Integration of ecological knowledge at a landscape level for conservation policies in agricultural areas
AbstractAgricultural landscapes in Europe have been highly fragmented, with habitat loss and degradation of remaining patches as the main consequence. In response to these threats European countries have adopted agro-environmental schemes to protect and enhance biodiversity, but their effects are not always clear. The main objective of this study is to integrate knowledge at a landscape level that could be used as a tool for conservation policies in agricultural areas, taking as an example the perennial herb Geranium sylvaticum and the relationship between traditionally managed hay meadows, woodlands and road verges for its survival. An existing model on plants in fragmented agricultural areas will be extended, based on field data and logisticregression modelling. This paper argues that a more integrative approach is needed for restoration purposes to address the threat of fragmentation on agricultural landscapes. For conservation purposes, this could be achieved taking into consideration not only single habitats but a network of associated ones and also reconstructing the historical land-use practices that reflect the landscape dynamics
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