Functional response of leaf- and planthoppers to modern fertilisation and irrigation of hay meadows

Andrey, Aline; Humbert, Jean-Yves; Arlettaz, Raphaël (2016). Functional response of leaf- and planthoppers to modern fertilisation and irrigation of hay meadows. Basic and applied ecology, 17(7), pp. 627-637. Elsevier 10.1016/j.baae.2016.07.002

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In the drier regions of the European Alps, traditional land-use of montane and subalpine meadows, i.e. extensively managedwith solid manure application and irrigation via water channels, is currently shifting towards application of slurry and aerialirrigation. The impact of these new practices upon biodiversity remains poorly understood and calls for quantitative assessmentsof their effects. Relying on a full block design, we tested the effects of six management treatments corresponding to an increasinggradient of farming intensification (fertilisation with slurry and/or irrigation with sprinklers) on Auchenorrhyncha (Hemiptera)communities occurring in the inner Swiss Alps. The experimental set up consisted of: control plots (no fertiliser, no irrigation;C-plots); plots that received only fertiliser (F-plots); plots that were only irrigated (I-plots); and plots that received low-, medium-and high-input of fertiliser and water (F + I 1/3-plots; F + I 2/3, F + I 3/3-plots; 3/3 corresponds here to the input level necessaryfor achieving maximum theoretical hay yield locally). After two years of experimental treatment (2012), plots that were onlyfertilised or only irrigated showed no change in the population sizes of Auchenorrhyncha, while plots that received low-, medium-and high-input of fertiliser and water harboured significantly higher abundances (1.9, 1.5 and 1.4 times higher, respectively),biomass (1.8, 1.6 and 1.8 times higher, respectively), as well as species richness (+27–30%, on average) than control plots.Abundances and species richness were also higher in plots with low-input of fertiliser and water compared to fertilised onlyplots. Monophagous and oligophagous species were most abundant in plots with low-input of fertiliser and water. Medium- andhigh-input treatments (F + I 2/3 and 3/3) increased the number of generalist (eurytopic) species, while only low-input treatment(F + I 1/3) boosted the more specialised (stenotopic) species. This provides support to the hump-shaped diversity-disturbancerelationship and guidance for sustainable management of biodiversity-rich mountain hay meadows.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE) > Conservation Biology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE)

UniBE Contributor:

Andrey, Aline; Humbert, Jean-Yves and Arlettaz, Raphaël

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)

ISSN:

1439-1791

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Olivier Roth

Date Deposited:

08 Jun 2017 08:45

Last Modified:

08 Jun 2017 08:45

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.baae.2016.07.002

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.93678

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/93678

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