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Temporal effects of organic farming on biodiversity and ecosystem services

Jonason, Dennis (2012). Temporal effects of organic farming on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2012:48
ISBN 978-91-576-7684-9
[Doctoral thesis]

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Agricultural intensification has caused a dramatic decline of global biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. Organic farming has been shown to partially counteract agricultural intensification by applying environmentally friendly and resource efficient farming practices, but opportunities to improve in efficiency still remain. This thesis investigates the contribution of organic farming to biodiversity and ecosystem services with focus on the effect of the time since transition (TST) to organic farming methods.

Surveys on butterflies, plants, moths, carabid beetles and an experimental study on weed seed predation were performed on conventional and organic farms situated in landscapes differing in landscape complexity. The organic farms had been under organic management between 1 and 25 years before surveys. This design allowed for analyzes of the effect of organic farming while accounting for the time since transition and landscape composition.

The overall effect of organic farming was small. Only butterflies and plants (in one out of two studies) had higher species richness and abundance on organic compared to conventional farms. However, analyses of the time since transition to organic farming revealed novel facts: butterfly abundance increased gradually by 100% over 25 years, whereas butterfly and plant species richness increased rapidly at the transition and then remained fairly constant. The moths that initially did not appear to increase in the organic farming system showed a clear positive response to newly transitioned farms (TST≤6 years), whereas conventional and old organic farms (TST≥15 years) had similar diversity. Two plant species occurred more frequently on new organic farms and two species on old organic farms. Neither carabids nor seed predation showed any temporal responses to organic farming.

This thesis shows that explicitly addressing temporal effects of organic farming may result in novel and unexpected findings. Control for temporal effects opens up for better understanding of the complexities between organic farming, biodiversity and ecosystem services over time. Future evaluations need to address this factor for high credibility and usefulness in the development of improved policies for organic farming.

Authors/Creators:Jonason, Dennis
Title:Temporal effects of organic farming on biodiversity and ecosystem services
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :2012
Number of Pages:51
I.Jonason, D., Andersson, G. K. S., Öckinger, E., Rundlöf, M., Smith, H. G., Bengtsson, J. (2011). Assessing the effect of the time since transition to organic farming on plants and butterflies. Journal of Applied Ecology, 48(3), 543-550.
II.Jonason, D., Andersson, G. K. S., Öckinger, E., Smith, H. G., Bengtsson, J. (2012). Field scale organic farming does not counteract landscape effects on butterfly trait composition. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 158, 66-71.
III.Jonason, D., Franzén, M., Pettersson, L. B. Transient peak in moth diversity as a response to organic farming. (manuscript)
IV.Jonason, D., Smith, H. G., Bengtsson, J., Birkhofer, K. Landscape simplification promotes weed seed predation by carabid beetles (Coleoptera; Carabidae). (manuscript)
Place of Publication:Uppsala
Publisher:Dept. of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-7684-9
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:F Plant production > F08 Cropping patterns and systems
P Natural resources > P01 Nature conservation and land resources
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 405 Other Agricultural Sciences > Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
Agrovoc terms:organic agriculture, intensive farming, biodiversity, land use, farmland, agricultural landscape, environmental impact, time, agroecosystems, sweden
Keywords:agri-environment schemes, agricultural intensification, farmland conservation
Permanent URL:
ID Code:9091
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
External funders:FORMAS
Deposited By: Dennis Jonason
Deposited On:21 Sep 2012 14:16
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 10:52

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