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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Initial findings of an evaluation programme of the Swiss Ecological Compensation Areas (ECA) agri-environment scheme suggested that introduction of ECAs had a positive impact on biodiversity indicators

Published source details

Herzog F., Gunter M., Hofer G., Jeanneret P., Pfiffner L., Schlapfer F., Schüpbach B. & Walter T. (2001) Restoration of agro-biodiversity in Switzerland. Pages 397-406 in: Y. Villacampa, C.A. Brebbia & J.L. Uso (eds.) Ecosystems and Sustainable Development III, Advances in Ecological Sciences. 10, WIT Press, Southampton.


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

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

The initial findings of a controlled replicated site comparison study of the Swiss Ecological Compensation Areas scheme in 1999-2005 (Herzog et al. 2001) found endangered plant species present on 42% of 582 grassland Ecological Compensation Areas (extensively managed meadows, litter meadows and pastures) examined in 1999. Although the number of spider (Araneae) species was similar (around 20 species), there were significant differences in spider species composition in 23 Ecological Compensation Area and 15 non-Ecological Compensation Area meadows. Butterfly (Lepidoptera) species composition also differed between Ecological Compensation Area and non-Ecological Compensation Area sites. Vascular plants, ground beetles (Carabidae), spiders, butterflies, grasshoppers (Orthoptera) and breeding birds were monitored on grasslands in three case study areas of around 5 km2.

Plant nectar flower mixture/wildflower strips Farmland Conservation

The initial findings of a controlled replicated site comparison study of the Swiss Ecological Compensation Areas scheme in 1999-2005 in Switzerland (Herzog et al. 2001) found more ground beetles (Carabidae) and ground beetle species in wildflower strips than in adjacent arable crops. The same was true for ground beetle species with specific habitat requirements. Ground beetles were sampled using funnel pitfall traps on 11 wildflower strips and comparison crop strips. Plants, ground beetles, spiders (Araneae), butterflies (Lepidoptera), grasshoppers (Orthoptera) and breeding birds were monitored on grasslands in three case study areas of around 5 km2.