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      Creating woodland islets to reconcile ecological restoration, conservation, and agricultural land use

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      Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment

      Wiley-Blackwell

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          Most cited references 35

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          Farming and the fate of wild nature.

          World food demand is expected to more than double by 2050. Decisions about how to meet this challenge will have profound effects on wild species and habitats. We show that farming is already the greatest extinction threat to birds (the best known taxon), and its adverse impacts look set to increase, especially in developing countries. Two competing solutions have been proposed: wildlife-friendly farming (which boosts densities of wild populations on farmland but may decrease agricultural yields) and land sparing (which minimizes demand for farmland by increasing yield). We present a model that identifies how to resolve the trade-off between these approaches. This shows that the best type of farming for species persistence depends on the demand for agricultural products and on how the population densities of different species on farmland change with agricultural yield. Empirical data on such density-yield functions are sparse, but evidence from a range of taxa in developing countries suggests that high-yield farming may allow more species to persist.
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            Ecosystem service supply and vulnerability to global change in Europe.

            Global change will alter the supply of ecosystem services that are vital for human well-being. To investigate ecosystem service supply during the 21st century, we used a range of ecosystem models and scenarios of climate and land-use change to conduct a Europe-wide assessment. Large changes in climate and land use typically resulted in large changes in ecosystem service supply. Some of these trends may be positive (for example, increases in forest area and productivity) or offer opportunities (for example, "surplus land" for agricultural extensification and bioenergy production). However, many changes increase vulnerability as a result of a decreasing supply of ecosystem services (for example, declining soil fertility, declining water availability, increasing risk of forest fires), especially in the Mediterranean and mountain regions.
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              Mixed biodiversity benefits of agri-environment schemes in five European countries.

              Agri-environment schemes are an increasingly important tool for the maintenance and restoration of farmland biodiversity in Europe but their ecological effects are poorly known. Scheme design is partly based on non-ecological considerations and poses important restrictions on evaluation studies. We describe a robust approach to evaluate agri-environment schemes and use it to evaluate the biodiversity effects of agri-environment schemes in five European countries. We compared species density of vascular plants, birds, bees, grasshoppers and crickets, and spiders on 202 paired fields, one with an agri-environment scheme, the other conventionally managed. In all countries, agri-environment schemes had marginal to moderately positive effects on biodiversity. However, uncommon species benefited in only two of five countries and species listed in Red Data Books rarely benefited from agri-environment schemes. Scheme objectives may need to differentiate between biodiversity of common species that can be enhanced with relatively simple modifications in farming practices and diversity or abundance of endangered species which require more elaborate conservation measures.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
                Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
                Wiley-Blackwell
                1540-9295
                August 2008
                August 2008
                : 6
                : 6
                : 329-336
                Article
                10.1890/070057
                © 2008
                Product
                Self URI (article page): http://doi.wiley.com/10.1890/070057

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