Effects of green belts in ecological farming

pictureThis project focus on the question if green belts favour the invasion and function of ground beetles in organically managed agricultural fields. The investigation is performed on the areas of Ritzerau Manor and Lämmer Manor in the South of Schleswig-Holstein. Three methods will be used. In a first step, green belts differing in age were selected. Beside an adjacent field site (as control), one 2 years old, one 4 years old, one 6 years old, and one 10 years old green belt was sampled by pitfall traps. Pitfall traps were installed from the field margin to the field centres in 30 m distant intervals beginning with 0 m in the source habitat outside the field. The lengths of the belts were up to 210 m. Using pitfall traps in the fields and in the green belts the effect of age and distance can be analysed. In a second step, the invasion of individual ground beetles species will be analysed. For this investigation the most frequent species will be marked individually, exposed in the agricultural fields and green belts and the moving directions and home-ranges of the species analysed. In a third step, the food relations will be investigated to find positive effects of predators using green belts. For this part of the project, isotope and genetic methods will be used.