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.

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