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Evaluating On-Farm Biodiversity: A Comparison of Assessment Methods

Gabel, Vanessa M.; Home, Robert; Stöckli, Sibylle; Meier, Matthias; Stolze, Matthias and Köpke, Ulrich (2018) Evaluating On-Farm Biodiversity: A Comparison of Assessment Methods. Sustainability, 10 (12), pp. 1-14.

[thumbnail of sustainability_ Gabel_et al. 2018.pdf] PDF - English

Document available online at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/329750050_Evaluating_On-Farm_Biodiversity_A_Comparison_of_Assessment_Methods


Strategies to stop the loss of biodiversity in agriculture areas will be more successful if farmers have the means to understand changes in biodiversity on their farms and to assess the effectiveness of biodiversity promoting measures. There are several methods to assess on-farm biodiversity but it may be difficult to select the most appropriate method for a farmer’s individual circumstances. This study aims to evaluate the usability and usefulness of four biodiversity assessment methods that are available to farmers in Switzerland. All four methods were applied to five case study farms, which were ranked according to the results. None of the methods were able to provide an exact statement on the current biodiversity status of the farms, but each method could provide an indication, or approximation, of one or more aspects of biodiversity. However, the results also showed that it is possible to generate different statements on the state of biodiversity on the same farms by using different biodiversity assessment methods. All methods showed strengths and weaknesses so, when choosing a method, the purpose of the biodiversity assessment should be kept in the foreground and the limitations of the chosen methods should be considered when interpreting the outcomes.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:biodiversity assessment methods, agriculture, case study, on-farm evaluation
Subjects: Environmental aspects > Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Society > Rural sociology
Germany > University of Bonn > Institute of Organic Agriculture
ISSN:EISSN 2071-1050
Deposited By: Gabel, Vanessa
ID Code:34439
Deposited On:12 Feb 2019 20:45
Last Modified:15 Mar 2022 10:19
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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