The quality and connectivity of ecological compensation areas (ECA) may be improved by habitat connectivity projects. The effects of such a project on the distribution of field cricket (Gryllus campestris) and large gold grasshopper (Chrysochraon dispar) were studied in the Plain of Wauwil (canton of Lucerne). The presence of both species, as well as eight habitat variables were mapped. The connectivity of ECAs was vital for both species, especially links to ECAs where the species had already settled. Field crickets favoured short vegetation and meadows farmed at a medium or low intensity; they avoided damp sites with a dense sward of tall plants. Moreover, the probability of encountering field crickets increased with field size. For the large gold grasshopper it was important that the vegetation was not mown on part of the area and remained undisturbed over winter. We show that insects with a restricted mobility like the field cricket and the large gold grasshopper profit from habitat connectivity projects. Depending on the species’ requirements, however, specific factors have to be considered.
Those wishing to promote biodiversity in agriculture by means of result-based schemes need meaningful indicators. An overview of proposed and used indicators highlights developments and challenges.
Foods of animal origin – friend or foe? It all depends on the needs of consumers and on local production conditions, as shown by a major review in which Agroscope took part.
In vegetable production it is usual to leave crop residues on the field. Measurements carried out by Agroscope researchers show that removing these residues significantly reduces nitrate leaching.