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Local and landscape effects of organic farming on butterfly species richness and abundance

Rundlöf, Maj LU ; Bengtsson, Janne and Smith, Henrik LU (2008) In Journal of Applied Ecology 45(3). p.813-820
Abstract
1. Agri-environmental schemes (AES) are commonly adopted in Europe to reduce the loss of farmland biodiversity. These schemes have, however, been criticized as not fulfilling this goal, partly because their effectiveness is thought to differ depending on external factors such as landscape heterogeneity, the focal organism and scale of application.

2. We used one AES, organic farming, as a landscape-scale experiment to test whether its effect on butterflies depends on the spatial scale at which it is applied. Our study system consisted of organically and conventionally managed fields within eight pairs of matched landscapes, differing in the proportion of land under organic management at the landscape scale. Butterflies and their... (More)
1. Agri-environmental schemes (AES) are commonly adopted in Europe to reduce the loss of farmland biodiversity. These schemes have, however, been criticized as not fulfilling this goal, partly because their effectiveness is thought to differ depending on external factors such as landscape heterogeneity, the focal organism and scale of application.

2. We used one AES, organic farming, as a landscape-scale experiment to test whether its effect on butterflies depends on the spatial scale at which it is applied. Our study system consisted of organically and conventionally managed fields within eight pairs of matched landscapes, differing in the proportion of land under organic management at the landscape scale. Butterflies and their nectar and host-plant resources were surveyed along the fields and adjacent field borders.

3. Butterfly species richness and abundance were significantly increased by organic farming at the

local scale. However, local butterfly species richness was also positively affected by a large proportion

of organic farming in the surrounding landscape, independent of the local farming practice. Local and landscape farming practices interacted such that the farming practice within fields had a larger

effect on butterfly abundance if surrounded by conventionally rather than organically managed fields. These results could only partly be explained by variation in local availability of nectar and host-plant resources.

4. The total observed species richness (γ-diversity) was higher in organically managed landscapes, mainly because of higher within-field diversity (α-diversity), whereas the between-field diversity (β-diversity) tended to be similar in both landscape types.

5. Synthesis and applications. Butterflies were positively affected by organic farming at a local scale,

but the amount of organic farming in the surrounding landscape had either an additive (species richness) or interactive (abundance) effect. Therefore, the spatial distribution of AES must be taken into account to maximize their potential to increase farmland biodiversity. We have shown that organic farming affected butterfly species richness on nearby conventionally managed land. This suggests a landscape effect of organic farming that may indicate a wider benefit of AES for biodiversity

conservation. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
agri-environment schemes, diversity, conservation, farming practice, Lepidoptera, landscape ecology, spatial distribution, additive partitioning, spatial scales
in
Journal of Applied Ecology
volume
45
issue
3
pages
813 - 820
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • wos:000255464600009
  • scopus:42949143009
ISSN
1365-2664
DOI
10.1111/j.1365-2664.2007.01448.x
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
1cfef593-9705-4a5d-848b-8237108b4b0d (old id 942590)
date added to LUP
2008-01-22 13:29:48
date last changed
2017-11-05 03:34:37
@article{1cfef593-9705-4a5d-848b-8237108b4b0d,
  abstract     = {1. Agri-environmental schemes (AES) are commonly adopted in Europe to reduce the loss of farmland biodiversity. These schemes have, however, been criticized as not fulfilling this goal, partly because their effectiveness is thought to differ depending on external factors such as landscape heterogeneity, the focal organism and scale of application.<br/><br>
2. We used one AES, organic farming, as a landscape-scale experiment to test whether its effect on butterflies depends on the spatial scale at which it is applied. Our study system consisted of organically and conventionally managed fields within eight pairs of matched landscapes, differing in the proportion of land under organic management at the landscape scale. Butterflies and their nectar and host-plant resources were surveyed along the fields and adjacent field borders.<br/><br>
3. Butterfly species richness and abundance were significantly increased by organic farming at the<br/><br>
local scale. However, local butterfly species richness was also positively affected by a large proportion<br/><br>
of organic farming in the surrounding landscape, independent of the local farming practice. Local and landscape farming practices interacted such that the farming practice within fields had a larger<br/><br>
effect on butterfly abundance if surrounded by conventionally rather than organically managed fields. These results could only partly be explained by variation in local availability of nectar and host-plant resources.<br/><br>
4. The total observed species richness (γ-diversity) was higher in organically managed landscapes, mainly because of higher within-field diversity (α-diversity), whereas the between-field diversity (β-diversity) tended to be similar in both landscape types.<br/><br>
5. Synthesis and applications. Butterflies were positively affected by organic farming at a local scale,<br/><br>
but the amount of organic farming in the surrounding landscape had either an additive (species richness) or interactive (abundance) effect. Therefore, the spatial distribution of AES must be taken into account to maximize their potential to increase farmland biodiversity. We have shown that organic farming affected butterfly species richness on nearby conventionally managed land. This suggests a landscape effect of organic farming that may indicate a wider benefit of AES for biodiversity<br/><br>
conservation.},
  author       = {Rundlöf, Maj and Bengtsson, Janne and Smith, Henrik},
  issn         = {1365-2664},
  keyword      = {agri-environment schemes,diversity,conservation,farming practice,Lepidoptera,landscape ecology,spatial distribution,additive partitioning,spatial scales},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {813--820},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Journal of Applied Ecology},
  title        = {Local and landscape effects of organic farming on butterfly species richness and abundance},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2664.2007.01448.x},
  volume       = {45},
  year         = {2008},
}