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Richness and diversity of plant and herbivorous insect species were significantly lower in abandoned and intensified grasslands than in traditional grasslands. This trend was consistent throughout the seasons in 2011 and 2012. Changes in mowing frequency and surrounding landscape due to land abandonment and intensification explained plant richness declines around paddy terraces. Declines in herbivorous insects were well explained by plant richness declines and changes in mowing frequency. Plant and herbivore richness were maximized at an intermediate mowing frequency (about twice per year), which is a typical practice on traditional terraces.
These photographs illustrate the article “Biodiversity declines due to abandonment and intensification of agricultural lands: patterns and mechanisms,” by Kei Uchida and Atushi Ushimaru, tentatively scheduled to appear in Ecological Monographs 84(4), November 2014. http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/13-2170.1