Farmland bird responses to land abandonment in Western Siberia

Autor(en): Kamp, Johannes
Reinhard, Aline
Frenzel, Markus
Kaempfer, Steffen
Trappe, Johanna
Hoelzel, Norbert
Stichwörter: AGRICULTURAL CHANGE; Agriculture; Agriculture, Multidisciplinary; ARABLE LAND; BIODIVERSITY; CONSERVATION; Cropland; Ecology; ENVIRONMENTAL DYNAMICS; Environmental Sciences; Environmental Sciences & Ecology; FIELDS; Forest steppe; Livestock grazing; Meadow birds; RECULTIVATION; RUSSIA; STEPPE; Sustainable intensification; USE INTENSITY
Erscheinungsdatum: 2018
Herausgeber: ELSEVIER
Volumen: 268
Startseite: 61
Seitenende: 69
Land abandonment is an important driver of biodiversity changes. Nearly 60 million ha of cropland and huge areas of managed grassland were abandoned after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. We compared community structure and abundances of farmland birds on used and abandoned cropland, pastures and hay meadows in a study area situated in the Western Siberian crop belt. Abandoned land hosted distinct communities of farmland birds that were similar to those of abandoned farmland elsewhere in the former Soviet Union. More species profited from abandonment than suffered, but the densities of a distinct group of `meadow birds', a group of high conservation concern in Eurasia, were lower on abandoned land compared to managed pastures and hay meadows. Abandoned land had taller, but not denser vegetation and higher plant litter cover than used pastures and hay meadows. The vegetation structure of abandoned land explained differences in bird abundance well, and responses to vegetation parameters were non-linear and species-specific. Future land-use trends are difficult to predict, but cropland recultivation and intensification seem likely. Conservation strategies should entail minimized reclamation of abandoned cropland (perhaps coupled with sustainable intensification on existing farmland), and low-input management of pastures and hay meadows. As a large proportion of the grassland is managed for subsistence farming, measures to slow down further rural human outmigration would also benefit bird biodiversity.
ISSN: 01678809
DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2018.09.009

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