The recent dramatic decline in farmland biodiversity is often attributed to agricultural intensification and structural changes in the agricultural landscape. One suggested remedy is organic farming (where the use of pesticides and inorganic fertilisers are prohibited), and an explicit goal of organic farming is to preserve biodiversity.
The aim of this project is to evaluate consequences of organic farming for biodiversity in different landscape contexts and at different spatial scales. We study matched organic and conventional farms and fields in landscapes differing in heterogeneity (intensive vs. mixed farming) and in the proportion of organically managed land at a landscape scale. We also try to identify the mechanisms that can increase biodiversity in organic farmland. Our main study organisms are butterflies, but we also study bumblebees, birds and plants.