Retain existing in-field trees
Overall effectiveness category No evidence found (no assessment)
Number of studies: 0
Background information and definitions
Single or scattered trees, particularly mature or veteran trees, may provide important roosting and foraging habitat for bats in open agricultural landscapes. Two studies in Australia found greater total bat activity and more bat species over pastures with scattered trees than open pastures without trees (Lumsden & Bennett 2005, Fischer et al. 2010). A study in Sweden found that tree density (up to 120–130 trees/ha) had a positive effect on total bat activity and foraging activity, activity of cluttered and edge habitat adapted bat species, and species richness in wood-pastures (Wood et al. 2017). A study in the USA found greater activity of edge habitat adapted bat species around remnant mature oak trees (Quercus spp.) than in treeless, open areas within vineyards (Polyakov et al. 2019).
To be included as evidence for this intervention, studies must have monitored a comparison, i.e. compared areas where existing in-field trees have been retained with areas where they have been removed. There must have been an active decision (i.e. intervention) to retain the in-field trees and the study must state when the intervention was carried out.
For studies that may carry out this intervention alongside other interventions to benefit bats on farmland, see ‘Pay farmers to cover the costs of conservation measures (e.g. agri-environment schemes)’. For studies that relate to retaining remnant forest or woodland, see ‘Retain remnant forest or woodland on agricultural land’.
Fischer J., Stott J. & Law B.S. (2010) The disproportionate value of scattered trees. Biological Conservation, 143, 1564–1567.
Lumsden L.F. & Bennett A.F. (2005) Scattered trees in rural landscapes: foraging habitat for insectivorous bats in south-eastern Australia. Biological Conservation, 122, 205–222.
Polyakov A.Y., Weller T.J. & Tietje W.D. (2019) Remnant trees increase bat activity and facilitate the use of vineyards by edge-space bats. Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment, 281, 56–63.
Wood H., Lindborg R. & Jakobsson S. (2017) European Union tree density limits do not reflect bat diversity in wood-pastures. Biological Conservation, 210, 60–71.