Agricultural land use affects abundance and dispersal tendency of predatory arthropods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Predatory arthropods contribute to biological control, but to become an integral part of agricultural management, it is essential to identify drivers of their spatio-temporal distribution at the landscape scale. This study focuses on how agricultural land use affects the community composition, emergence and dispersal tendency of predatory arthropods. The arthropods were collected in emergence traps during the growing season (14 weeks) in a gradient of agricultural land uses from intensively managed sugar beet fields, over winter wheat fields, to less intensively managed grasslands. The emergence traps were equipped with one pitfall trap and a collecting bottle at the top. The distribution of the arthropods between these two collecting methods was assumed to represent their tendency to move out of the habitat. The grasslands had the highest numbers of spiders, while the winter wheat fields had the highest numbers of omnivorous rove beetles and macropterous predaceous ground beetles. The phenology of emergence differed between the land-use types, resulting in seasonal differences in community composition. The overall dispersal tendency of predatory arthropods was higher in crop fields than in grasslands. This study suggests that only a diverse mix of agricultural land uses will provide high levels of predators from different functional groups, throughout the growing season.


External organisations
  • Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus- Senftenberg
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Environmental Sciences
  • Ecology


  • Biological control, Emergence, Functional groups, Landscape, Natural enemies, Phenology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-49
Number of pages10
JournalBasic and Applied Ecology
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Feb 1
Publication categoryResearch