Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

Descriptions of loss curves

In a large-scale study we investigated how biodiversity is influenced by landscape structure and the intensity of agricultural production. Species richness was assessed for selected plant and animal taxa in 25 agricultural landscapes distributed across seven European countries. The landscape structure was mapped using aerial photographs and the landuse intensity assessed by interviewing the farmers of the selected sites.

The collected data was ued to describe the relationship between landscape structure, land use intensity and biodiversity. In general, species diversity increased with increasing area of semi-natural landscape elements and decreased with increasing land-use intensity. The existence of such general relationships demonstrates that characteristics of the agricultural landscape can be used as reliable indicators of species richness.

These indicators provide a convenient method for large scale monitoring of biodiversity in agricultural landscapes, which is a prerequisite for better environmental policy and management. The results of this analysis have been written up in a scientific publication and will be published soon.

Further publications on more detailed aspects are currently being written and will be published in scientific journals. One study on the athropods only has been accepted for publication.

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Institute of Integrative Biology
Universitätsstrasse 18
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