Closing event of the FARMLAND project (FP7 ERA‐Net BiodivERsA)

From 1st to 2nd March of 2016, La Camargue (France) held the final meeting of the FARMLAND project (FP7 ERA‐Net BiodivERsA), where Gerard Bota and David Giralt assisted, along with researchers and coordinators of the different European groups involved in the project.

We discussed about the on-going analyses and the future scientific publications arising from the project. We have also started to write a draft of the project conclusions for policy-makers, which could help to develop or improve policies for favouring the biodiversity and the ecosystem services such as pollination, in European agricultural areas.

The project FARMLAND started on 2012 and has studied how different components of the biodiversity (plants, birds, butterflies, bees, etc.) and the ecosystem services they provide (pollination and pest control of crops), respond against a range of agricultural landscapes across Europe, ranging from the most homogeneous (predominantly winter cereals) to most heterogeneous (with cereals, almonds, vineyards, etc.). The ultimate goal is to identify points of convergence between agriculture and the maintenance of biodiversity.

Preliminary results of the project point out that the presence of different types of crops (cereals, pastures, fallow, rapeseed, etc.) in the same agricultural landscape tends to favour biodiversity of most taxa (especially birds and plants). Regarding landscape configuration (amount of borders between fields) also tends to increase the values ​​of biodiversity, although to a lesser extent, and to favour some ecosystem services such as pollination. Although the project has officially ended during the month of March, in the coming months we will end the scientific publications already started and will finish drafting the document aimed to contribute to conservation policies in Europe.

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