Enhancement of biodiversity in intensively used agricultural sites by sowing native seed mixtures

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Anita Kirmer, Lea Schubert, Niels Hellwig, Christian Schmid-Egger, Jenny Förster, Hendrik Teubert, Annika Schmidt, Petra Dieker, Sabine Tischew

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Against the background of the continuing biodiversity decline, the successful establishment of a diverse native vegetation in intensively used agricultural sites, such as vineyards and cereal fields, is of high importance. We tested several high-diversity mixtures of native wild plants and their effects on wild bee species richness in vineyard interrows and edges of cereal fields, four to five years after sowing. In two vineyards, mixtures with about 40 native forbs were used and compared with two vineyards sown with a low-diversity mixture (ryegrass, white clover). At the field edges, perennial wildflower strips (WFS) with seed mixtures containing 30 native forbs were implemented within agri-environmental schemes, (10 sites), comparing them to cereal fields without WFS (10 sites). Wild bees were sampled five times per year from April to August on transects (2×160-m² in the vineyards, 5×200-m² in WFS per cereal fields). Wild bee species richness was highest on sites sown with 30-40 native forbs (84 bee species on WFS, 59 bee species on biodiversity vineyards), low on sites sown with a low-diversity conventional mixture (23 bee species), and extremely low on cereal fields (11 bee species). We found that the occurrence of wild bee species was mostly affected by local site conditions, such as the number of sown and spontaneously established forbs, pollen and nectar supply, and cover of bare soil. Based on our results, recommendations for the use of diverse native seed mixtures by farmers and winegrowers were developed.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

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