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Indicators of biodiversity and conservational wildlife quality on Danish organic farms for use in farm management: a multidisciplinary approach to indicator development and testing

By E. Noe, N. Halberg, J. Reddersen

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Abstract

Organic farming is expected to contribute to conserving national biodiversity on farms, especially remnant, old, and undisturbed small biotopes, forests, and permanent grassland. This objective cannot rely on the legislation of organic farming solely, and to succeed, farmers need to understand the goals behind it. A set of indicators with the purpose of facilitating dialogues between expert and farmer on wildlife quality has been developed and tested on eight organic farms in Denmark. "Weed cover in cereal fields," was used as an indicator of floral and faunal biodiversity in the cultivated land, and "uncultivated biotope area" on the farm was used as a general measure of wildlife habitats. Functional grouping of herbaceous plants (discriminating between "high conservation value" plant species and "competitive"/"ruderal" species) and low mobility butterflies were used as indicators of conservation value, especially focusing on the few sites left with considerable remnant conservation value. The dialogue processes revealed that the organic farmers' ideas and goals of conservation of wildlife quality were not necessarily the same as for biologists; the farmers expressed very different opinions on the biological rooted idea, that wildlife quality is related to the absence of agricultural impact. However, farmers also stated that the information given by the indicators and especially the dialogue with the biologist had influenced their perception and awareness of wildlife. It is concluded that, combined with a dialogue process, using these indicators when mapping wildlife quality could be an important key component of a farm wildlife management advisory tool at farm level.

Date 2005
Publication Title Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics
Volume 18
Issue 4
Pages 383-414
ISBN/ISSN 1187-7863
DOI 10.1007/s10806-005-7044-3
Language English
Author Address Research Centre Foulum, Department of Agroecology, Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 50, DK-8830 Tjele, Denmark. Egon.Noe@agrsci.dk
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Tags
  1. Agriculture
  2. Animal husbandry
  3. Biodiversity
  4. Biological resources
  5. Butterflies and moths
  6. Communication
  7. Denmark
  8. Developed countries
  9. Ecological agriculture
  10. Environment
  11. Europe
  12. Farms
  13. Habitats
  14. Indicators
  15. natural resources
  16. OECD countries
  17. organic culture
  18. organic farming
  19. peer-reviewed
  20. Plants
  21. Scandinavia
  22. Social psychology and social anthropology
  23. Weeds and noxious plants
  24. wildlife
  25. wildlife conservation
  26. wildlife management
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed