidae) and rove beetles (Staphylinidae) than a nearby hedge across the study period. Total predator, ground beetle and rove beetle densities increased with age of beetle bank and by the third winter there were similar total predator and ground beetle densities between the hedge and beetle bank. Spider (Araneae) densities were similar between habitats. Total predator, ground beetle and rove beetle densities on beetle banks were highest in false oat grass Arrhenatherum elatius, cock’s-foot Dactylis glomerata and timothy Phleum pratense. Densities were lowest in crested dog’s-tail Cynosurus cristatus. In the first test, one 400 m-long beetle bank sown with cock’s-foot and Yorkshire fog Holcus lanatus (2.5 m wide, 0.5 m high) in an 18 ha field was compared with a 400 m-long hedge on the field edge (both habitats divided into 100 m blocks). In the second test, two 360 m-long beetle banks in an 8.6 ha field were divided into twenty 18 m-long blocks, sown with one of nine different grass treatments or left to naturally regenerate. In both tests invertebrates were collected from 11.5 cm diameter soil samples (3-10 samples/block). This study was part of the same experimental set-up as Moreby & Southway 2002 and Collins et al. 2003.

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