Study

Interactive effects of large herbivores and plant diversity on insect abundance in a meadow steppe in China

  • Published source details Zhu H., Wang D., Guo Q., Liu J. & Wang L. (2015) Interactive effects of large herbivores and plant diversity on insect abundance in a meadow steppe in China. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 212, 245-252.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Change type of livestock grazing

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation

Employ areas of semi-natural habitat for rough grazing (includes salt marsh, lowland heath, bog, fen)

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Change type of livestock grazing

    A replicated, randomized, paired, controlled study in 2007–2008 in a meadow steppe grassland in Jilin Province, China (Zhu et al. 2015) found that plots grazed by cattle, goats or sheep all had a similar abundance of butterflies and moths, but the abundance was lower than on ungrazed plots. After a year and a half of grazing, the abundance of butterflies and moths was similar on plots grazed by cattle (2–7 individuals/plot), goats (3–7 individuals/plot) or sheep (3–6 individuals/plot), but was lower on all grazed plots than on ungrazed plots (6–22 individuals/plot). Nine 0.3-ha blocks were each divided into four fenced, 0.05-ha plots, 18–20 m apart, to which four grazing treatments were randomly assigned. From July 2007 and 2008, plots were either grazed by two cattle, eight goats, or eight sheep, or left ungrazed. Grazing was conducted for two hours each morning and evening, until 60% of forage was removed (10–15 days/month, number of months not given). From July–October 2008, insects were surveyed four times by walking two 25-m-long transects/plot, twice/day, and taking 15 sweeps/transect through the vegetation with a 40-cm diameter net. All adult insects were identified to species.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

  2. Employ areas of semi-natural habitat for rough grazing (includes salt marsh, lowland heath, bog, fen)

    A replicated, randomized, paired, controlled study in 2007–2008 in a meadow steppe grassland in Jilin Province, China (Zhu et al. 2015) found that moderately grazed plots had a lower abundance of butterflies and moths than ungrazed plots. After a year and a half of grazing, the abundance of butterflies and moths on plots grazed by cattle (2–7 individuals/plot), goats (3–7 individuals/plot) or sheep (3–6 individuals/plot) was lower than on ungrazed plots (6–22 individuals/plot). Nine 0.3-ha blocks were each divided into four fenced, 0.05-ha plots, 18–20 m apart, to which four grazing treatments were randomly assigned. From July 2007 and 2008, plots were either grazed by two cattle, eight goats, or eight sheep, or left ungrazed. Grazing was conducted for two hours each morning and evening, until 60% of forage was removed (10–15 days/month, number of months not given). From July–October 2008, insects were surveyed four times by walking two 25-m-long transects/plot, twice/day, and taking 15 sweeps/transect through the vegetation with a 40-cm diameter net. All adult insects were identified to species.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

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