The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Potential benefits of commercial willow Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) for farm-scale plant and invertebrate communities in the agri-environment

Record type: Article

The cultivation of bioenergy crops (BECs) represents a significant land-use change in agri-environments, but their deployment has raised important issues globally regarding possible impacts on biodiversity. Few studies however, have systematically examined the effect of commercial scale bioenergy plantations on biodiversity in agri-ecosystems. In this study we investigate how the abundance and diversity of two key components of farmland biodiversity (ground flora and winged invertebrates) varied between mature willow Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) and two alternative land-use options (arable crops and set-aside land). Although the abundance of winged invertebrates was similar across all land-uses, taxonomic composition varied markedly. Hymenoptera and large Hemiptera (>5 mm) were more abundant in willow SRC than in arable or set-aside. Similarly although plant species richness was greater in set-aside, our data show that willow SRC supports a different plant community to the other land-uses, being dominated by competitive perennial species such as Elytrigia repens and Urtica dioica. Our results suggest that under current management practices a mixed farming system incorporating willow SRC can benefit native farm-scale biodiversity. In particular the reduced disturbance in willow SRC allows the persistence of perennial plant species, potentially providing a stable refuge and food sources for invertebrates. In addition, increased Hymenoptera abundance in willow SRC could potentially have concomitant effects on ecosystem processes, as many members of this Order are important pollinators of crop plants or otherwise fulfil an important beneficial role as predators or parasites of crop pests.

PDF Potential_benefits_of_commercial_willow_short_rotation_coppice_(SRC)_for_farm-scale_plant_and_invertebrate_communities_in_the_agri-environment.pdf - Version of Record
Restricted to Repository staff only
Download (288kB)

Citation

Rowe, Rebecca L., Hanley, Mick E., Goulson, Dave, Clarke, Donna J., Doncaster, C. Patrick and Taylor, Gail (2011) Potential benefits of commercial willow Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) for farm-scale plant and invertebrate communities in the agri-environment Biomass and Bioenergy, 35, (1), pp. 325-336. (doi:10.1016/j.biombioe.2010.08.046).

More information

Published date: January 2011
Keywords: bioenergy, biodiversity, willow src, land management, set-aside, semi-natural habitat

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 182299
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/182299
ISSN: 0961-9534
PURE UUID: 2d006677-a119-4738-9fd2-c32dbc1563aa
ORCID for C. Patrick Doncaster: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9406-0693

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 27 Apr 2011 12:23
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 11:57

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: Rebecca L. Rowe
Author: Mick E. Hanley
Author: Dave Goulson
Author: Donna J. Clarke
Author: Gail Taylor

University divisions


Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×