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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual 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


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

Manage ditches Amphibian Conservation

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.

 

Pay farmers to cover the costs of conservation measures Amphibian Conservation

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.

 

 

Manage ditches to benefit wildlife Farmland Conservation

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.