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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Ecological Compensation Areas required for cross compliance in Swiss farmland increase the numbers of plant and arthropod species

Published source details

Aviron S., Nitsch H. & Jeanneret P. (2009) Ecological cross compliance promotes farmland biodiversity in Switzerland. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 7, 247-252


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

A site comparison study between 1997 and 2004 in two regions of central Switzerland (Aviron et al. 2009) found that Ecological Compensation Area meadows contained significantly more species of plant, butterfly (Lepidoptera) and ground beetle (Carabidae) than conventionally managed meadows, but not more species of spider (Araneae). Estimated total numbers of species were 118 plant, 36 butterfly (Lepidoptera), 98 ground beetle (Carabidae) and 156 spider on Ecological Compensation Area meadows and 83, 34, 88 and 124 on conventional meadows respectively. The study sampled 315 Ecological Compensation Area meadows and 216 conventionally managed grasslands between 1997 and 2004. Rare or threatened species were not found more frequently on Ecological Compensation Area sites. The increased number of species was a response of common species.

 

Plant nectar flower mixture/wildflower strips Farmland Conservation

A site comparison study between 1997 and 2004 in central Switzerland (Aviron et al. 2009) found wildflower strips sown with 20-40 species contained significantly more (8-60% more) plant, butterfly (Lepidoptera), ground beetle (Carabidae) and spider (Araneae) species than crop fields in the same region. Estimated total numbers of species were 149 (plant), 19 (butterfly), 85 (ground beetle) and 134 (spider) on Ecological Compensation Area wildflower strips and 50, 19, 78 and 104 species on conventional crop fields respectively. Rare or threatened species were not found more frequently on Ecological Compensation Area sites. The increased number of species was a response of common species. The study sampled 78 wildflower strips and 72 crop fields in a predominantly arable region.