Study

Species richness and population densities were significantly higher on set-aside land than on nearby conventional fields in Europe and North America.

  • Published source details Van Buskirk J. & Willi Y. (2004) Enhancement of farmland biodiversity within set-aside land. Conservation Biology, 18, 987-994

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide or retain set-aside areas in farmland

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Provide or retain set-aside areas in farmland

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Provide or retain set-aside areas in farmland

    A meta-analysis of 127 studies comparing set-aside and conventional land (Van Buskirk & Willi 2004) found that species richness and population densities of birds were significantly higher on set-aside land than on nearby conventional fields in Europe and North America.  Positive effects were greatest on larger and older areas of set-aside, when the comparison conventional field was crops rather than grasses and in countries with more arable land under agri-environment schemes and with less intensive agriculture.  Overall, variation in establishment methods and types of set-aside made little difference to the positive effect on biodiversity, although species richness was increased more when set-aside was naturally regenerated rather than sown.

  2. Provide or retain set-aside areas in farmland

    A review and meta-analysis of 127 studies comparing set-aside and conventional land (Van Buskirk & Willi 2004) found that species richness and population densities of plants, birds, insects and spiders and harvestmen were significantly higher on set-aside land than on nearby conventional fields in Europe and North America. Positive effects were greatest on larger and older areas of set-aside, when the comparison conventional field contained crops rather than grasses, in countries with more arable land under agri-environment schemes and with less intensive agriculture. Overall, variation in establishment methods and types of set-aside made little difference to the positive effect on biodiversity, although species richness was increased more when set-aside was naturally regenerated rather than sown.

     

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, terrestrial mammals, 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 17

Go to the CE Journal

Subscribe to our newsletter

Please add your details if you are interested in receiving updates from the Conservation Evidence team about new papers, synopses and opportunities.

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