Study

The effect of agri-environment schemes on amphibian diversity and abundance

  • Published source details Maes J., Musters C.J.M. & Snoo G.R.D. (2008) The effect of agri-environment schemes on amphibian diversity and abundance. Biological Conservation, 141, 635-645

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Manage ditches

Action Link
Amphibian Conservation

Pay farmers to cover the costs of conservation measures

Action Link
Amphibian Conservation

Manage ditches to benefit wildlife

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Manage ditches

    A replicated, site comparison study of 42 managed ditches within pasture in the Western Peat District of the Netherlands (Maes, Musters & De Snoo 2008) found that amphibian diversity and abundance was significantly higher in agri-environment scheme compared to conventionally managed ditches. Adult green frog Rana esculenta numbers in conventional ditches declined with distance from reserves; this was not the case in agri-environment scheme ditches. Farmers managing ditches under agri-environment schemes are encouraged to reduce grazing/mowing intensity and reduce fertilizer inputs compared to conventional management, and not to deposit mowing cuttings or sediments from ditch cleaning on the ditch banks. Monitoring was undertaken along 18 agri-environment and 24 conventionally managed ditches in April–July 2008. Ditches were perpendicular to eight nature reserve borders and monitoring was just inside reserves and at four distances from reserve borders (0–700 m). Three methods were used during each sampling period: five minute counts, 20 dip net samples and two overnight funnel traps.

     

  2. Pay farmers to cover the costs of conservation measures

    A replicated, site comparison study of 42 ditches within pasture in the Western Peat District of the Netherlands (Maes, Musters & De Snoo 2008) found that amphibian diversity and abundance were significantly higher in ditches managed under agri-environment schemes compared to conventional management. Adult green frog Rana esculenta numbers in conventional ditches declined with distance from reserves; this was not the case in agri-environment scheme ditches. Farmers managing ditches under agri-environment schemes are encouraged to reduce grazing/mowing intensity, reduce fertilizer inputs, and not to deposit mowing cuttings or sediments from ditch cleaning on the ditch banks. Relative amphibian abundance was measured in ditches in April–May and/or May–July 2008. Ditches were perpendicular to eight nature reserve borders and monitoring was just inside reserves and at four distances (0–700 m) from reserve borders. Three methods were used during each sampling period: five minute counts, 20 dip net samples and two overnight funnel traps.

     

     

  3. Manage ditches to benefit wildlife

    A replicated site comparison study of 18 agri-environment scheme-managed and 24 conventionally managed ditches within pasture and perpendicular to eight nature reserve borders in the western peat district of the Netherlands (Maes et al. 2008) found that amphibian diversity and abundance (and emergent plant cover) was significantly higher in agri-environment than conventional ditches. Adult green frog Rana esculenta numbers in conventional ditches declined with distance from reserves; this was not the case in agri-environment scheme ditches. Farmers managing ditches under agri-environment schemes are encouraged to reduce grazing/mowing intensity, reduce fertilizer inputs, and not to deposit mowing cuttings or sediments from ditch cleaning on the ditch banks. Relative amphibian abundance was measured in ditches in April-May and/or May-July 2008 just inside reserves and at four distances (0-700 m) from reserve borders. Three methods were used during each sampling period: five minute counts, 20 dip-net samples and two overnight funnel traps. Habitat variables including percentage cover of aquatic plants were also estimated.

     

Output references

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, 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 18

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 Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust