AS  Vol.13 No.3 , March 2022
The Effect of Willow Short Rotation Coppice Cultivation on the Biodiversity Quality of Ground-Layer Invertebrates
Abstract: The biodiversity quality of ground-layer invertebrates within the cropped area of a plantation of the biomass crop willow short-rotation coppice (SRC) grown within a floodplain was compared to the biodiversity quality of the neighbouring plots of floodplain grassland and a mixed deciduous woodland plantation. Pitfall traps were used to collect ground beetles (Carabidae) and arachnids (Araneae and Opiliones) in the plots over a period of two years. A range of biodiversity indices was used to assess the biodiversity quality of each of the three plots, and the willow SRC was compared to each of the controls using Mann-Whitney tests. The willow SRC transitioned from almost bare ground to young woodland during the two years of the study, which affected comparisons with alternative land uses as the habitat during the second year was very different from the habitat at the start of the study. Compared to plantation woodland, in the first year, the effect was mostly positive, but this declined in the second year. Compared to grassland there was a largely negative effect in both years. However, when in combination with other habitats, willow SRC cultivation on floodplain land may have an overall positive effect on invertebrate biodiversity quality.
Cite this paper: Williams, M. and Feest, A. (2022) The Effect of Willow Short Rotation Coppice Cultivation on the Biodiversity Quality of Ground-Layer Invertebrates. Agricultural Sciences, 13, 378-392. doi: 10.4236/as.2022.133026.

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