The extension of bioenergy as the cultivation of maize leads to problems to biological diversity in agrarian regions. With different accompanying measures, such as the conservation of near-nature areas, however, these effects could be partly reduced. Photo: Jan Engel/ FSU Jena
2009, are again used for intensive agricultural production. Ecologically, it would make more sense, however, to take at least a portion of the area in the future from agricultural use and waste land and to develop field margins. How important are such extensive forms of agriculture for conservation had shown ecologists, for example, with reference to amphibians in Romania's Transylvania. (http://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=21768)
Photo: Tilo Arnhold/UFZ
These tendencies in today's intensive agriculture can be partly counteracted by the preservation of remaining nearly natural areas and field margins. However, it was also shown that both the extent of the resulting risks and the effectiveness of the counteracting conservation measures depend upon the structure of the particular agricultural landscape and the size of the fields. The larger and more homogeneous the landscape, the more important is the conservation of highly diverse nearly natural areas and field margins.The Eurasian skylark is the most common open land field bird in central Europe. The intensification of agriculture in recent years has resulted in a decline of around one third in their numbers. "The Eurasian skylark is a type of indicator for the ecological state of many regions used for agriculture, because they have settled in different areas of this intensively utilised open land, bred over many months on the ground in fields and fed on mainly insects and, additionally, the seeds of wild herbs and grains found there", explains Jan Engel, the first author of the UFZ-study, who is working at the University of Jena in the meantime. "This bird species is representative for important areas of the agrarian ecosystem. An improvement in the habitat quality for the skylark would therefore also support vegetation, insects and other ground-breeding bird species". In addition to the Eurasian skylark (Alauda arvensis), the researchers are currently investigating the effects on other field birds such as the Yellow wagtail (Motacilla flava) and the Corn bunting (Emberiza calandra) with their model in order to be able to make more extensive statements in future.
Tilo Arnhold | UFZ News
Further reports about: > Biodiversity > Ecological Impact > Environmental Research > Eurasian > Helmholtz > Production line > Reduced > UFZ > agricultural land > bioenergy > bird population > bird species > computer model > conservation measures > energy production > environmental risk > natural areas > natural resource > nature conservation > waste material > water resource
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