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Journal Articles Diversity and Distributions Year : 2015

Harnessing the biodiversity value of Central and Eastern European farmland

1 Georg-August-University = Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
2 Agroecology
3 MTA Centre for Ecological Research
4 Department of Zoology
5 Department of Agricultural Sciences
6 Centre for Ecosystem Studies
7 Institute of Zoology
8 Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research
9 UNIBE - Universität Bern / University of Bern
10 Faculty of Biology
11 SAD Paysage - SAD Paysage
12 Aleksandras Stulginskis University
13 TUM - Technische Universität Munchen - Technical University Munich - Université Technique de Munich
14 SAS - Slovak Academy of Sciences
15 Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania
16 Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences [Tartu]
17 Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds
18 Faculty of Science [Zagreb]
19 University of Maribor
20 Institute of Landscape Ecology
21 Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institut
22 ARC - Agricultural Research Centre
23 Nature Conservation
24 HU Berlin - Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin = Humboldt University of Berlin = Université Humboldt de Berlin
25 Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology
26 Faculty of Sustainability
27 UNISI - Università degli Studi di Siena = University of Siena
28 UBB - Babes-Bolyai University [Cluj-Napoca]
29 Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
30 Instituto Superior Técnico
31 UAH - Universidad de Alcalá - University of Alcalá
32 University of Barcelona
33 IUNG - Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation
34 UFZ - Helmholtz Zentrum für Umweltforschung = Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research
35 University of Debrecen Egyetem [Debrecen]
36 Butterfly Conservation
Péter Batáry
Urs Kormann
  • Function : Author
David Kleijn
Raphael Arlettaz
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 968669
Ainars Aunins
  • Function : Author
Stéphanie Aviron
Teja Tscharntke
  • Function : Author


A large proportion of European biodiversity today depends on habitat provided by low-intensity farming practices, yet this resource is declining as European agriculture intensifies. Within the European Union, particularly the central and eastern new member states have retained relatively large areas of species-rich farmland, but despite increased investment in nature conservation here in recent years, farmland biodiversity trends appear to be worsening. Although the high biodiversity value of Central and Eastern European farmland has long been reported, the amount of research in the international literature focused on farmland biodiversity in this region remains comparatively tiny, and measures within the EU Common Agricultural Policy are relatively poorly adapted to support it. In this opinion study, we argue that, 10years after the accession of the first eastern EU new member states, the continued under-representation of the low-intensity farmland in Central and Eastern Europe in the international literature and EU policy is impeding the development of sound, evidence-based conservation interventions. The biodiversity benefits for Europe of existing low-intensity farmland, particularly in the central and eastern states, should be harnessed before they are lost. Instead of waiting for species-rich farmland to further decline, targeted research and monitoring to create locally appropriate conservation strategies for these habitats is needed now.

Dates and versions

hal-02636750 , version 1 (27-05-2020)



Laura M. E. Sutcliffe, Péter Batáry, Urs Kormann, Andras Baldi, Lynn V. Dicks, et al.. Harnessing the biodiversity value of Central and Eastern European farmland. Diversity and Distributions, 2015, 21 (6), pp.722-730. ⟨10.1111/ddi.12288⟩. ⟨hal-02636750⟩
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