The effect of semi-natural habitat types on epigaeic arthropods : Isolate habitats make critical contribution to biodiversity in agricultural landscape

Guo, Xiaoyu; Bian, Zhenxing; Zhou, Jun; Wang, Shuai; Zhou, Wei


Semi-natural habitats in agricultural landscapes vary greatly in shape and vegetation characteristics. They can appear either as relatively large patches of several hectares or as narrow bands (less than 1 m wide) between fields and roads and between fields. Semi-natural habitats support biodiversity and associated ecosystem services on farmland, thereby contributing to sustainable agriculture. However, the effects of different semi-natural habitat types on the polytrophic level of epigaeic arthropods are still unclear. In this study, we classified semi-natural habitats into five types. (1) woody areal (WA), (2) woody line (WL), (3) herbaceous areal (HA), (4) herbaceous line (HL) and (5) isolate habitat (IH). We aimed to explore differences in epigaeic arthropod community composition in five different semi-natural habitats and the effects of different semi-natural habitats and different sampling locations on epigaeic arthropod activity-density and diversity. The results showed that epigaeic arthropod communities show significant differences, not only between farmland and semi-natural habitats, but also between different types of semi-natural habitats. Isolate habitats have the highest activity-density of epigaeic arthropods and Linear herbaceous maintain the highest epigaeic arthropod diversity. We also found in this study, both the activity-density and diversity of epigaeic arthropods showed edge-biased distribution. It may be possible to promote sustainable agricultural ecosystems by understanding the effect of semi-natural habitats on epigaeic arthropods, which is conducive to improving the quality of the agricultural ecological environment.