Biodiversity, ecosystem services and farming are inextricably linked. Peri-urban agricultural landscapes host wild species, provide essential services, and benefit citizens of nearby towns. We investigated the environmental and management factors that influence avian communities, pollinating insects and two key ecosystem services (pollination and nature-based recreation) along an urban-natural gradient dominated by agricultural areas (vineyards, apple orchards and grasslands) in northern Italy. Flower visiting-insects were mainly affected by management and environmental-climatic variables. The presence of flowers at the margins and within vineyard and apple orchard inter-rows best predicted the abundance of pollinators and flower-visiting insects in general. Different flower species exerted variable effects on different groups; a mix of flowering species should be recommended for supporting pollinators. Sward height and grassland cover promoted flower-visiting insect abundance, which was negatively affected by vineyards and apple orchards. Bird communities were mainly shaped by land-use/land-cover and management variables. Landscape heterogeneity and linear elements had a major positive effect on birds. Apple orchards negatively influenced species richness and the abundance of most avian species, while vineyards negatively impacted on overall bird abundance; hedgerows positively affected richness. Nature-based recreation was greater in areas with low or intermediate vineyard or urban cover. Apple orchards and intensively managed grasslands had negative, and waterways positive, effects on recreation. Peri-urban agricultural landscapes are important for biodiversity and ecosystem services, but apple orchards and large vineyards appear largely unsuitable. Maintaining heterogeneous landscapes and implementing biodiversity-friendly practices can further promote benefits for biodiversity and visitors and local populations. Synergic strategies that simultaneously promote the conservation of biodiversity and the supply of ecosystem services could be easily developed and implemented.

Environmental and management factors drive biological communities and ecosystem services in agroecosystems along an urban-natural gradient / E. Granata, P. Pedrini, L. Marchesi, C. Fedrigotti, P. Biella, S. Ronchi, M. Brambilla. - In: AGRICULTURE, ECOSYSTEMS & ENVIRONMENT. - ISSN 0167-8809. - 357:(2023 Nov 01), pp. 108693.1-108693.16. [10.1016/j.agee.2023.108693]

Environmental and management factors drive biological communities and ecosystem services in agroecosystems along an urban-natural gradient

M. Brambilla
Ultimo
2023

Abstract

Biodiversity, ecosystem services and farming are inextricably linked. Peri-urban agricultural landscapes host wild species, provide essential services, and benefit citizens of nearby towns. We investigated the environmental and management factors that influence avian communities, pollinating insects and two key ecosystem services (pollination and nature-based recreation) along an urban-natural gradient dominated by agricultural areas (vineyards, apple orchards and grasslands) in northern Italy. Flower visiting-insects were mainly affected by management and environmental-climatic variables. The presence of flowers at the margins and within vineyard and apple orchard inter-rows best predicted the abundance of pollinators and flower-visiting insects in general. Different flower species exerted variable effects on different groups; a mix of flowering species should be recommended for supporting pollinators. Sward height and grassland cover promoted flower-visiting insect abundance, which was negatively affected by vineyards and apple orchards. Bird communities were mainly shaped by land-use/land-cover and management variables. Landscape heterogeneity and linear elements had a major positive effect on birds. Apple orchards negatively influenced species richness and the abundance of most avian species, while vineyards negatively impacted on overall bird abundance; hedgerows positively affected richness. Nature-based recreation was greater in areas with low or intermediate vineyard or urban cover. Apple orchards and intensively managed grasslands had negative, and waterways positive, effects on recreation. Peri-urban agricultural landscapes are important for biodiversity and ecosystem services, but apple orchards and large vineyards appear largely unsuitable. Maintaining heterogeneous landscapes and implementing biodiversity-friendly practices can further promote benefits for biodiversity and visitors and local populations. Synergic strategies that simultaneously promote the conservation of biodiversity and the supply of ecosystem services could be easily developed and implemented.
breeding birds; cultural ecosystem services; landscape; orchards; pollinators; vineyards;
Settore BIO/07 - Ecologia
Settore BIO/05 - Zoologia
1-nov-2023
8-ago-2023
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/991848
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