Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

No. 227: Biodiversity and ecological space in the country of action

Oddershede, A., Høye, T.T., Frøslev, T.G. & Ejrnæs, R. 2017. Biodiversitet og økologisk rum i agerlandet – en undersøgelse af markvildttiltagenes biodiversitetseffekt. Aarhus Universitet, DCE – Nationalt Center for Miljø og Energi, 62 s. - Videnskabelig rapport fra DCE - Nationalt Center for Miljø og Energi nr. 227.  http://dce2.au.dk/pub/SR227.pdf



The Danish landscape is dominated by agricultural fields, which leave little space for wildlife habitats. To improve habitats for two game species: hare and partridge, The Danish Hunters’ Association organizes landowners in guilds and offers counselling on how to create and protect habitats for the two species. In this study we investigate whether non-target species are benefitting from the hare and partridge management scheme.


To obtain a broader understanding of variation in ecospace and biodiversity we investigate the environment and biodiversity of 150 biotopes. These represent crop fields, road verges, hedgerows, dikes, natural areas and other areal types within the area of the landowner including flower and bare soil strips, which are part of the hare and partridge management.


Our results show that keeping and protecting permanent habitats contributes to the expansion of ecospace and variation in biodiversity. Habitat conditions such as high plant species richness, dead wood and dung represent rare environmental conditions that contribute to biodiversity and so do old, dry or moist biotopes.


Flower strips and bare soils strips constructed for the benefit of game species can, on a local scale, contribute to the expansion of ecospace, but they do not create habitats for rare or threatened species. However, if such strips are laid out as bufferzones around permanent structures, they may have an indirect positive effect on biodiversity of permanent landscape structure.


We discuss our findings relative to biodiversity management, and how to optimize management efforts to include a broader range of species. Furthermore, we propose a system that can guide managers, practitioners and farmers in developing the most effective biodiversity management. Within this context, we map the existing biodiversity values of the landowner and use these as a starting point for better biodiversity management.