Larval and phenological traits predict insect community response to mowing regime manipulations

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2019
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van Klink, Roel
Baur, Hannes
Dosch, Oliver
Kühne, Isabel
Lischer, Lukas
Luka, Henryk
Meyer, Sandro
Szikora, Timea
Unternährer, Debora
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Ecological Applications. 2019, 29(4), e01900. ISSN 1051-0761. eISSN 1939-5582. Available under: doi: 10.1002/eap.1900
Zusammenfassung

For the restoration of biodiversity in agricultural grasslands, it is essential to understand how management acts as an ecological filter on the resident species. Mowing constitutes such a filter: only species that possess functional traits enabling them to withstand its consequences can persist in the community. We investigated how the timing of mowing modulates this filtering effect for insects. We predicted that two traits drive species responses. Species with larval development within the meadow vegetation will suffer more from mowing than species whose larvae develop in or on the ground, or outside the meadows, while species with a later phenology should benefit from later mowing. We conducted a five-year experiment, replicated at 12 sites across the Swiss lowlands, applying three different mowing regimes to low-intensity hay meadows: (1) first cut of the year not earlier than 15 June (control regime); (2) the first cut delayed until 15 July; and (3) leaving an uncut grass refuge on 10-20% of the meadow area (after earliest first cut on 15 June). Before the first cut in years 4 or 5, we sampled larvae of Lepidoptera and sawflies, and adults of moths, parasitoid wasps, wild bees, hoverflies, ground beetles, and rove beetles. Overall, before the first cut of the year, abundances of species with vegetation-dwelling larvae were higher in meadows with delayed mowing or an uncut grass refuge, with some taxon-specific variation. In contrast, species whose larval development is independent of the meadow vegetation showed no differences in abundance between mowing regimes. Species richness did not differ among regimes. For species with vegetation-dwelling larvae, a fourth-corner analysis showed an association between early phenology and the control regime. No associations were found for the other functional groups. Our results show that slight modifications of mowing regimes, easily implementable in agri-environmental policy schemes, can boost invertebrate abundance, potentially benefitting insectivorous vertebrates.

Zusammenfassung in einer weiteren Sprache
Fachgebiet (DDC)
570 Biowissenschaften, Biologie
Schlagwörter
cutting; ecological filter; fourth-corner analysis; grassland; invertebrates; mowing date; multiabundance; multidiversity
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undefined / . - undefined, undefined
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ISO 690VAN KLINK, Roel, Myles MENZ, Hannes BAUR, Oliver DOSCH, Isabel KÜHNE, Lukas LISCHER, Henryk LUKA, Sandro MEYER, Timea SZIKORA, Debora UNTERNÄHRER, 2019. Larval and phenological traits predict insect community response to mowing regime manipulations. In: Ecological Applications. 2019, 29(4), e01900. ISSN 1051-0761. eISSN 1939-5582. Available under: doi: 10.1002/eap.1900
BibTex
@article{vanKlink2019Larva-47712,
  year={2019},
  doi={10.1002/eap.1900},
  title={Larval and phenological traits predict insect community response to mowing regime manipulations},
  number={4},
  volume={29},
  issn={1051-0761},
  journal={Ecological Applications},
  author={van Klink, Roel and Menz, Myles and Baur, Hannes and Dosch, Oliver and Kühne, Isabel and Lischer, Lukas and Luka, Henryk and Meyer, Sandro and Szikora, Timea and Unternährer, Debora},
  note={Article Number: e01900}
}
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