Diversity of habitats more important than organic status for farm wildlife, researchers claim

An international team including researchers at Aberystwyth University's Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) compared farmland biodiversity at organic and conventional farms in ten European and two African regions between 2010 and 2013.

Dr Peter Dennis - image:IBERS
Dr Peter Dennis - image:IBERS

"Surprisingly, we did not find a higher number of different habitats on organic farms than non-organic farms, on average over all twelve regions," said IBERS researcher Dr Peter Dennis, who led the Aberystwyth team.

"However, it was clear-cut that the diversity of habitats is key to species diversity. If these additional habitats are different to the rest of the farm, they have a huge impact on the species richness of a farm."

He concluded from the research that in order to sustain farmland biodiversity, "more than organic farming is needed".

The report is published in the journal Nature Communications.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Horticulture education update - staying on course

Horticulture education update - staying on course

Raised levels of investment in horticulture education and increased student take-up is welcome news for the industry, says Rachel Anderson.

How will reduced apple and pear harvests hit the industry?

How will reduced apple and pear harvests hit the industry?

This spring, many top-fruit growers in the UK and across Europe were dismayed to discover that swathes of their orchards had been hit by frost.

How should fruit growers prepare for water abstraction reform?

How should fruit growers prepare for water abstraction reform?

Upcoming reforms to water abstraction licensing will for the first time cap the amount of water that fruit growers can take for trickle irrigation.