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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effects of agri-environment schemes on biodiversity vary between taxa and species in arable landscapes in Switzerland

Published source details

Herzog F., Buholzer S., Dreier S., Hofer G., Jeanneret P., Pfiffner L., Poiger T., Prasuhn V., Richner W., Schupbach B., Spiess E., Spiess M., Walter T. & Winzeler M. (2006) Effects of the Swiss agri-environmental scheme on biodiversity and water quality. Mitteilungen der Biologischen Bundesanstalt für Land-u. Forstwirtschaft, 403, 34-39


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Increase the proportion of semi-natural habitat in the farmed landscape Farmland Conservation

A review on effects of the Swiss Ecological Compensation Areas (ECA) scheme on biodiversity in arable landscapes in Switzerland (Herzog et al. 2006) found that effects differed between species and taxa. Bird species breeding in hedgerows (dominated by yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella, linnet Carduelis cannabina, red-backed shrike Lanius collurio and common whitethroat Syliva communis) and wetlands (mainly reed warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus and marsh warbler A. palustris), had more territories than expected near ECAs (hedgerows: 143 territories expected vs 293 observed; wetlands: 31 territories expected vs 52 observed). For species preferring open agricultural habitats (skylark Alauda arvensis, common quail Coturnix coturnix and common kestrel Falco tinnunculus), fewer territories than expected were recorded near ECAs (151 expected vs 68 observed). Many compensation areas were located near vertical structures (such as hedgerows or forest edges), which may bias these results. A correlation between the proportion of ECAs in the landscape and presence of the meadow grasshopper Chorthippus parallelus was found, but there was no such correlation for the bow-winged grasshopper C. biguttulus. The report reviews results from a number of studies. No details on study design, monitoring techniques or other methods were given.

 

Reduce management intensity on permanent grasslands (several interventions at once) Farmland Conservation

A 2006 review on the effects of the Swiss Ecological Compensation Areas scheme in Switzerland (Herzog et al. 2006) found that out of 1,401 Ecological Compensation Area meadows investigated, only around 25% reached the required minimum quality, containing indicator plant species of species-rich semi-natural grasslands. The remaining 75% of Ecological Compensation Area meadows were species-poor with a simple vegetation structure. Several case studies showed that the community composition of spiders (Araneae) differs between extensively and conventionally managed meadows. No details on study design, monitoring techniques or other methods were given.

 

Plant nectar flower mixture/wildflower strips Farmland Conservation

A 2006 review on the effects of the Swiss Ecological Compensation Areas scheme in Switzerland (Herzog et al. 2006) found wildflower strips sown with native flowers on set-aside land attracted ground beetle species (Carabidae) that were never or only rarely found in wheat fields. No details on study design, monitoring techniques or other methods were given.