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Contrasting beetle assemblage responses to cultivated farmlands and native woodlands in a dynamic agricultural landscape

Ng, Katherina, Driscoll, Don A, MacFadyen, Sarina, Barton, Philip S, McIntyre, Sue and Lindenmayer, David B 2017, Contrasting beetle assemblage responses to cultivated farmlands and native woodlands in a dynamic agricultural landscape, Ecosphere, vol. 8, no. 12, pp. 1-17, doi: 10.1002/ecs2.2042.

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Title Contrasting beetle assemblage responses to cultivated farmlands and native woodlands in a dynamic agricultural landscape
Author(s) Ng, Katherina
Driscoll, Don AORCID iD for Driscoll, Don A orcid.org/0000-0002-1560-5235
MacFadyen, Sarina
Barton, Philip S
McIntyre, Sue
Lindenmayer, David B
Journal name Ecosphere
Volume number 8
Issue number 12
Article ID e02042
Start page 1
End page 17
Total pages 17
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Place of publication Chichester, Eng.
Publication date 2017-12
ISSN 2150-8925
2150-8925
Keyword(s) Coleoptera
fragmentation
landscape mosaic
matrix
restoration
tillage
ecology
Summary There is an urgent need to identify ways of managing agricultural landscapes for biodiversity conservation without reducing food production. Farming practices that consider spatiooral heterogeneity of farm fields may be a feasible alternative to large-scale revegetation of farmlands for maintaining arthropod biodiversity and their important ecological function. We examined seasonal differences in beetle assemblages in woodland remnants and four adjoining farmland uses in a highly modified agricultural landscape in southeastern Australia. The farmland uses were crops, fallows, and two restoration treatments (fine woody debris applied over harvested crop fields, and restoration plantings). Unexpectedly, overall species richness was significantly lower in remnants than in adjacent farmlands. Remnants and farmlands supported significantly different assemblages, with a third of species found in both habitats. Abundance responses were taxon-specific and influenced by interactions between land use and season. In particular, predator abundance was significantly higher in plantings and fallows during spring compared to summer. Detritivore abundance was significantly higher in the woody debris compared to the adjacent remnants. Herbivore abundance did not differ between remnants and farmlands over time. Complex responses provide strong support for a mosaic of land uses to effectively conserve different beetle groups. Species richness results suggest that further agricultural intensification, in farm fields and through the removal of remnant vegetation, risks reducing beetle diversity in this region. Maintaining farmland heterogeneity with a mix of low-intensity land uses, such as conservation tillage, crop-fallow rotation, restoration plantings, and the novel application of fine woody debris over cultivated fields, may provide seasonal refuge and resources for beetles.
Language eng
DOI 10.1002/ecs2.2042
Field of Research 0501 Ecological Applications
0602 Ecology
0608 Zoology
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2017, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30105919

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.