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Effects of duration of Organic farming practice on vegetation in Danish field boundaries

Petersen, S.; Axelsen, J.A.; Tybirk, K.; Aude, E. and Vestergaard, P. (2006) Effects of duration of Organic farming practice on vegetation in Danish field boundaries. Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment, 113 (1-4), pp. 302-306.

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Enrichment of biological diversity is assumed to reflect good ecosystem integrity. The aim of the study presented here was primarily to observe, whether organic dairy farming increases the biological diversity of field boundary vegetation when compared to conventional dairy farming. Secondly, the aim was to consider if increasing duration of the organic farming period also increases diversity. Thirdly, ecological interpretations of the data were given by comparing organic and conventional field boundaries in terms of general vegetation community patterns.
The results documented that diversity of plant species was significantly higher within the organic field boundaries. Analysis of community patterns revealed that Ruderal species and species with affinity to nutrient rich conditions were most common in conventional field borders, whereas Stress-tolerators were indicators of organic farming. These differences occurred only 3 – 4 years after conversion to organic farming indicating that herbicide cessation is a major explanatory variable. Furthermore, there was a tendency towards higher diversity of plant species in the field boundaries that had been managed organically longest.
Altogether this study supports previous conclusions on extensive, organic farming as a method of enhancing the integrity of nature within the agricultural landscape.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Subjects: Farming Systems
Environmental aspects > Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Research affiliation: Denmark > DARCOF II (2000-2005) > III.5 Nature quality in organic farming
Deposited By: Tybirk, phd Knud
ID Code:3589
Deposited On:11 Oct 2004
Last Modified:29 Oct 2012 12:09
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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