Differing responses of plants, flower visiting- and ground-dwelling arthropods to agri-environmental measures in arable fields
The continued decline in farmland biodiversity in Europe despite substantial funding for agri-environment schemes (AES) has prompted calls for more effective biodiversity conservation measures. Agricultural land accounts for 48% of the European territory and 59% of it is used as arable crops, which emphasizes the importance of arable habitats for biodiversity conservation in Europe. We compared biodiversity effects of out-of-productive measures (flowering fields) versus in-production measures (organic mono- and mixed-crops) in arable fields. Further, we took into account edge effects by comparing the edge and centre of arable fields. As biodiversity responses can greatly differ between taxa, we studied species richness and abundance of plants, carabids, spiders, bees and butterflies sampled over 2-3 years in southwest Germany. Results show taxa specific responses of agri-environmental measures and the need for a diversity of measures in order to promote overall biodiversity in agricultural landscapes.