Environmental-friendly farming in Switzerland is not hornwort-friendly

  • Published source details Bisang I., Bergamini A. & Lienhard L. (2009) Environmental-friendly farming in Switzerland is not hornwort-friendly. Biological Conservation, 142, 2104-2113.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Leave overwinter stubbles

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Leave overwinter stubbles

    A replicated before-and-after study in 1989-2005 on 28 selected arable fields in the western Swiss Plateau (Bisang et al. 2009) found that populations of two hornwort species (Anthoceros agrestis and Phaeoceros carolinianus, the latter rare) declined between surveys carried out before and after introduction of the Swiss agri-environment scheme in 1999. An index of hornwort abundance was greater during an initial survey in 1989-1995 than in a repeat survey of the same sites in 2005-2007. Hornwort abundance was strongly affected by the availability of stubble fields. The proportion of stubble fields left unmanaged after harvest was found to decrease between the survey periods. The scheme appeared suboptimal for conserving hornwort taxa because it did not support the maintenance of autumn or winter stubble fields (which, in turn, declined as a result of soil conservation measures introduced in 2005). Selected fields (on average 1-2 ha) were surveyed every September-October, and observations of hornwort occurrences (of A. agrestis and P. carolinianus gametophytes, based on 20 minutes search by two people) were used to calculate an abundance index. Crop type and management were also recorded.


Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 21

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape ProgrammeRed List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Mauritian Wildlife Supporting Conservation Leaders
Sustainability Dashboard National Biodiversity Network Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust