Optimizing the biodiversity gain from agri-environment schemes

  • Published source details Merckx T., Feber R.E., Riordan P., Townsend M.C., Bourn N.A.D., Parsons M.S. & Macdonald D.W. (2009) Optimizing the biodiversity gain from agri-environment schemes. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 130, 177-182.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Plant grass buffer strips/margins around arable or pasture fields

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Plant grass buffer strips/margins around arable or pasture fields

    A replicated, controlled study in 2006 in central Oxfordshire, UK (Merckx et al. 2009b) found no difference in moth (Lepidoptera) abundance or diversity between 6 m (agri-environment scheme option) and about 1 m (standard option) wide field margins in four lowland farmland areas. In each area, one farm with standard margins and one with 6 m-wide margins were sampled. Three Heath pattern actinic light traps (6 W) were set up on each farm ?100 m apart and >50 m from hedgerow intersections. Traps were placed on 2 m2 white cotton sheets 1 m from hedgerows bordering fields with no banks or ditches. All farms were sampled once during each of 11 discrete fortnightly periods from mid-May to mid-October 2006. Sampling was carried out from dusk till dawn during nights with suitable weather conditions. At dawn, all individuals were identified to species, species-pair or genus, marked with a unique number and released where caught.

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