The biodiversity of agricultural land is usually measured via indicator species that can be recorded time- and cost-efficiently. Behind this approach lies the seldom-questioned assumption that these groups of organisms are good at reflecting the overall species diversity of a habitat. We tested this assumption by comparing the diversity of cow-dung insects with that of grasshopper, butterfly, vascular plant and nearby moss and snail communities on 24 pastures on the Swiss Central Plateau. The diversity of the vascular plants and mosses increased with that of the (often herbivorous) butterflies, grasshoppers and snails, both on the sites examined in our study and on those in the wider vicinity. By contrast, the diversity of the dung insects (flies and parasitic wasps) did not correlate with other groups of organisms. Consequently, vascular plants, grasshoppers, butterflies, mosses and snails can represent one another well. This is not, however, the case for dung insects: they, and hence most likely their functions in decomposing dung, are scarcely represented by the commonly used indicators.
A comparison of different methods of winter-wheat fertilisation with nitrogen showed that nitrogen surpluses can be significantly reduced by means of site-specific variable-rate nitrogen fertilisation.
Fabian Y., Roberti G., Jacot K., Gramlich A., Benz R., Szerencsits E., Churko G., Prasuhn V., Leifeld J., Zorn A., Walter T. (ꝉ), Herzog F.
Many tile drainage systems on arable land are in need of renewal. Cantons and stakeholders will now be given a decision-making tool enabling them to assess such areas in detail and to find sustainable solutions.
Ammonia emissions from the Swiss farming sector have scarcely declined over the past 20 years. This is because the factors leading to either an increase or decrease in emissions have for the most part cancelled each other out between 2000 and 2020.