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Effects of organic farming on bird diversity in North-West Spain

Goded, Sandra LU ; Ekroos, Johan LU ; Domínguez, Jesús; Guitián, José A. and Smith, Henrik G. LU (2018) In Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 257. p.60-67
Abstract

Many studies have investigated effects of organic farming on the abundance and diversity of farmland birds, but few have considered how these effects vary between seasons. We analysed the effects of organic farming during an entire year in a previously understudied region, Galicia (North-West Spain), a relatively heterogeneous landscape which is an important wintering and breeding ground for birds. We compared bird abundance and species richness on farmland in 0.5 × 0.5 km study squares on 16 paired organic and conventional farms. In addition, at each organic farm we compared bird abundance and species richness between one similar study square with a high and one with a low proportion of organic farming, respectively. During winter,... (More)

Many studies have investigated effects of organic farming on the abundance and diversity of farmland birds, but few have considered how these effects vary between seasons. We analysed the effects of organic farming during an entire year in a previously understudied region, Galicia (North-West Spain), a relatively heterogeneous landscape which is an important wintering and breeding ground for birds. We compared bird abundance and species richness on farmland in 0.5 × 0.5 km study squares on 16 paired organic and conventional farms. In addition, at each organic farm we compared bird abundance and species richness between one similar study square with a high and one with a low proportion of organic farming, respectively. During winter, species richness was higher in organic farms compared to conventional ones. Throughout the year bird abundance was higher in squares with a high proportion of organic farming compared to those with a low proportion of organic farming, but only when they were surrounded by land with a low proportion of agriculture. Bird abundance in organic squares increased with the proportion of land being native forest resulting in more mosaic landscapes. Seedeaters particularly benefited from organic farming, with high abundances on organic farms in landscapes with a low proportion of agricultural land. Our results suggest that organic farming can benefit farmland birds in heterogeneous landscapes, particularly during winter, probably due to increased food availability, but future studies are needed to clarify the mechanism behind the effects.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Bird diversity, Heterogeneous landscape, Mediterranean countries, Native forest, Organic farming
in
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment
volume
257
pages
8 pages
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:85044650794
ISSN
0167-8809
DOI
10.1016/j.agee.2018.01.020
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f061c5d1-d22c-4b46-aa30-e7dc845bbd49
date added to LUP
2018-04-10 12:15:46
date last changed
2018-11-21 21:39:13
@article{f061c5d1-d22c-4b46-aa30-e7dc845bbd49,
  abstract     = {<p>Many studies have investigated effects of organic farming on the abundance and diversity of farmland birds, but few have considered how these effects vary between seasons. We analysed the effects of organic farming during an entire year in a previously understudied region, Galicia (North-West Spain), a relatively heterogeneous landscape which is an important wintering and breeding ground for birds. We compared bird abundance and species richness on farmland in 0.5 × 0.5 km study squares on 16 paired organic and conventional farms. In addition, at each organic farm we compared bird abundance and species richness between one similar study square with a high and one with a low proportion of organic farming, respectively. During winter, species richness was higher in organic farms compared to conventional ones. Throughout the year bird abundance was higher in squares with a high proportion of organic farming compared to those with a low proportion of organic farming, but only when they were surrounded by land with a low proportion of agriculture. Bird abundance in organic squares increased with the proportion of land being native forest resulting in more mosaic landscapes. Seedeaters particularly benefited from organic farming, with high abundances on organic farms in landscapes with a low proportion of agricultural land. Our results suggest that organic farming can benefit farmland birds in heterogeneous landscapes, particularly during winter, probably due to increased food availability, but future studies are needed to clarify the mechanism behind the effects.</p>},
  author       = {Goded, Sandra and Ekroos, Johan and Domínguez, Jesús and Guitián, José A. and Smith, Henrik G.},
  issn         = {0167-8809},
  keyword      = {Bird diversity,Heterogeneous landscape,Mediterranean countries,Native forest,Organic farming},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {04},
  pages        = {60--67},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment},
  title        = {Effects of organic farming on bird diversity in North-West Spain},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2018.01.020},
  volume       = {257},
  year         = {2018},
}