Farmland biodiversity: is habitat heterogeneity the key?

Timothy Guy Benton

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    1833 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Agricultural intensification has led to a widespread decline in farmland biodiversity measured across many different taxa. The changes in agricultural practices affect many different aspects of the farmland habitat, but agricultural industry, policy and much previous research has tended to be concerned with specific sectors or practices (e.g. pesticide use or cereal husbandry). Here, we review the empirical literature to synthesize the research effort that has been directed to investigate specific practices or goals to make general statements regarding the causes and consequences of farmland biodiversity decline. We argue that the loss of ecological heterogeneity at multiple spatial and temporal scales is a universal consequence of multivariate agricultural intensification and, therefore, that future research should develop cross-cutting policy frameworks and management solutions that recreate that heterogeneity as the key to restoring and sustaining biodiversity in temperate agricultural systems.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)182-188
    Number of pages7
    JournalTrends in Ecology & Evolution
    Volume4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

    Keywords

    • SKYLARKS ALAUDA-ARVENSIS
    • BREEDING SUCCESS
    • AGRICULTURAL INTENSIFICATION
    • BIRD POPULATIONS
    • SOUTHERN ENGLAND
    • FIELD MARGINS
    • WINTER-WHEAT
    • VANELLUS-VANELLUS
    • MILIARIA-CALANDRA
    • LOWLAND FARMLAND

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