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Restoration of semi-natural grasslands, a success for phytophagous beetles (Curculionidae)

Steiner, Magdalena and Öckinger, Erik and Karrer, Gerhard and Winsa, Marie and Jonsell, Mats (2016). Restoration of semi-natural grasslands, a success for phytophagous beetles (Curculionidae). Biodiversity and conservation. 25 :14 , 3005-3022
[Research article]

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Semi-natural pastures have rich plant and animal communities of high conservation value which depend on extensive management. As the area of such land decreases, abandoned semi-natural grasslands have been restored to re-establish biodiversity. Restoration schemes, which include thinning of woody plants and reintroduction of grazing, are mainly designed according to the responses of well-studied groups (such as vascular plants and birds). Weevils (Curculionidae) are a very diverse phytophagous beetle family. Here, we evaluated the restoration success of pastures for weevils (Curculionidae), by comparing their species diversity in abandoned, restored, and continuously grazed semi-natural pastures on 24 sites in central Sweden. Weevils were sampled by sweep-netting. We recorded 3019 weevil individuals belonging to 104 species. There was no statistically significant difference in species numbers between the pasture management treatments. However, weevil species composition of abandoned pastures differed from those in restored and continuously managed pastures, but there was no significant difference in community composition between restored and continuously grazed pastures. The abandoned sites tended to be dominated by polyphagous species, whereas the grazed sites contained more monophagous and oligophagous species. The number of weevil species was positively related to understory vegetation height and connectivity to other semi-natural grasslands and negatively related to the cover of trees and shrubs in the pastures. We conclude that restoration of abandoned semi-natural pastures is a good approach to restore weevil communities. To maintain a species rich weevil community, pastures should be managed to be relatively open, but still have patches of tall field-layer vegetation. Restoration and conservation measures should primarily be targeted on regions and landscapes where a high proportion of semi-natural grassland still remains.

Authors/Creators:Steiner, Magdalena and Öckinger, Erik and Karrer, Gerhard and Winsa, Marie and Jonsell, Mats
Title:Restoration of semi-natural grasslands, a success for phytophagous beetles (Curculionidae)
Series Name/Journal:Biodiversity and conservation
Year of publishing :2016
Page range:3005-3022
Number of Pages:18
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Agrovoc terms:biodiversity, grasslands, pastures
Keywords:Agro-environment scheme, Biodiversity, Community composition, Grazing, Pasture, Weevils
Permanent URL:
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000387715100009
ID Code:14088
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
External funders:FORMAS
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:28 Feb 2017 10:22
Metadata Last Modified:09 Sep 2020 14:17

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