Landscape-scale crop diversity interacts with local management to determine ground beetle diversity

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Crop diversification and maintenance of semi-natural habitats (grasslands and field boundaries) are suggested to enhance farmland biodiversity, but the relative importance of these factors remains poorly known. We evaluated how crop diversity and availability of semi-natural grasslands at a landscape-scale interacted with local farming management (three management types from low to high intensity: ley < winter wheat < sugar beet) in their effect on ground beetle assemblages in southern Sweden. Ground beetle diversity increased with crop diversity either independently of local management (Simpson species diversity), or only in the less intensively managed habitats (rarefied species richness). While ground beetle diversity in leys tended to increase with field boundary length, no such relationship was observed in winter wheat or sugar beet fields. In contrast, the landscape proportions of leys and semi-natural grasslands did not affect ground beetle species richness and diversity. We conclude that (a) semi-natural grasslands and leys may not function as source habitats at a landscape-scale if they comprise a low proportion of the total land-use, while (b) increasing crop diversity is correlated to ground beetle richness and diversity in agricultural landscapes dominated by arable land. The beneficial effect of landscape-scale crop diversification on farmland biodiversity may depend on the general level of agricultural intensity of a region.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-249
JournalBasic and Applied Ecology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Ecology
  • Earth and Related Environmental Sciences


  • Agricultural landscapes
  • Agricultural management
  • Carabidae
  • Crop
  • diversification
  • Landscape heterogeneity
  • Species diversity
  • Species
  • richness
  • Trophic groups


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