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The benefits of organic farming for biodiversity

Norton, L R; Fuller, R J; Feber, R E; Johnson, P J; Chamberlain, D E; Joys, A C; Mathews, F; Stuart, R C; Townsend, M C; Manley, W J; Wolfe, M S; Macdonald, D W and Firbank, L G (2006) The benefits of organic farming for biodiversity. In: Atkinson, C; Ball, B; Davies, D H K; Rees, R; Russell, G; Stockdale, E A; Watson, C A; Walker, R and Younie, D (Eds.) Aspects of Applied Biology 79, What will organic farming deliver? COR 2006, Association of Applied Biologists, pp. 191-194.

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Summary

Previous studies suggest widespread positive responses of biodiversity to organic farming. Many of these studies, however, have been small-scale. This project tested the generality of habitat and biodiversity differences between matched pairs of organic and non-organic farms containing cereal crops in lowland England on a large-scale across a range of taxa including plants, insects, birds and bats. The extent of both cropped and un-cropped habitats together with their composition and management on a range of scales were also compared. Organic farms was likely to favour higher levels of biodiversity and indeed organic farms tended to support higher numbers of species and overall abundance across most taxa. However, the magnitude of the response differed strikingly; plants showed stronger and more consistent responses than other taxa. Some, but not all, differences in biodiversity between systems appear to be a consequence of differences in habitat quantity.


EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Poster
Keywords:Biodiversity; farming systems; organic farming; large-scale; management
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Production systems > Cereals, pulses and oilseeds
Environmental aspects > Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Research affiliation: UK > Organic Research Centre (ORC) - Elm Farm
UK > Other organizations
UK > Colloquium of Organic Researchers (COR) > COR 2006
UK > British Trust for Ornithology (BTO)
Deposited By: MILLMAN, Mrs Carol A
ID Code:10220
Deposited On:20 Dec 2006
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:34
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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