Habitat heterogeneity on farmland: unlocking the potential

Author Storkey, J., Brooks, D.R., Haughton, A.J., Coleman, K., Milne, A., Whitmore, A.P., Shibu, M.E., & Holland, J.M.
Citation Storkey, J., Brooks, D.R., Haughton, A.J., Coleman, K., Milne, A., Whitmore, A.P., Shibu, M.E., & Holland, J.M. (2013). Habitat heterogeneity on farmland: unlocking the potential. Aspects of Applied Biology, 121: 193-197.

Abstract

The homogenisation of farmland has been identified as an important driver of declines in farmland biodiversity and may threaten the sustainable delivery of ecosystem services. While the introduction of agri-environment schemes has increased the amount of wildlife habitat on farms, their implementation is dominated by a few popular options. In addition, block cropping and an increasing reliance on a small handful of major crops has led to a continuing homogenisation of UK farmland. There is a need, therefore, to find pragmatic ways of increasing habitat heterogeneity on farms that supports the central service of food production. We present a number of examples of work done at Rothamsted to quantify the impact of habitat management on the taxonomic and functional diversity of plants and invertebrates. These relationships are being integrated into a landscape model to predict biodiversity and ecosystem services in land use scenarios with contrasting diversity and arrangement of habitats.

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