The influence of hedgerow structural condition on wildlife habitat provision in farmed landscapes

The influence of hedgerow structural condition on wildlife habitat provision in farmed landscapes In this review, we discuss the role of hedgerow structure and condition in determining the value of hedgerow habitat for biodiversity conservation within an agricultural context, to inform and evaluate hedgerow management decisions and policy. Through a systematic literature review, narrative synthesis and vote counting, key structural condition indicators were identified for a range of conservation priority taxa. Abundance, survival or fecundity of ground vegetation, birds, mammals and invertebrates were affected by height, width, woody biomass, foliar quality and quantity, and gappiness of hedgerows. Although general patterns may not occur, a response to a particular structural feature can vary both within and between taxonomic groups, many responses are synergistic and interdependent. In conclusion, the definition of a “good quality” hedgerow for biodiversity conservation should be expanded to include all those key structural features which are important across taxa. Furthermore, the importance of heterogeneity in hedgerow structural condition is highlighted, where no fixed set of hedgerow characteristics were found to benefit all taxa. If uniform hedgerow management is overprescribed, as has been the tendency with some agri-environment schemes, some species (including those of conservation concern) are likely to be adversely affected by a loss of suitable habitat or resource decline. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biological Conservation Elsevier

The influence of hedgerow structural condition on wildlife habitat provision in farmed landscapes

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0006-3207
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.biocon.2018.02.017
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In this review, we discuss the role of hedgerow structure and condition in determining the value of hedgerow habitat for biodiversity conservation within an agricultural context, to inform and evaluate hedgerow management decisions and policy. Through a systematic literature review, narrative synthesis and vote counting, key structural condition indicators were identified for a range of conservation priority taxa. Abundance, survival or fecundity of ground vegetation, birds, mammals and invertebrates were affected by height, width, woody biomass, foliar quality and quantity, and gappiness of hedgerows. Although general patterns may not occur, a response to a particular structural feature can vary both within and between taxonomic groups, many responses are synergistic and interdependent. In conclusion, the definition of a “good quality” hedgerow for biodiversity conservation should be expanded to include all those key structural features which are important across taxa. Furthermore, the importance of heterogeneity in hedgerow structural condition is highlighted, where no fixed set of hedgerow characteristics were found to benefit all taxa. If uniform hedgerow management is overprescribed, as has been the tendency with some agri-environment schemes, some species (including those of conservation concern) are likely to be adversely affected by a loss of suitable habitat or resource decline.

Journal

Biological ConservationElsevier

Published: Apr 1, 2018

References

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