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Organic meadows, full of life: twice as many insects

09.2019
summarised by author Dr. Stephanie Ruf

Biodiversity has declined significantly in many parts of Europe in recent decades. This is mainly due to the intensification of agricultural practices. In a study supported by HiPP, scientists assessed the insect population on organically and conventionally cultivated meadows.

Study design: In the course of the project, moths, flying insects and other groups of insects were caught on the meadows of an organic farm in Bavaria from April to October 2018 using light and malaise traps. The same was also done on a comparable conventionally farmed meadow in the same area.

Using state-of-the-art methods, experts from the Bavarian State Collection of Zoology and the Technical University of Munich evaluated the catches with regard to biomass, diversity and species composition. The results of the pilot study were published in Ecology & Evolution.

Results:
The organically farmed meadow was clearly ahead in terms of the amount of collected insects, biodiversity, and number of endangered species. In terms of biomass, there were twice as many insects on organically farmed meadows compared with the conventional meadow.

Conclusion: The study supports the natural assumption that organic farming is effective in halting species loss in agricultural areas.

To find out more about what HiPP is doing to promote biodiversity, visit www.hippbeyondorganic.com

Link to the article: Towards a standardized quantitative and qualitative insect monitoring scheme https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ece3.6166