Farmstead modernization affects farmland birds

Martin Mayer and Martin Šálek take us through their latest research into how old ‘messy’ farmsteads may actually be bird hotspots and how modernization changes this. Old cow sheds are a great place for farmland birds. There are many cracks, corners and beams in these old brick buildings where birds can build their nests. The bedding material for the cows is straw or hay, and … Continue reading Farmstead modernization affects farmland birds

From the ground up: Understanding coffee agroforestry systems

Sarah Archibald describes her team’s latest research seeking to better understand emergent herbaceous communities in organic coffee agroforestry systems by identifying their taxonomic and functional diversity as well as their management by interviewing farmers in Costa Rica. Coffee agroecosystems range in management and diversity, from monocultures with chemical inputs to biologically complex multi-strata agroforestry systems. With the demand for organic coffee expected to increase by … Continue reading From the ground up: Understanding coffee agroforestry systems

The proximity of rapeseed fields influences levels of forest damage by red deer

Deer can show transitional use between agricultural fields and forests for foraging and shelter which may have an effect on the level of forest damage. In their latest research, Anders Jarnemo and colleagues investigate this relationship by studying red deer in Skåne, Sweden. Red deer (Cervus elaphus) have been observed to cause severe damage to forest plantations through bark stripping, with tree species such as … Continue reading The proximity of rapeseed fields influences levels of forest damage by red deer

Harnessing drainage canals for biodiversity conservation

A new paper led by Csaba Tölgyesi from the University of Szeged, Hungary, shows that drainage canals can be harnessed for biodiversity conservation in desiccated, heavily transformed regions by reconciling the interests of opposing stakeholders. Drainage and subsequent land cultivation have been a major threat to global wetland ecosystems for centuries. In Europe, most lowland fens have been drained; approximately 25% of the arable land … Continue reading Harnessing drainage canals for biodiversity conservation

Editor’s Choice 59:5: Rolling composite wildflower blocks as an alternative to wildflower strips to improve farmland biodiversity

Associate Editor, Erik Öckinger, introduces this month’s Editor’s Choice paper by Jana Eccard, which suggests that rotational wildflower blocks, where successional stages exist in parallel, could represent a novel improvement to the commonly used wildflower strips. Strips with sown wildflowers along the margins of crop fields have become a common measure to counteract the ongoing loss of farmland biodiversity in many European countries. These wildflower … Continue reading Editor’s Choice 59:5: Rolling composite wildflower blocks as an alternative to wildflower strips to improve farmland biodiversity

Evaluating the success of upland hay meadow restoration using green hay transfer

Ruth Starr-Keddle describes her latest research with the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership to further the knowledge base on upland hay meadows and investigate the success of seed addition of key indicator species for restoring the landscape. Over the last 50 years there have been substantial declines in botanical diversity of traditionally managed species-rich upland hay meadows (conforming to the UK National … Continue reading Evaluating the success of upland hay meadow restoration using green hay transfer

The importance of indirect effects of climate change adaptations on alpine and pre-alpine freshwater systems

Feature photo edited from © Martin Laurenceau In their latest Perspective, Morgane Brosse and colleagues delve into the impact of human efforts to reduce or mitigate climate change, its effects on alpine freshwater environments and the role of specific management and policy decisions in determining the nature of these impacts. In an effort to address the threat of global change, much pressure is put on … Continue reading The importance of indirect effects of climate change adaptations on alpine and pre-alpine freshwater systems

The Disproportionate Value of ‘Weeds’ to Pollinators and Biodiversity

In their latest research, Nicholas Balfour and Francis Ratnieks use multiple datasets to compare the biodiversity value of the plant species classified as ‘injurious weeds’ by the UK’s 1959 Weeds Act, with those species stipulated by DEFRA for pollinator targeted agri-environmental options. In the UK, five species of native wildflowers are classified as “injurious weeds” in the 1959 Weeds Act. Three of them are frequently … Continue reading The Disproportionate Value of ‘Weeds’ to Pollinators and Biodiversity

Beneficial arthropod abundance assessed by sweep-netting is negatively associated with landscape-wide insecticide use

In a new study, Bakker, Bianchi and van der Werf assess how the use of insecticides and semi-natural landscapes impact beneficial arthropods in the Netherlands. Beneficial arthropods, like predators, parasitoids and pollinators, provide important ecosystem services such as biological pest control and pollination, and are therefore vital for ecosystem health and global food production. However, concerns have risen on the widespread decline of arthropods — … Continue reading Beneficial arthropod abundance assessed by sweep-netting is negatively associated with landscape-wide insecticide use

Evaluierung von GAP-Wildpflanzenblühstreifen: Hochwertige Saatgutmischungen erhöhen die Pflanzenvielfalt und die damit verbundenen Pollen- und Nektarressourcen auf Ackerflächen erheblich

Dieser Beitrag ist hier auch auf Englisch verfügbar In ihrer neuen Studie untersuchten Schmidt et al., die Wirksamkeit von Wildblumenstreifen, die im Rahmen der EU Agrarumweltprogramme eingeführt wurden Blühstreifen sind ein wesentlicher Bestandteil der Agrarumwelt- und Klimamaßnahmen (AUKM), die von der Europäischen Union eingeführt wurden, um dem Verlust der biologischen Vielfalt und der damit verbundenen Ökosystemleistungen in der Agrarlandschaft entgegenzuwirken. Mehrjährige Blühstreifen werden einmalig zu Beginn … Continue reading Evaluierung von GAP-Wildpflanzenblühstreifen: Hochwertige Saatgutmischungen erhöhen die Pflanzenvielfalt und die damit verbundenen Pollen- und Nektarressourcen auf Ackerflächen erheblich