The Role of Field Margins in Agro-biodiversity Management at the Farm Level
AbstractThe agroecosystem could be considered as a mosaic so large to involve fields with annual and perennial crops, pastures, spots of wildwood, semi-natural habitats, vegetation in the edges of fields. In the agroecosystem these ecological infrastructures have a positive effects on the crops because of the exchange among community of organisms, materials and energy. The aim of this research is to evaluate the effects of field margins on some biodiversity components (plant species and carabid beetles) of four farms located in Val d’Orcia (Tuscany). We compared three types of field margins: 1. Cultivated margin strips; 2. Sown grass margin strips; 3. Wild margin strips with hedgerow. In a very simplified typology of farming system, like the one studied (Val d’Orcia), the presence of field margins (hedges, margin strips and semi-natural habitats associated with the boundary) is very important for its ecological effects: it improves the planned biodiversity, gives habitat, refuge, food and corridors for the movement to the different species of organisms in the area. Applying the multivariate analysis to the experimental data, we can notice a positive effect of the presence of field margins on the trend of both components of biodiversity. This positive effect, which support the mechanisms of autoregulation of the agroecosystems, is very important especially for organic and biodynamic agriculture, where the use of pesticides is not allowed.
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