Eur. J. Entomol. 112 (4): 734-746, 2015 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2015.076

Responses of grassland arthropods to various biodiversity-friendly management practices: Is there a compromise?

Monika MAZALOVÁ1, Jan ŠIPOŠ2, Stanislav RADA1, Josef KAŠÁK3, Bořivoj ŠARAPATKA1, Tomáš KURAS1
1 Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, Palacky University, Šlechtitelů 241/27, 783 71 Olomouc - Holice, Czech Republic; e-mails: mazalka.m@seznam.cz; stanislav.rada@seznam.cz; borivoj.sarapatka@upol.cz; kurast@seznam.cz
2 Department of Biology and Ecology, Faculty of Science, University of Ostrava, Chittussiho 10, 710 00, Slezská Ostrava, Czech Republic; e-mail: jsipos@seznam.cz
3 Department of Forest Protection and Wildlife Management, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology, Mendel University in Brno, Zemědělská 810/3, 613 00 Brno - Černá Pole, Czech Republic; e-mail: josef.kasak@mendelu.cz

The rich species pool in semi-natural grasslands is associated with high spatial and temporal heterogeneity. This empirical study is one of the first to jointly analyze the response of orders, individual species and functional richness of arthropods to particular management practices and to linear landscape features, such as strips of grass and belts of trees. Mostly it was the less mobile, flightless taxa that were negatively affected by immediate disturbance caused by mowing. At a larger time-scale, grasslands managed by mowing once every year, and especially by a combined regime of mowing and grazing, supported the highest species richness of butterflies and beetles. Most functional diversity measures reached maximum values soon after mowing. Both strips of grass and belts of trees substantially affected the invertebrate community structure as the majority of taxa were positively associated with these linear features. Based on our results, we propose postponing mowing to later in the year, mowing in gradual stages, maintaining uncut strips primarily along permanent landscape features and establishing both strips of grass and belts of trees in submontane grassland environments.

Keywords: Arthropods, functional diversity, grasslands, mowing, grazing, landscape structure, Czech Republic, Jeseníky Mts

Received: April 22, 2014; Accepted: May 12, 2015; Prepublished online: June 10, 2015; Published: November 21, 2015

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