Title
Comparing organic farming and land sparing : optimizing yield and butterfly populations at a landscape scale
Description
Organic farming aims to be wildlife-friendly, but it may not benefit wildlife overall if much greater areas are needed to produce a given quantity of food. We measured the density and species richness of butterflies on organic farms, conventional farms and grassland nature reserves in 16 landscapes. Organic farms supported a higher density of butterflies than conventional farms, but a lower density than reserves. Using our data, we predict the optimal land-use strategy to maintain yield whilst maximizing butterfly abundance under different scenarios. Farming conventionally and sparing land as nature reserves is better for butterflies when the organic yield per hectare falls below 87% of conventional yield. However, if the spared land is simply extra field margins, organic farming is optimal whenever organic yields are over 35% of conventional yields. The optimal balance of land sparing and wildlife-friendly farming to maintain production and biodiversity will differ between landscapes.
URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2010.01528.x
DOI
10.1111/j.1461-0248.2010.01528.x
Language
English
Author
Jenny A. Hodgson
Co-author
Doreen Gabriel
Co-author
Chris D. Thomas
Co-author
William E. Kunin
Co-author
Tim G. Benton
Volume number
13
Issue number
11
Is this item peer reviewed?
Yes
ISSN
1461-023X
Copyright URL
http://authorservices.wiley.com/bauthor/CTA.asp
Publisher
Blackwell Publishing
Date of publication
01 November 2010
Page reference
1358-1367
Place of publication
Oxford
Has non-academic co-authors?
No
Has international co-authors?
No
For non-academic audience?
No
Is this item a pre-print or post-print?
Post-print
Title of journal
Ecology letters
Harvard
Hodgson, Jenny A. et al (2010) Comparing organic farming and land sparing : optimizing yield and butterfly populations at a landscape scale. Ecology letters. 13 (11), pp. 1358-1367 Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
Vancouver
Hodgson Jenny A. et al. Comparing organic farming and land sparing : optimizing yield and butterfly populations at a landscape scale. Ecology letters 2010; 13 (11): 1358-1367.