This material is published by the Bulletin of Entomological Research (1999, vol 89, pp 523-531).

Influences of hedgerow intersections and gaps on the movement of carabid beetles

K.A. Joyce, J.M. Holland and C.P. Doncaster

In the fragmented landscape of arable farmland, hedgerows and other non-crop habitats provide refuges of food and shelter for invertebrates, and corridors through which they can move to other habitats. Their role as corridors is likely to depend on their connectivity, both to each other and to other patches of suitable habitat. The effects of connectivity on the carabid beetle Nebria brevicollis (Fabricius) were analysed by observing movement between hedgerow intersections (nodes) and the linear section of the hedgerow, and across gaps in the hedgerow. Capture-mark-recapture of N. brevicollis revealed a uniformly higher activity at hedgerow nodes than at mid-section strips of comparable area. This is consistent with previous studies of hedgerow fauna including butterflies, plants and birds. Gaps in the hedgerows typically measured 7-9 m and functioned as a passage between fields for farm machinery. These were readily crossed by N. brevicollis as was the hedge bottom. Some movement along the hedgerow was found indicating their use as a corridor.

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