Are land sparing and land sharing real alternatives for European agricultural landscapes?

Herzog, F.; Schüepp, Christof (2013). Are land sparing and land sharing real alternatives for European agricultural landscapes? Aspects of applied biology, 121, pp. 109-116. AAB Office

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There is a lively debate on whether biodiversity conservation and agricultural production could be better reconciled by land sparing (strictly separating production fields and conservation areas) or by land sharing (combining both, agricultural production and biodiversity conservation on the same land). The debate originates from tropical countries, where agricultural land use continues to increase at the expense of natural ecosystems. But is it also relevant for Europe, where agriculture is withdrawing from marginal regions whilst farming of fertile lands continues to be intensified? Based on recent research on farmland biodiversity we conclude that the land sharing – land sparing dichotomy is too simplistic for Europe. Instead we differentiate between productive and marginal farmland. On productive farmland, semi-natural habitats are required to yield ecosystem services relevant for agriculture, to promote endangered farmland species which society wants to conserve even in intensively farmed regions, and to allow migration of non-farmland species through the agricultural matrix. On marginal farmland, high-nature value farming is a traditional way of land sharing, yielding high quality agricultural products and conserving specialized species. To conserve highly disturbance-sensitive species, there is a need for nature reserves. In conclusion, land sparing is not a viable olution for Europe in both productive and marginal farmland but because of different reasons in each type of farmland.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE) > Community Ecology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE)

UniBE Contributor:

Schüepp, Christof

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)
500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

0265-1491

Publisher:

AAB Office

Language:

English

Submitter:

Alexander Strauss

Date Deposited:

04 Aug 2014 10:33

Last Modified:

07 Dec 2014 02:02

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Farmland biodiversity, high nature value farming, organic farming, marginal farmland, semi-natural habitat

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.47493

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/47493

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