Arthropod biomass, abundance and species richness trends over 32 years in the agricultural Limpach valley, Switzerland

Recent publications about declines in arthropod biomass, abundance and species diversity raise concerns and call for measures. Agricultural intensification is likely one cause for the negative trends. But rare long-term arthropod surveys conceal trends in arthropod communities in agricultural land. Here, we report about a standardized sampling of arthropod fauna in a Swiss agricultural landscape, repeated over 32 years (1987, 1997 and 2019). We sampled 8 sites covering 4 semi-natural and agricultural habitat types. Four trap types were used to capture a wide range of flying and ground dwelling arthropods between May and July. Over the three sampling periods, 58’255 specimens of 1’343 species were analysed. Mean arthropod biomass, abundance and species richness per trap was significantly higher in 2019 than in prior years and gamma diversity of the study area was highest in 2019. Biomass and abundance increased stronger in the flight traps than in the pitfall traps. The implementation of agri-environmental schemes has improved habitat quality since 1993, while landscape composition and pesticide and fertilizer use remained stable over the study period, both contributing to the findings. The results of this study contrast with outcomes of comparable investigations and highlight the importance of further long-term investigations on arthropod dynamics.

Data are provided on request to contact person against bilateral agreement.

Funding Information:

This work was supported by:
  • WSL

Related Publications

Fürst, J., Bollmann, K., Gossner, M., Duelli, P., Obrist, M.K. (submitted) Increasing arthropod biomass, abundance and species richness in an agricultural landscape over 32 years.


Fürst, Julia; Bollmann, Kurt; Gossner, Martin M.; Duelli, Peter; Obrist, Martin K. (2020). Arthropod biomass, abundance and species richness trends over 32 years in the agricultural Limpach valley, Switzerland. EnviDat. doi:10.16904/envidat.163.

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Field Values
DOI 10.16904/envidat.163
Publication State Published
  • Email: fuerst-juliafoo(at)  Given Name: Julia  Family Name: Fürst  Affiliation: WSL  DataCRediT: Collection, Validation, Curation, Publication
  • Email: kurt.bollmannfoo(at)  ORCID: 0000-0002-4690-7121  Given Name: Kurt  Family Name: Bollmann  Affiliation: WSL  DataCRediT: Publication, Supervision
  • Email: martin.gossnerfoo(at)  ORCID: 0000-0003-1516-6364  Given Name: Martin M.  Family Name: Gossner  Affiliation: WSL  Additional Affiliation : ETH  DataCRediT: Validation, Publication, Supervision
  • Email: peter.duellifoo(at)  ORCID: 0000-0001-8862-8262  Given Name: Peter  Family Name: Duelli  Affiliation: WSL  DataCRediT: Validation, Publication
  • Email: martin.obristfoo(at)  ORCID: 0000-0001-6766-044X  Given Name: Martin K.  Family Name: Obrist  Affiliation: WSL  DataCRediT: Validation, Curation, Publication, Supervision
Contact Person Given Name: Martin K.  Family Name: Obrist  Email: martin.obristfoo(at)  Affiliation: WSL  ORCID: 0000-0001-6766-044X
Publication Publisher: EnviDat  Year: 2020
  • Type: Collected  Date: 1987-04-30  End Date: 1987-07-16
  • Type: Collected  Date: 1997-05-06  End Date: 1997-07-15
  • Type: Collected  Date: 2019-05-23  End Date: 2019-07-14
Version 1.0
Type dataset
General Type Dataset
Language English
Location Switzerland
Content License Other (Specified in the description)
Last Updated September 17, 2020, 18:48 (CEST)
Created July 16, 2020, 18:04 (CEST)