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Responses of Grassland Invertebrates to Management by Cutting. II. Heteroptera

M. G. Morris
Journal of Applied Ecology
Vol. 16, No. 2 (Aug., 1979), pp. 417-432
DOI: 10.2307/2402519
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2402519
Page Count: 16
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Abstract

(1) Adult Heteroptera were sampled regularly for 3 years, 1973-75, from experimental plots of Arrhenatherum-dominated calcareous grassland at Castor Hanglands N.N.R., Cambridgeshire. The experiment, in four replicates of four randomized block treatments, compared grassland cut in May (M), cut in July (J) and cut in both months (B), with untreated grassland (C). (2) Eighteen species were sufficiently abundant for statistical analysis. The data were pooled for three periods of the year: before the May cut (January to May), between cuts (May to July) and after the July cut (July to December). Fourteen species showed statistically significant effects of the cutting treatments in at least one period of the year; only once were numbers greater on a treatment than on the controls: in 1974, before the May cut, there were significantly more (P < 0.05) Notostira elongata on plots cut the preceding May than on the untreated grassland. In every other case where there were significant differences there were fewer on cut plots. (3) Stygnocoris pedestris, all species of Nabidae, Tytthus pygmaeus and Megaloceraea recticornis were severely reduced. Some, especially M. recticornis, were less severely reduced by the May cut than by the July one, whether as a single application or in combination (J and B treatments). The timing of cutting in relation to the life cycles of the different species is shown to be important. Notostira elongata, a double-brooded species, was less susceptible to cutting than other Stenodemini, and Leptopterna ferrugata was reduced by the May cut in the period between cuts when most individuals became adult. (4) The effects of cutting are compared with those of other types of grassland management. Timing of cutting and its catastrophic nature compared with grazing, are emphasized. Objectives of management and alternative methods of achieving them are considered. Reclamation and maintenance management, single and multiple treatments, rotational, winter and seasonal treatment, and the size and kind of nature reserves to be managed, are discussed.

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