Long-term Enhancement of Agricultural Production by Restoration of Biodiversity

Bullock, J.M., R.F. Pywell and K.J. Walker

Publication Date:

Experimental manipulations have shown positive impacts of increased species richness on ecosystem productivity, but there remain some questions about this relationship. First, most studies last < 4 years, which raises issues about whether diversity–productivity relationships are maintained in mature communities. Secondly, the conservation relevance of many studies is debatable. We addressed both issues using long-term experimental studies of the agriculturally relevant hay yield of recreated species-rich grasslands. The aims of conservationists and farmers can often be in conflict. This study has shown that the recreation of diverse grasslands of conservation value can have a positive impact on hay yield, which benefits the farm business, and this is repeated across differing sites. Because the effect is maintained over time, farm income will be increased in the long term.

Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed Article

Journal of Applied Ecology