Agroscope, Institute for Plant Production Sciences IPS, 1260 Nyon, Switzerland

Flora and Fauna in industrial crops

In a three year project segetal plants, ground beetles and spiders were studied for their presence in fields of industrial crops, fibre hemp, kenaf, oilseed rape, and miscanthus. To compare the results reference cultures (different meadow types on arable land, winter wheat and maize) were also integrated into the study. The aim of the project was to explain the effects of these partially unknown cultures on the flora and fauna. The highest number and coverage of segetal flora was found in fibre hemp and miscanthus fields of 2-3 years. Concerning faunistic indicators, in particular ground beetles, oilseed rape appeared to be the most interesting culture. Nevertheless high densities of activity of soil bound spiders were also found in artificial meadows. The analysis of the quantitative com-position of species of the three chosen parame-ters showed a difference between annual and perennial crops as well as a clear difference between summer and winter cultures. Therefore the length of presence as well as the date of sowing appear to be decisive factors for all three groups of organisms. An analysis of the influence of the culture, the location, the month of the data collection and the year of the data collection on the species composition of the chosen parameters shows that the influence of location and culture is significantly higher than the influence of temporal parameters.

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