Making agroecosystems more biodiverse: from local measures to landscape optimization 

Organized by: Knapp Michal, González Ezequiel, Czech University of Life Sciences Praguea

Biodiversity is declining worldwide at an unprecedented scale and rate, with detrimental consequences on ecosystem functioning and services. Changes in land cover and agricultural intensification resulting from modern production systems pose extreme threats to biodiversity across scales and taxa [1]. Extremely simplified landscapes with large fields of only a few crop species and where most semi-natural habitats were lost are widespread, which calls for a re-design of agricultural landscapes to enhance biodiversity [2,3]. To maintain the food production capacity that allows feeding the human population and to stop the ongoing biodiversity decline, immediate solutions are needed [4,5]. Ecologists and conservationists should provide evidence-based guidelines to stakeholders (from farmers to politicians) on how to ensure sustainable agricultural production.

Most likely, all the available tools, such us novel agricultural practices, efficient local conservation measures and sophisticated landscape planning, should be combined to achieve this goal. In this symposium, we propose a stimulating exchange of novel ideas among scientists, ranging from well-established group leaders (invited speakers) to early-carrier researchers (case study presentations). Furthermore, the symposium will also provide an opportunity to synthesize this information and facilitate the communication of relevant concepts and practices towards decision makers. The symposium will begin with a series of 8 invited lectures by established researchers, followed by 3 presentations of case studies focusing on measures to support biodiversity conservation in agricultural landscapes. The symposium will end with a panel discussion (ca. 45 minutes) where the different topics will be discussed and a summary from the different perspectives will be elaborated.


Key references:

[1] Seibold, S., Gossner, M. M., Simons, N. K., Blüthgen, N., Müller, J., Ambarlı, D., … & Weisser, W. W. (2019). Arthropod decline in grasslands and forests is associated with landscape-level drivers. Nature, 574(7780), 671-674.

[2] Landis, D. A. (2017). Designing agricultural landscapes for biodiversity-based ecosystem services. Basic and Applied Ecology, 18, 1-12.

[3] Fahrig, L., Baudry, J., Brotons, L., Burel, F. G., Crist, T. O., Fuller, R. J., ... & Martin, J. L. (2011). Functional landscape heterogeneity and animal biodiversity in agricultural landscapes. Ecology letters, 14(2), 101-112.

[4] Tscharntke, T., Clough, Y., Wanger, T. C., Jackson, L., Motzke, I., Perfecto, I., ... & Whitbread, A. (2012). Global food security, biodiversity conservation and the future of agricultural intensification. Biological conservation, 151(1), 53-59.

[5] Egli, L., Meyer, C., Scherber, C., Kreft, H., & Tscharntke, T. (2018). Winners and losers of national and global efforts to reconcile agricultural intensification and biodiversity conservation. Global change biology, 24(5), 2212-2228.



Building a biodiversity hotspot systems in agricultural landscapes: first experiences from the Wild Flower Fields experiment, Hungary

- András Báldi (Centre for Ecological Research, Vácrátót, Hungary)


Field defects in oilseed rape: a promising alternative for insect conservation in arable fields?

- Ezequiel Gonzalez (Imbiv (conicet), Argentina)


Optimising agricultural landscapes for biodiversity conservation and crop production using yield maps and ecological theory

- Michal Knapp (Czech University of Life Sciences, Czech Republic)


Optimizing Agricultural Landscapes for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

- Douglas Landis (Michigan State University, United States)


Natural enemy diversity stabilizes biological pest control via enhanced species asynchrony

- Ricardo Perez-Alvarez (Leibniz University Hannover, Germany)


Enhancing weed multifunctionality through landscape-scale management

- Sandrine Petit (Inrae, France)


Harnessing the push-pull technology for biodiverse agroecosystems in East Africa: the UPSCALE project

- Emily Poppenborg Martin (Leibniz University of Hannover, Germany)


Beyond organic farming – harnessing biodiversity-friendly landscapes

- Teja Tscharntke (Agroecology, University of Göttingen, Germany)


Breeding birds in European Agroforestry systems
- Manon Edo, Verena Rösch, Martin Entling (University Landau - AG Ökosystemanalyse, Germany)