Institut für Evolution und Ökologie

Insect conservation and urban ecology

Urbanisation is one of the major environmentally relevant phenomena of our time and brings about major ecological challenges such as fragmentation, urban sprawl, pollution and overheating. Nevertheless, cities can offer secondary space for wild plants and animals and, in this way, provide areas in which people can experience nature. In close collaboration with the "Colourful meadow initiative", this research project focuses on the improvement of the maintenance of inner urban green areas with respect to insect conservation issues. These measures involve the reduction of mowing events to a twice-a-year only regime, the use of bar mowers instead of mulchers and the removal of grass cuttings from the surface. The effects of such management adjustments on various groups of invertebrates is being quantitatively evaluated by our group. 

In a second line of research, we are conducting surveys to evaluate the attitudes of people towards unmown urban green spaces. This also includes acceptability studies considering the aesthetic perception of the urban population. 


Current Third-party funded projects

Project sponsor
Funding reference

InsectMow - Development and evaluation of insect and spider friendly mowing techniques as a contribution to a sustainable form of agricultural grassland use, Subproject: Evaluation of insect-friendly mowing techniques.

further information: project website

Bundesamt für Naturschutz (BfN) 3520685B13

Key publications from this project

Unterweger, P.A., Klammer, J., Unger, M., Betz, O. (2018):  Insect hibernation on urban green land: a winter-adapted mowing regime as a management tool for insect conservation, BioRisk 13, 1-29.

Unterweger, P.A., Rieger, C., Betz, O. (2017): The influence of urban lawn mowing regimes on heteropteran diversity, Heteropteron, 48, 7-21.

Unterweger, P.A., Schrode, N., Betz, O. (2017): Urban nature: perception and acceptance of alternative green space management and the change of awareness after provision of environmental information. A chance for biodiversity protection, Urban Science, 1, 24, doi:10.3390/urbansci1030024

Wastian, L., Unterweger, P. A. & Betz, O. (2016): Influence of the reduction of urban lawn mowing on wild bee diversity (Hymenoptera, Apoidea), Journal of Hymenoptera Research, 49, 51-63

Hiller, D. & Betz, O. (2014): Auswirkungen verschiedener Mahdkonzepte auf die Heuschreckenfauna städtischer Grünflächen. Untersuchungen auf Grünflächen in Tübingen. Naturschutz und Landschaftsplanung, 46 (8), 241-246

Kricke, C. Bamann, T. & Betz, O. (2014): Einfluss städtischer Mahdkonzepte auf die Artenvielfalt der Tagfalter. Naturschutz und Landschaftsplanung, 46 (2), 052-058

Unterweger, P., Ade, J., Braun, A., Koltzenburg, M., Kricke, C., Schnee, L. Wastian, L. & Betz, O. (2013): Langfristige Etablierung extensiver Grünflächenpflege in Stadtgebieten. Die Initiative „Bunte Wiese“ der Stadt Tübingen. in Korn, H. & Feit, U. (Bearb.): Treffpunkt Biologische Vielfalt XII : interdisziplinärer Forschungsaustausch im Rahmen des Übereinkommens über die biologische Vielfalt, 89-94

Ade, J., Wolf-Schwenninger, K., Betz, O. (2012): Auswirkungen der Wiesenmahd auf verschiedene Käferarten ausgewählter städtischer Grünflächen Tübingens, Jahreshefte der Gesellschaft für Naturkunde in Württemberg, 168, 199-216


Oliver Betz
  +49 7071 29 72995
room E2A14

People involved