The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here:

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

Portrait of Henrik Smith. Photo.

Henrik Smith


Portrait of Henrik Smith. Photo.

Agricultural land use affects abundance and dispersal tendency of predatory arthropods


  • Helena I. Hanson
  • Klaus Birkhofer
  • Henrik G. Smith
  • Erkki Palmu
  • Katarina Hedlund

Summary, in English

Predatory arthropods contribute to biological control, but to become an integral part of agricultural management, it is essential to identify drivers of their spatio-temporal distribution at the landscape scale. This study focuses on how agricultural land use affects the community composition, emergence and dispersal tendency of predatory arthropods. The arthropods were collected in emergence traps during the growing season (14 weeks) in a gradient of agricultural land uses from intensively managed sugar beet fields, over winter wheat fields, to less intensively managed grasslands. The emergence traps were equipped with one pitfall trap and a collecting bottle at the top. The distribution of the arthropods between these two collecting methods was assumed to represent their tendency to move out of the habitat. The grasslands had the highest numbers of spiders, while the winter wheat fields had the highest numbers of omnivorous rove beetles and macropterous predaceous ground beetles. The phenology of emergence differed between the land-use types, resulting in seasonal differences in community composition. The overall dispersal tendency of predatory arthropods was higher in crop fields than in grasslands. This study suggests that only a diverse mix of agricultural land uses will provide high levels of predators from different functional groups, throughout the growing season.


  • BECC: Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate
  • Centre for Environmental and Climate Science (CEC)
  • Biodiversity
  • Soil Ecology
  • Biodiversity and Conservation Science

Publishing year







Basic and Applied Ecology



Document type

Journal article




  • Environmental Sciences
  • Ecology


  • Biological control
  • Emergence
  • Functional groups
  • Landscape
  • Natural enemies
  • Phenology



Research group

  • Soil Ecology
  • Biodiversity and Conservation Science


  • ISSN: 1439-1791