Menu

Javascript is not activated in your browser. This website needs javascript activated to work properly.
You are here

Organic farming supports spatiotemporal stability in species richness of bumblebees and butterflies

Author:
  • Romain Carrié
  • Johan Ekroos
  • Henrik G. Smith
Publishing year: 2018
Language: English
Pages: 48-55
Publication/Series: Biological Conservation
Volume: 227
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Elsevier

Abstract english

The spatiotemporal stability of wild organisms, such as flower-visiting insects, is critical to guarantee high levels of biodiversity in agroecosystems. Whereas the proportion of semi-natural habitats in the landscapes has been shown to stabilize the species richness of flower visitors, the effect of farming intensity has not yet been studied. In this study, we compared the temporal and spatial stability (continuity of species richness in space and time) of two groups of flower-visiting insects (butterflies and bumblebees) between nine conventional and ten organic farms, distributed along a gradient of semi-natural grassland proportion. We surveyed bumblebees, butterflies and local flower cover during the growing season, covering multiple years and several habitat types per farm (cereal fields, temporary grasslands and semi-natural grasslands). At the field scale we found that within-year stability of bumblebee species richness was higher in organic than in conventional temporary grasslands (leys), because of a higher continuity of in-field flower resources. Further analyses showed that late-season flower resources in organic ley fields were critical to maintain a high within-year stability of bumblebee species richness by reducing resource bottlenecks during that period, when most bumblebee colonies produce new queens. The among-year stability of bumblebee species richness was higher in organic than in conventional cereal fields, whereas the within and among-year stability of butterfly species richness was not influenced by farming system. On the farm scale, we found that the spatial stability of butterfly and bumblebee species richness was higher in organic than in conventional farms, but this was not explained by a greater spatial continuity of flower resources. Our study shows that organic farming reduces the spatiotemporal fluctuations in bumblebee and butterfly species richness. In addition, increasing floral resources as such benefits bumblebees and butterflies irrespective of farming system. Organic farming and increasing availability in floral resources therefore contribute to maintaining the within and between-year stability of bumblebees and butterflies in agricultural landscapes.

Keywords

  • Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
  • Ecology
  • Biodiversity
  • Flower-visiting insects
  • Landscape management
  • Organic farming
  • Spatial stability
  • Temporal stability

Other

Published
  • ISSN: 0006-3207
Henrik Smith
E-mail: henrik [dot] smith [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Director

Centre for Environmental and Climate Research (CEC)

+46 46 222 93 79

+46 70 978 20 56

C313

Sölvegatan 37, Lund

50

Professor

Biodiversity

+46 46 222 93 79

+46 70 978 20 56

E-C313

50

Head of department

Centre for Environmental and Climate Research (CEC)

Sölvegatan 37, Lund

50

Coordinator

Lund university sustainability forum

+46 46 222 93 79

+46 70 978 20 56

C 313

Sölvegatan 37, Lund

50

Research group

Biodiversity and Conservation Science

Projects

Doctoral students and postdocs

PhD students, main supervisor

PhD students, assistant supervisor

Postdocs

Downloads & links

Henrik Smith