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Gains to species diversity in organically farmed fields are not propagated at the farm level

Schneider, Manuel K. and Lüscher, Gisela and Jeanneret, Philippe and Arndorfer, Michaela and Ammari, Youssef and Bailey, Debra and Balazs, Katalin and Baldi, András and Choisis, Jean-Philippe and Dennis, Peter and Eiter, Sebastian and Fjellstad, Wendy and Fraser, Mariecia D. and Frank, Thomas and Friedel, Jürgen K. and Garchi, Salah and Geijzendorffer, Ilse R. and Gomiero, Tiziano and Gonzalez-Bornay, Guillermo and Hector, A. and Jerkovich, Gergely and Jongman, Rob H.G. and Kakudidi, Esezah and Kainz, Max and Kovács-Hostyánszki, Anikó and Moreno, Gerardo and Nkwiine, Charles and Opio, Julius and Oschatz, Marie-Louise and Paoletti, Maurizio G and Pointereau, Philippe and Pulido, Fernando J. and Sarthou, Jean-Pierre and Siebrecht, Norman and Sommaggio, Daniele and Turnbull, Lindsay A. and Wolfrum, Sebastian and Herzog, Felix Gains to species diversity in organically farmed fields are not propagated at the farm level. (2014) Nature Communications, 5 (4151). 1-9. ISSN 2041-1723

(Document in English)

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Official URL: http://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms5151


Organic farming is promoted to reduce environmental impacts of agriculture, but surprisingly little is known about its effects at the farm level, the primary unit of decision making. Here we report the effects of organic farming on species diversity at the field, farm and regional levels by sampling plants, earthworms, spiders and bees in 1470 fields of 205 randomly selected organic and nonorganic farms in twelve European and African regions. Species richness is, on average, 10.5% higher in organic than nonorganic production fields, with highest gains in intensive arable fields (around +45%). Gains to species richness are partly caused by higher organism abundance and are common in plants and bees but intermittent in earthworms and spiders. Average gains are marginal +4.6% at the farm and +3.1% at the regional level, even in intensive arable regions. Additional, targeted measures are therefore needed to fulfil the commitment of organic farming to benefit farmland biodiversity.

Item Type:Article
ProdINRA Id:264359
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Formation de l'Enseignement Agricole - ENSFEA (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
French research institutions > Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - INRA (FRANCE)
Laboratory name:
European Union through FP7 project BioBio [227161]
Deposited On:25 Jan 2019 08:40

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