The natural and seminatural components of agricultural landscapes play a key role in maintaining a high level of biodiversity. Being the Po Valley one of the most human-dominated and intensively cultivated landscapes in Europe, we investigated the effect of no-crop habitats on carabid richness and composition and evaluated the role of tree row as corridor for forest carabid dispersion. Carabids were sampled with 70 pitfall traps arranged in 35 sampling plots along three parallel transects (80, 100, and 140 m long) and encompassing five different habitats: tree row, tree row edge, grassland, forest edge, and forest. We found 5,615 individuals belonging to 55 species. Despite the similarity in species richness, all the habitats investigated showed a peculiar and distinct species assemblage. The main distinction was between the "open habitat" cluster composed of grassland and tree row edge and the “forest" cluster composed of forest, tree row, and forest edge. We found that forest species are able to penetrate the grassland matrix up to 30 m from the forest edge and that a distance of no more than 60 m between tree row and forest can allow the passage of up to 50% of the forest species. Beyond this distance, the grassland matrix becomes a barrier, preventing them from reaching other suitable habitats. Our findings confirm the importance of maintaining different types of natural habitats to significantly increase biodiversity in an intensively cultivated agroecosystem and demonstrated the role of linear elements as a corridor and “stepping stones” for many forest species.

Effects of natural and seminatural elements on the composition and dispersion of carabid beetles inhabiting an agroecosystem in Northern Italy

Milanesi P.;
2021

Abstract

The natural and seminatural components of agricultural landscapes play a key role in maintaining a high level of biodiversity. Being the Po Valley one of the most human-dominated and intensively cultivated landscapes in Europe, we investigated the effect of no-crop habitats on carabid richness and composition and evaluated the role of tree row as corridor for forest carabid dispersion. Carabids were sampled with 70 pitfall traps arranged in 35 sampling plots along three parallel transects (80, 100, and 140 m long) and encompassing five different habitats: tree row, tree row edge, grassland, forest edge, and forest. We found 5,615 individuals belonging to 55 species. Despite the similarity in species richness, all the habitats investigated showed a peculiar and distinct species assemblage. The main distinction was between the "open habitat" cluster composed of grassland and tree row edge and the “forest" cluster composed of forest, tree row, and forest edge. We found that forest species are able to penetrate the grassland matrix up to 30 m from the forest edge and that a distance of no more than 60 m between tree row and forest can allow the passage of up to 50% of the forest species. Beyond this distance, the grassland matrix becomes a barrier, preventing them from reaching other suitable habitats. Our findings confirm the importance of maintaining different types of natural habitats to significantly increase biodiversity in an intensively cultivated agroecosystem and demonstrated the role of linear elements as a corridor and “stepping stones” for many forest species.
2021
Della Rocca F.; Venturo A.; Milanesi P.; Bracco F.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Ecology and Evolution - 2021 - Della Rocca - Effects of natural and seminatural elements on the composition and dispersion.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipo: Versione (PDF) editoriale
Licenza: Licenza per Accesso Aperto. Creative Commons Attribuzione (CCBY)
Dimensione 689.79 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
689.79 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/927456
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 1
  • Scopus 2
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 1
social impact