File(s) under permanent embargo

Beetle’s responses to edges in fragmented landscapes are driven by adjacent farmland use, season and cross-habitat movement

journal contribution
posted on 2018-01-01, 00:00 authored by K Ng, P S Barton, S Macfadyen, D B Lindenmayer, Don DriscollDon Driscoll
Farming practices influence the degree of contrast between adjoining habitats, with consequences for biodiversity and species movement. Little is known, however, on insect community responses to different kinds of edges over time, and the extent of cross-habitat movement in agricultural landscapes. Objective: To determine temporal changes in beetle responses to different farmland-woodland edges, and document cross-habitat movement. Methods: We examined species richness, abundance, and movement across edges between remnant woodlands and four farmland uses (plantings, fallow, annual crops, woody debris applied over crops post-harvest) in southeastern Australia. We used directional pitfall traps to infer movement, and sampled at edges, and 20 and 200 m on both sides of edges, during spring and summer. Results: Detritivore and predator abundance varied between seasons across the edge between woodlands and all farmlands, but seasonal differences were weaker for fallow-woodland and woody debris-woodland edges. Detritivores moved from farmlands towards woodlands, but not across fallow-woodlands and woody debris-woodlands edges during summer. During summer, predators showed short-range movement towards edges from all farmlands except plantings, and towards woody debris from woodlands. Edges showed temporally stable predator richness and higher herbivore richness than adjoining habitats. Conclusions: Farmland use and season interactively affect beetle abundance across farmland-woodland edges. Woody debris can reduce seasonal fluctuations in beetle edge responses and increase permeability for cross-habitat movement, while plantings provide habitat during summer. Edges provide important resources for beetles in adjoining habitats, however, seasonal movement of predators specifically into edges may affect prey assemblages—a link requiring further study.



Landscape ecology






109 - 125




Berlin, Germany







Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2017, Springer Science + Business Media