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[SANET-MG] organic farming saves biodiversity
ISSN: 1744-9561 (Paper) 1744-957X (Online)
Issue: Volume 1, Number 4 / December 22, 2005
Pages: 431 - 434
URL: Linking Options
Benefits of organic farming to biodiversity vary among taxa
R.J. Fuller A1, L.R. Norton A2, R.E. Feber A3, P.J. Johnson A3, D.E.
Chamberlain A1, A.C. Joys A1, F. Mathews A3, R.C. Stuart A2, M.C.
Townsend A3, W.J. Manley A4, M.S. Wolfe A5, D.W. Macdonald A3, L.G.
A1 British Trust for Ornithology The Nunnery, Thetford, Norfolk IP24 2PU, UK
A2 Lancaster Environment Centre Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4AP, UK
A3 University of Oxford Wildlife Conservation Research Unit Tubney
House, Abingdon Road, Tubney, Oxfordshire OX13 5QL, UK
A4 Royal Agricultural College Cirencester, Gloucestershire GL7 6JS, UK
A5 Elm Farm Research Centre Hamstead Marshall, Newbury, Berkshire RG20
Habitat and biodiversity differences between matched pairs of organic
and non-organic farms containing cereal crops in lowland England were
assessed by a large-scale study of plants, invertebrates, birds and
bats. Habitat extent, composition and management on organic farms was
likely to favour higher levels of biodiversity and indeed organic farms
tended to support higher numbers of species and overall abundance across
most taxa. However, the magnitude of the response varied; plants showed
larger and more consistent responses than other taxa. Variation in
response across taxa may be partly a consequence of the small size and
isolated context of many organic farms. Extension of organic farming
could contribute to the restoration of biodiversity in agricultural
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