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Journal Articles Ecological Indicators Year : 2023

Adapting and applying the rewilding score to assess the biodiversity potential of cattle-oriented farms

Abstract

The loss of biodiversity in agricultural landscapes is caused mainly by intensive agricultural production, especially livestock farms. However, certain farms that favor biodiversity attempt to decrease this loss, and the biodiversity hosted by these farms needs to be assessed. To this end, certain methods assess integrated variables of the overall state of an ecosystem. Among them, the "rewilding score" is based on assessing human forcing (i.e. inputs used in the ecosystem and products exported from the ecosystem) and ecological integrity to consider short-term and long-term effects of human activities on ecosystems. This study aimed to adapt the rewilding score for cattle-oriented farms, apply the method, and compare its results to observed biodiversity in order to discuss the relevance of the adapted rewilding score for assessing the biodiversity potential of livestock farms. Two adapted rewilding scores were tested with seven farms by combining one assessment of human forcing with two approaches for estimating ecological integrity. Biodiversity indices based on bird species inventories were calculated and compared to the adapted rewilding scores. Their moderate correlations with the adapted rewilding scores (r = 0.54-0.69) supported using this score to assess one type of biodiversity potential of agroecosystems. Nonetheless, the correlation between the adapted rewilding score and biodiversity remains to be confirmed by using biodiversity indices for other taxonomic groups and for a larger set of farms. This method could be used as a decision aid by farmers or as a tool to help governments calculate subsidies by considering short-term and long-term effects of livestock farms on biodiversity.
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hal-04275859 , version 1 (08-11-2023)

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Aymeric Mondière, Michael S Corson, Lou Valence, Loïs Morel, Hayo van Der Werf. Adapting and applying the rewilding score to assess the biodiversity potential of cattle-oriented farms. Ecological Indicators, 2023, 156, pp.111165. ⟨10.1016/j.ecolind.2023.111165⟩. ⟨hal-04275859⟩
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