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Ecological cross compliance promotes farmland biodiversity in Switzerland

Aviron, Stéphanie; Nitsch, Heike; Jeanneret, Philippe; Buholzer, Serge; Luka, Henryk; Pfiffner, Lukas; Pozzi, Stefano; Schüpbach, Beatrice; Walter, Thomas and Herzog, Felix (2009) Ecological cross compliance promotes farmland biodiversity in Switzerland. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 7 (5), pp. 247-252.

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Online at: http://www.esajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1890/070197

Summary

In ecological cross compliance, farmers have to meet environmental standards in order to qualify for area-related direct payments. Because this is a strong financial incentive, cross compliance is a potentially powerful policy instrument. We monitored the effectiveness of cross compliance in promoting biodiversity on grassland and on arable land in Switzerland over 8 years. We observed measurable benefits for flora, butterflies, ground beetles, and spiders, in terms of species numbers and/or community composition. However, populations of threatened species showed no signs of benefit. While cross compliance has been in force in Switzerland for almost a decade, it has only recently been introduced in the neighbouring European Union. We argue that – provided the environmental standards relating to biodiversity are increased in the future –common farmland biodiversity could be enhanced at the continental scale under cross compliance. The Swiss example shows that appropriate cross-compliance standards benefit farmland biodiversity at field and farm scales, while the conservation of threatened species needs to be addressed by specific programs, acting at the scale of agricultural landscapes.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:agri-environmental programs, cross-compliance, farmland-biodiversity, environmental standards, species, conservation, Funktionelle Biodiversität, Saumprojekt
Subjects: Environmental aspects > Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Food systems > Policy environments and social economy
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Sustainability > Biodiversity
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Entomolgy
DOI:10.1890/070197
Related Links:http://www.fibl.org/en/team/luka-henryk-en.html, http://www.esajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1890/070197, http://www.fibl.org/de/schweiz/forschung/pflanzenschutz-biodiversitaet.html
Deposited By: Luka, Dr. Henryk
ID Code:17809
Deposited On:13 Oct 2010 11:40
Last Modified:13 Oct 2010 12:29
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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