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      The importance of timing and number of surveys in fungal biodiversity research

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      Biodiversity and Conservation

      Springer Nature

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          Monitoring of biological diversity in space and time

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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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              Why most conservation monitoring is, but need not be, a waste of time.

              Ecological conservation monitoring programmes abound at various organisational and spatial levels from species to ecosystem. Many of them suffer, however, from the lack of details of goal and hypothesis formulation, survey design, data quality and statistical power at the start. As a result, most programmes are likely to fail to reach the necessary standard of being capable of rejecting a false null hypothesis with reasonable power. Results from inadequate monitoring are misleading for their information quality and are dangerous because they create the illusion that something useful has been done. We propose that conservation agencies and those funding monitoring work should require the demonstration of adequate power at the outset of any new monitoring scheme.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Biodiversity and Conservation
                Biodivers Conserv
                Springer Nature
                0960-3115
                1572-9710
                January 2012
                October 2011
                : 21
                : 1
                : 205-219
                Article
                10.1007/s10531-011-0176-z
                © 2012
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