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  • 1.
    Ahnström, Johan
    et al.
    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology, Uppsala, Sweden; Länsstyrelsen i Uppsala län, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Bengtsson, Jan
    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Berg, Åke
    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, The Swedish Biodiversity Centre, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Hallgren, Lars
    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Urban and Rural Development, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Boonstra, Wijnand J.
    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Urban and Rural Development, Uppsala, Sweden; Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Björklund, Johanna
    Örebro University, School of Science and Technology.
    Farmers' Interest in Nature and Its Relation to Biodiversity in Arable Fields2013In: International Journal of Ecology, ISSN 1687-9708, E-ISSN 1687-9716, 617352Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Biodiversity declines in farmland have been attributed to intensification of farming at the field level and loss of heterogeneity at the landscape level. However, farmers are not solely optimizing production; their actions are also influenced by social factors, tradition and interest in nature, which indirectly influence biodiversity but rarely are incorporated in studies of farmland biodiversity. We used social science methods to quantify farmers’ interest in nature on 16 farms with winter wheat fields in central Sweden, and combined this with biodiversity inventories of five organism groups (weeds, carabid beetles, bumblebees, solitary bees, and birds) and estimates of landscape composition andmanagement intensity at the field level.Agricultural intensity,measured as crop density, and farmers’ interest in nature explained variation in biodiversity, measured as the proportion of the regional species richness found on single fields. Interest in nature seemed to incorporate many actions taken by farmers and appeared to be influenced by both physical factors, for example, the surrounding landscape, and social factors, for example, social motivations.This study indicates that conservation of biodiversity in farmland, and design of new agri-environmental subsidy systems, would profit from taking farmers’ interest in nature and its relation to agricultural practices into account.

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