2002; Pykälä et al. 2005); evidence-based information regarding threatened species is rare, however (Banach 2008). Earlier data gathered in the field margins discussed in this paper indicated that the volume of tall vegetation
was the most BKM120 important predictor of bird abundance, bryophyte and plant diversity (Dajdok and Wuczyński 2008; Wierzcholska selleck kinase inhibitor et al. 2008; Wuczyński et al. 2011); the response of rare species to this factor can therefore also be anticipated. The focus on tall vegetation is also important for practical reasons. Unlike constant features of the terrain like soil content, slope, roads or ditches, trees and shrubs are relatively easy to control. Farmers can therefore be asked to incorporate conservation measures relating to trees and shrubs in field margins and in
other habitats supporting wildlife in agricultural landscapes (Tryjanowski et al. 2014). Our overall objective was to assess the occurrence of threatened vascular plants, bryophytes, and breeding birds in field margins, providing further arguments for their conservation. Because of their acknowledged importance, we use the official classifications, lists of threatened and conservation concern species. Focus on priority species may motivate decision makers to engage in environmentally friendly behavior (Sinclair et al. 2003), and do so more readily than the justified though ‘fuzzy’ idea of ecosystem BIIB057 manufacturer conservation, or total species numbers.
The general public and conservation bodies grasp simple messages conveyed by rare and charismatic species and in practice often end up directing conservation actions Thymidine kinase targeted at species as tangible components of ecosystems (Mace et al. 2007). Outputs regarding farmland conservation practice are also desirable in view of the impending current reform of the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) (ec.europa.eu/agriculture/cap-post-2013). A reduction of funding for agri-environmental measures has been announced, which is the primary policy instrument for biodiversity conservation on farmland; payments are to be transferred from agri-environmental measures to direct support for farmers. Several adjustments are then expected at both European and national levels, and sound, regionally appropriate evidence on environmental resources is sought. We have formulated three research questions: (i) What role do field margins play as refuges of threatened and conservation-concern species? (ii) Which (if any) of the three types of field margins, distinguished according to their vegetation structure, is particularly valuable for the presence of these species? (iii) What is the applicability of red lists compiled at various spatial scales to the evaluation of fine-scale habitats? Finally, we discuss the possible implementation of our findings in the context of CAP reform.