Effectiveness of GAEC cross-compliance Standard 4.2c for biodiversity conservation in set-asides, part II (ground-dwelling Arthropods and Vertebrates)

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Marta Biaggini
Pietro Lo Cascio
Paolo Bazzoffi
Claudia Corti *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Claudia Corti | claudia.corti@unifi.it


The MO.NA.CO. project has been set up to evaluate the effectiveness of some GAECs (Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions) through the institution of a monitoring network throughout the Italian territory. The present work deals with the evaluation of the Standard 4.2c, concerning biomass and biodiversity in set-asides, in relation to fauna conservation. Monitoring was performed in three areas, using the following indicators: ground-dwelling Arthropods identified at the order level, Coleoptera identified at the family level and Lacertids. Our results seem to indicate that a mild management of set-asides, consisting in mowing once a year (mid July in the examined areas), may enhance faunal diversity, above all Arthropod diversity. After mowing, the set-asides managed following Standard 4.2, hosted higher levels of Arthropod diversity and a more balanced faunistic composition in comparison to unmoved set-asides and arable lands. On the contrary, we did not find significant effects of mowing on lizard abundance. We also discussed some measures to mitigate the negative direct effects of mechanical mowing on fauna. 

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