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Influence of within-field position and adjoining habitat on carabid beetle assemblages in winter wheat

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Abstract:

• The influence of within-field position and adjoining habitat on carabid beetles was studied in 20 winter wheat fields in ten different Swiss agricultural landscapes. In each landscape, two winter wheat fields (one with adjoining sown wildflower area and one with adjoining grassy margin) were investigated.

• Carabid beetles were caught in pitfall traps 3 and 30 m from the edge in each of the 20 wheat fields. Significantly more individuals were found in the centres (30-m position) than at the edges (3-m position). Conversely, species richness was significantly higher at the field edges than in the centres.

• Of the ten most abundant species, Poecilus cupreus, Agonum muelleri and Pterostichus melanarius were significantly more abundant in the field centres than at the edges. Harpalus rufipes was significantly more abundant in the fields adjoining sown wildflower areas than in the fields adjoining grassy margins.

• In conclusion, the response of carabid beetles to within-field position and adjoining habitats was species specific. This needs to be taken into account in habitat management for biodiversity conservation and pest control.
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