AGRIcultural POlicy-Induced LandscaPe changes

Agricultural Policy-Induced Landscape Changes

Agricultural Policy-Induced Landscape Changes: Effects on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

Researcher: Christopher Dennis

Telephone: 00 353 021 4901944

Funding Body: IRCSET
Programme: IRCSET
Project type: PhD
Period: Oct 2006 - Oct 2009

Project Description

The introduction of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in Europe led to changes in farming practices and management intensity of European agroecosytems. These changes are thought to have been the catalyst for the widespread declines in European biodiversity seen in recent years. The biodiversity associated with agroecosystems can provide important services that we often take for granted and which are often undervalued. Declines in biodiversity are thought to have detrimental effects on these ecosystem services. The focus of my work is one ecosystem services in particular, biological control (the control of pest species by their natural enemies). 
In 2007, I used a range of techniques to assess biodiversity levels of three main groups of organisms associated with agroecosystems; arable weeds, invertebrates and birds across 30 farms of different management intensities. I will use these same farms to investigate the efficacy of biological control across a gradient of management intensity and using an experimental approach, investigate whether the identity and the diversity of natural predators can further alter the efficacy of biological control.

Environmental Research Institute

University College Cork, Lee Road, Cork