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Steiner, Magdalena, 2013. Restoration of semi-natural grasslands, a success for phytophagous beetles (Curculionidae). Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Ecology



Semi-natural grasslands have rich plant and animal communities of high conservation value. The continuity and maintenance of these habitats depend on traditional agricultural methods, which nowadays give low economic output. Therefore biodiversity restoration measures in abandoned semi-natural grasslands have been implemented, which pay farmers for reestablishing and maintaining a semi-natural grassland biodiversity. Between 2000 and 2006 around 3500 ha of semi-natural grasslands were restored in Sweden. The main aim is to conserve the biodiversity, which is well known for its dependence on old agricultural lands. This study aimed to evaluate if these measures may also work successfully for the conservation of diversity of weevils, a phytophagous beetle family. This is a neglected taxon, when it comes to biodiversity assessments of restored grasslands in Europe, although many of them are grassland associated and red listed. Numerous weevils are dietary specialized or closely associated with certain plant genera or even single species, which are often habitat specialized as well. Our study was done by comparing the weevil species diversity and composition of abandoned, old restored, recently restored and continuously managed sites. In total 24 sites were included in the survey. The beetles were collected by sweep-netting. We found no differences in species richness between studied management categories. However the species composition of abandoned sites was significantly different compared to the restored and continuously managed sites. Moreover, the abandoned sites were dominated by polyphagous species whereas the restored and continuously managed sites contained more monophagous species. Our conclusion is that there is a restoration success targeting the phytophagous weevil community of semi-natural grasslands and this justifies the expenses connected with restoration measures.

Main title:Restoration of semi-natural grasslands, a success for phytophagous beetles (Curculionidae)
Authors:Steiner, Magdalena
Supervisor:Jonsell, Mats and Öckinger, Erik and Karrer, Gerard
Examiner:Lagerlöf, Jan
Series:Självständigt arbete/Examensarbete / SLU, Institutionen för ekologi
Volume/Sequential designation:2013:15
Year of Publication:2013
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM025 EnvEuro - European Master in Environmental Science 120 HEC
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
Keywords:weevils (Circulionidae), semi-natural grasslands, restoration success, phytophagous beetle composition, biodiversity, specialist, generalist, feeding preferences, Sweden
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Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Animal ecology
Nature conservation and land resources
Deposited On:03 Feb 2014 14:00
Metadata Last Modified:03 Feb 2014 14:00

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