Likely Impacts of Future Agricultural Change on Upland Farming and Bio diversity
Recent decades have witnessed substantial losses of biodiversity in Europe, partly driven by the ecological changes associated with intensification of agricultural production. These changes have particularly affected avian (bird) diversity in marginal areas such as the uplands of the UK. We developed integrated ecological-economic models, using eight different indicators of biodiversity based on avian species richness and individual bird densities. The models represent six different types of farms which are typical for the UK uplands, and were used to assess the outcomes of different agricultural futures. Our results show that the impacts of these future agricultural scenarios on farm incomes, land use and biodiversity are very diverse across policy scenarios and farm types. Moreover, each policy scenario produces un-equal distributions of farm income changes, and gains and losses in alternative biodiversity indicators. This shows that generalisations of the effects of land use change on biodiversity can be misleading. Our results also suggest that a focus on umbrella species or indicators (such as total richness) can miss important compositional effects.
|Date of creation:||Nov 2010|
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