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Porträtt av Henrik Smith. Foto.

Henrik Smith

Professor

Porträtt av Henrik Smith. Foto.

Assessing the effect of the time since transition to organic farming on plants and butterflies

Författare

  • Dennis Jonason
  • Georg Andersson
  • Erik Ockinger
  • Maj Rundlöf
  • Henrik Smith
  • Jan Bengtsson

Summary, in English

P>1. Environmental changes may not always result in rapid changes in species distributions, abundances or diversity. In order to estimate the effects of, for example, land-use changes caused by agri-environment schemes (AES) on biodiversity and ecosystem services, information on the time-lag between the application of the scheme and the responses of organisms is essential. 2. We examined the effects of time since transition (TST) to organic farming on plant species richness and butterfly species richness and abundance. Surveys were conducted in cereal fields and adjacent field margins on 60 farms, 20 conventional and 40 organic, in two regions in Sweden. The organic farms were transferred from conventional management between 1 and 25 years before the survey took place. The farms were selected along a gradient of landscape complexity, indicated by the proportion of arable land, so that farms with similar TST were represented in all landscape types. Organism responses were assessed using model averaging. 3. Plant and butterfly species richness was c. 20% higher on organic farms and butterfly abundance was about 60% higher, compared with conventional farms. Time since transition affected butterfly abundance gradually over the 25-year period, resulting in a 100% increase. In contrast, no TST effect on plant or butterfly species richness was found, indicating that the main effect took place immediately after the transition to organic farming. 4. Increasing landscape complexity had a positive effect on butterfly species richness, but not on butterfly abundance or plant species richness. There was no indication that the speed of response to organic farming was affected by landscape complexity. 5. Synthesis and applications. The effect of organic farming on diversity was rapid for plant and butterfly species richness, whereas butterfly abundance increased gradually with time since transition. If time-lags in responses to AESs turn out to be common, long-term effects would need to be included in management recommendations and policy to capture the full potential of such schemes.

Avdelning/ar

  • Biodiversitet
  • Centrum för miljö- och klimatvetenskap (CEC)
  • BECC: Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate
  • Biodiversitet och bevarandevetenskap

Publiceringsår

2011

Språk

Engelska

Sidor

543-550

Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie

Journal of Applied Ecology

Volym

48

Issue

3

Dokumenttyp

Artikel i tidskrift

Förlag

John Wiley and Sons

Ämne

  • Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
  • Ecology

Nyckelord

  • agri-environment scheme
  • farming system
  • farmland biodiversity
  • Lepidoptera
  • time since transition

Status

Published

Projekt

  • Effects of Farming Practice on Pollinators and Pollination across Space and Time

Forskningsgrupp

  • Biodiversity and Conservation Science

ISBN/ISSN/Övrigt

  • ISSN: 1365-2664