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Organic farming and heterogeneous landscapes positively affect different measures of plant diversity

Author:
  • Romina Rader
  • Klaus Birkhofer
  • Reto Schmucki
  • Henrik Smith
  • Martin Stjernman
  • Regina Lindborg
Publishing year: 2014
Language: English
Pages: 1544-1553
Publication/Series: Journal of Applied Ecology
Volume: 51
Issue: 6
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

Abstract english

Increasing landscape heterogeneity and organic farming practices are known to enhance species richness in agroecosystems. However, little is known about the consequences of these management options on other biodiversity components such as community composition, phylogenetic structure and functional diversity which may be more closely linked to ecosystem functioning. We surveyed semi-natural plant communities within the uncultivated field margins of 18 arable farms in Skane, south Sweden. We investigated how taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional diversity responds to landscape heterogeneity (presence of semi-natural habitat) and farm management intensity (organic vs. conventional farming). Plant species richness and functional diversity metrics all responded positively to landscape heterogeneity, with the strongest effect occurring on conventional farms. Community composition differed with farm management, and mean phylogenetic relatedness, an indicator of phylogenetic structure, was significantly higher on the field margins of organic compared to conventional farms. Individual plant functional groups themselves responded in unique ways to land management and landscape heterogeneity.Synthesis and applications. Management strategies that promote the conservation of heterogeneous landscapes (i.e. a higher proportion of semi-natural habitats) and organic farm management practices are important for maintaining plant phylogenetic, functional and taxonomic diversity in agroecosystems. Accommodating various forms of diversity is important to ensure that ecosystems have the greatest possible array of species ecologies'. Such measures will help to improve the capacity of these ecosystems to provide multiple ecosystem functions, including the sustaining and regulating services of benefit to people. Management strategies that promote the conservation of heterogeneous landscapes (i.e. a higher proportion of semi-natural habitats) and organic farm management practices are important for maintaining plant phylogenetic, functional and taxonomic diversity in agroecosystems. Accommodating various forms of diversity is important to ensure that ecosystems have the greatest possible array of species ecologies'. Such measures will help to improve the capacity of these ecosystems to provide multiple ecosystem functions, including the sustaining and regulating services of benefit to people.

Keywords

  • Ecology
  • Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
  • agriculture
  • agroecosystem
  • functional diversity
  • functional trait
  • insurance
  • intensification
  • phylogenetic
  • redundancy
  • resilience
  • stability

Other

Published
  • ISSN: 1365-2664
Henrik Smith
E-mail: henrik.smith [at] biol.lu.se

Professor

Biodiversity

+46 46 222 93 79

+46 70 978 20 56

E-C313

50

Director

Centre for Environmental and Climate Research (CEC)

+46 46 222 93 79

+46 70 978 20 56

C313

Sölvegatan 37, Lund

50

Centre for Animal Movement Research
Evolutionary Ecology, Department of Biology
Ecology building S-223 62 Lund Sweden