Changes in Ground Beetle and Bird Species After Farmland Abandonment

  • Satoshi Yamanaka
  • Masashi Hanioka
  • Futoshi Nakamura
Part of the Ecological Research Monographs book series (ECOLOGICAL)


Wetlands have been greatly reduced by agriculture expansion and have become one of the most endangered ecosystems in the world. On the other hand, depopulation and the aging of farmers in developed countries have recently led to an increase in abandoned farmland. These abandoned farmlands, which were originally back marshes, may be succeeded by natural vegetation, and their recovery may contribute to the restoration of habitat for wetland species. In this chapter, we examine whether abandoned farmland provides habitats for wetland species of two focal taxa (ground beetles and birds) and whether the effects of farmland abandonment differ between taxa. We compared the species composition of both taxa between abandoned farmland and wetlands (reference sites for restoration) and assessed the effects of landscape and local factors on species composition. Our results indicated that the species richness and abundance of wetland species of both taxa were similar between abandoned farmland and wetlands. A landscape variable, area of abandoned farmland, affected the species composition of birds only, whereas local environmental factors affected the compositions of both taxa. These observed differences in the responses of the taxa to farmland abandonment could be related to taxon-specific traits such as environmental requirements or dispersal abilities. Our findings suggest that natural recovery of abandoned farmland can provide an opportunity for efficient restoration of wetland species. The natural recovery of wetland vegetation and ground beetle in the abandoned farmland should contribute to an increase of food and breeding habitat of red-crowned crane. Additional information regarding the responses of other taxa to farmland abandonment is needed to implement successful conservation and restoration projects using abandoned farmland.


Biodiversity Birds Carabidae Farmland abandonment Species richness Rewilding Wetland 



We thank M. Senzaki for the helping comments. We also thank the farmers who allowed us to survey on their land. This work was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for JSPS Fellows [Number 25-4354] and The Environment Research and Technology Development Fund of the Ministry of the Environment, Japan [Number D-1201].


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Satoshi Yamanaka
    • 1
    • 2
  • Masashi Hanioka
    • 2
  • Futoshi Nakamura
    • 2
  1. 1.Hokkaido Research Center, Forestry and Forest Products Research InstituteSapporoJapan
  2. 2.Graduate School of AgricultureHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan

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