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Lorna J. Cole, Sarah Brocklehurst, David A. Elston and David I. McCracken Riparian field margins: can they enhance the functional structure of ground beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae) assemblages in intensively managed grassland landscapes? Journal of Applied Ecology 49

Article first published online: 13 SEP 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02200.x

Fenced riparian margins, particularly those over 5·4 m wide, harbour carabids with poor dispersal ability which are vulnerable to habitat fragmentation. While lack of management benefits sedentary species, a wider range of taxa (e.g. pollinators, foraging birds and flowering plants) are enhanced by management to obtain a more open vegetation structure (e.g. restricted grazing or mowing). It is important that management practices are implemented at a sufficiently fine spatial scale to allow recolonisation of species with restricted dispersal from adjacent undisturbed habitats. Wide riparian margins have the potential to enhance taxonomic and functional diversity at the landscape scale. Management actions must, however, be carefully balanced to ensure that they promote a wide range of taxa without unduly interfering with the margin's ability to mitigate diffuse pollution.

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