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Ecological cross compliance promotes farmland biodiversity in Switzerland

Aviron, S. and Nitsch, H. and Jeanneret, P. and Buholzer, S. and Luka, H. and Pfiffner, L. and Pozzi, S. and Schüpbach, B. and Walter, T. and Herzog, F.. (2009) Ecological cross compliance promotes farmland biodiversity in Switzerland. Frontiers in ecology and the environment, Vol. 7, H. 5. pp. 247-252.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5251527

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Abstract

In ecological cross compliance, farmers have to meet environmental standards in order to qualify for area-related direct payments. Because this is a strong financial incentive, cross compliance is a potentially powerful policy instrument. We monitored the effectiveness of cross compliance in promoting biodiversity on grassland and on arable land in Switzerland over 8 years. We observed measurable benefits for flora, butterflies, ground beetles, and spiders, in terms of species numbers and/or community composition. However, populations of threatened species showed no signs of benefit. While cross compliance has been in force in Switzerland for almost a decade, it has only recently been introduced in the neighboring European Union. We argue that – provided the environmental standards relating to biodiversity are increased in the future –common farmland biodiversity could be enhanced at the continental scale under cross compliance. The Swiss example shows that appropriate cross-compliance standards benefit farmland biodiversity at field and farm scales, while the conservation of threatened species needs to be addressed by specific programs, acting at the scale of agricultural landscapes.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Umweltwissenschaften > Biogeographie (Nagel)
UniBasel Contributors:Luka, Henryk
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:JSTOR
ISSN:1540-9295
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:22 Mar 2012 14:28
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 14:03

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