M.Sc. Henriette Beye


Project: Species enhanced grasslands: effects on biodiversity and ecosystem services in agroecosystems


Agricultural intensification has led to landscape homogenization and fragmentation, imposing a serious threat to biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. The impacts of diversity loss become evident in a significant decrease in insect abundance and species richness. However, agricultural systems depend on ecosystem services provided by insects. Pollination and biological control of agricultural weeds and pests are both insect-dependent and determine agricultural yield. In order to maintain the ecosystem services provided by insects and to increase the productivity of farming systems, new management practices need to be implemented. Ecological farming intends to achieve maximum yield and simultaneously reducing environmental damage. This research proposal presents a study design, aiming to investigate the effect of new farming systems to increase biodiversity and ecosystem services by enhancing grassland diversity to promote insect abundance and species richness. On an organic farming system, species diversity enhanced grasslands will be assessed with regards to (1) biodiversity of insect species (pollinators and biological control agents), (2) the effect on ecosystem services (pollination and biological control) on diversified grasslands and (3) the effect of ecosystem services (pollination and biological control) on the organic farm with enhanced grasslands present with respect to spillover effects. We expect positive effects on insect abundance and species richness as the diversity of grasslands increases, therefore, ecosystem service provisioning will be enhanced and agricultural yield rises. This study aims to identify farmland measures which promote a sustainable agricultural development, taking not only the increasing demand for food resources into consideration, but also environmental impacts.



Herrmann, J. D., Beye, H., de la Broise, C., Hartlep, H., & Diekötter, T. (2018). Positive effects of the pollinators Osmia cornuta (Megachilidae) and Lucilia sericata (Calliphoridae) on strawberry quality. Arthropod-Plant Interactions, 1-7. http://doi.org/dd4f