Journal article

Farmland abandonment: threat or opportunity for biodiversity conservation? A global review

Cibele Queiroz, Ruth Beilin, Carl Folke, Regina Lindborg

Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment | WILEY | Published : 2014


Farmland abandonment is changing rural landscapes worldwide, but its impacts on biodiversity are still being debated in the scientific literature. While some researchers see it as a threat to biodiversity, others view it as an opportunity for habitat regeneration. We reviewed 276 published studies describing various effects of farmland abandonment on biodiversity and found that a study's geographic region, selected metrics, assessed taxa, and conservation focus significantly affected how those impacts were reported. Countries in Eurasia and the New World reported mainly negative and positive effects of farmland abandonment on biodiversity, respectively. Notably, contrasting impacts were reco..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Funding Acknowledgements

We thank HM Pereira, J Lundberg, and M Thyresson for useful discussions and comments on the manuscript and R Schmucki for help with statistical analyses. Funding was provided by the Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (FORMAS) for RL, and a PhD grant was provided by the Foundation for Science and Technology, Portugal (FCT) for CQ. This work was also funded by the Strategic Environmental Fund Mistra through a grant to the Stockholm Resilience Centre.