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Studies on the Epigeal Microarthropod Fauna of Grassland Swards Managed for Silage Production

J. P. Curry and C. F. Tuohy
Journal of Applied Ecology
Vol. 15, No. 3 (Dec., 1978), pp. 727-741
DOI: 10.2307/2402771
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2402771
Page Count: 15
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Studies on the Epigeal Microarthropod Fauna of Grassland Swards Managed for Silage Production
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Abstract

(1) The Acari, Collembola, Thysanoptera and Aphididae of various sward types were compared in a replicated field experiment at Grange, Co. Meath. The sward types were old grassland, and leys of red clover Trifolium pratense L., perennial ryegrass Lolium perenne L., and mixed Trifolium and Lolium. (2) 126 species in all were recorded of which eighty-two were Acari. The Trifolium plots had fewest species in 1974-5 and the old grassland plots had most, but by 1976 plot differences had largely disappeared due to an increase in numbers of acarine species. Mean arthropod density per plot ranged from 13 to 24 per g herbage. On average, Trifolium plots has smallest populations but sward type rankings varied very much in this respect throughout the period of study. Populations were markedly larger in all plots in 1976. (3) Analysis of dominance, similarity, principal coordinates, and patterns in distribution of relative abundance failed to establish any real differences between the communities of the various sward types. No relationships could be established between floral diversity, faunal diversity, and faunal stability. It was considered that any influence of sward composition on the fauna was being overriden by frequent cutting.

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