Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The generally higher biodiversity on organic farms may be influenced by management features such as no synthetic pesticide and fertilizer inputs and/or by differences in uncropped habitat at the site and landscape scale. We analysed bird and habitat data collected on 48 paired organic and conventional farms over two winters to determine the extent to which broad-scale habitat differences between systems could explain overall differences in farmland bird abundance. Density was significantly higher on organic farms for six out of 16 species, and none on conventional. Total abundance of all species combined was higher on organic farms in both years. Analyses using an information-theoretic approach suggested that both habitat extent and farm type were important predictors only for starling and greenfinch. Organic farming as currently practised may not provide significant benefits to those bird species that are limited by winter food resources, in particular, several declining granivores.

Original publication

DOI

10.1098/rsbl.2009.0643

Type

Journal article

Journal

Biol Lett

Publication Date

23/02/2010

Volume

6

Pages

82 - 84

Keywords

Agriculture, Animals, Biodiversity, Birds, Ecosystem, Food, Organic, Models, Biological, Population Density, Seasons, Species Specificity, United Kingdom