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Luscher G.,Agroscope | Nemecek T.,Agroscope | Arndorfer M.,Obere Strasse 40 | Balazs K.,Szent Istvan University | And 9 more authors.
International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment | Year: 2017

Purpose: Inclusion of biodiversity as an indicator in the land use impact pathway of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is essential to assess the effects of human activities on the environment. Numerous models have been applied, but validations that use actual data, collected in the field, are scarce. Methods: The expert system SALCA-BD (Swiss Agricultural LCA—Biodiversity), assigns coefficients for land use class suitability and impact of agricultural practices on species diversity at field and farm scale. We used data on land use classes and agricultural practices from 132 farms located in eight European regions to complete the life cycle inventory. SALCA-BD species diversity scores were calculated for individual fields, aggregated to the farm scale, and compared to field records of arable crop flora, grassland flora, spiders, and wild bees. Results and discussion: Overall, species diversity scores from SALCA-BD were positively related to the observed species richness from field survey data. The extent of the relationship diminished from arable crop flora and grassland flora to spiders and to wild bees, and from field to farm scale. Conclusions: Validation of a LCA biodiversity assessment tool with data from field surveys revealed the benefit of considering multiple aspects of biodiversity. The appropriate scale for species diversity assessment (as a proxy for biodiversity) is the respective species habitat. Extension of scale increases uncertainty, which should be addressed by developing characterization factors for as detailed a land use classification as possible. © 2017 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg


Geijzendorffer I.R.,CNRS Mediterranean Institute for Biodiversity and Ecology Marine and Continental | Geijzendorffer I.R.,IRSTEA | Geijzendorffer I.R.,Wageningen University | Targetti S.,Aix - Marseille University | And 37 more authors.
Journal of Applied Ecology | Year: 2016

To evaluate progress on political biodiversity objectives, biodiversity monitoring provides information on whether intended results are being achieved. Despite scientific proof that monitoring and evaluation increase the (cost) efficiency of policy measures, cost estimates for monitoring schemes are seldom available, hampering their inclusion in policy programme budgets. Empirical data collected from 12 case studies across Europe were used in a power analysis to estimate the number of farms that would need to be sampled per major farm type to detect changes in species richness over time for four taxa (vascular plants, earthworms, spiders and bees). A sampling design was developed to allocate spatially, across Europe, the farms that should be sampled. Cost estimates are provided for nine monitoring scenarios with differing robustness for detecting temporal changes in species numbers. These cost estimates are compared with the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) budget (2014-2020) to determine the budget allocation required for the proposed farmland biodiversity monitoring. Results show that the bee indicator requires the highest number of farms to be sampled and the vascular plant indicator the lowest. The costs for the nine farmland biodiversity monitoring scenarios corresponded to 0·01%-0·74% of the total CAP budget and to 0·04%-2·48% of the CAP budget specifically allocated to environmental targets. Synthesis and applications. The results of the cost scenarios demonstrate that, based on the taxa and methods used in this study, a Europe-wide farmland biodiversity monitoring scheme would require a modest share of the Common Agricultural Policy budget. The monitoring scenarios are flexible and can be adapted or complemented with alternate data collection options (e.g. at national scale or voluntary efforts), data mobilization, data integration or modelling efforts. © 2016 British Ecological Society.


Last L.,Institute for Sustainability science ISS | Arndorfer M.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Balazs K.,Szent Istvan University | Dennis P.,Aberystwyth University | And 16 more authors.
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2014

Agrobiodiversity plays a fundamental role in guaranteeing food security. However, still little is known about the diversity within crop and livestock species: the genetic diversity. In this paper we present a set of indicators of crop accession and breed diversity for different farm types at farm-level, which may potentially supply a useful tool to assess and monitor farming system agrobiodiversity in a feasible and relatively affordable way. A generic questionnaire was developed to capture the information on crops and livestock in 12 European case study regions and in Uganda by 203 on-farm interviews. Through a participatory approach, which involved a number of stakeholders, eight potential indicators were selected and tested. Five of them are recommended as potentially useful indicators for agrobiodiversity monitoring per farm: (1) crop-species richness (up to 16 crop species), (2) crop-cultivar diversity (up to 15 crop cultivars, 1–2 on average), (3) type of crop accessions (landraces accounted for 3 % of all crop cultivars in Europe, 31 % in Uganda), (4) livestock-species diversity (up to 5 livestock species), and (5) breed diversity (up to five cattle and eight sheep breeds, on average 1–2).We demonstrated that the selected indicators are able to detect differences between farms, regions and dominant farm types. Given the present rate of agrobiodiversity loss and the dramatic effects that this may have on food production and food security, extensive monitoring is urgent. A consistent survey of crop cultivars and livestock breeds on-farm will detect losses and help to improve strategies for the management and conservation of on-farm genetic resources. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Desheva G.,Institute Of Plant Genetic Resources Kmalkov
Emirates Journal of Food and Agriculture | Year: 2014

The knowledge about the extent of variability, the distribution and the relationship between descriptors within local germplasm collection are a high value for the improvement and the efficient genetic diversity maintenance and utilization of plant species. The objective of this study was to assess the morphological and agronomic characteristics of original germplasm of common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), maintained in ex situ collection in IPGR-Sadovo. Fifty-five accessions of Triticum aestivum L. stored for more than 10 years in the National gene bank of IPGR-Sadovo were planted under field condition and their agro-morphological characters such as plant shape (at tillering), leaf-flag attitude (at the beginning of heading), spike attitude (at full ripeness), spike awnedness, spike color and spike shape, length of vegetative growth phase, plant height, length of spike, spikelets per spike and 1000 grain mass were recorded. The variation analysis showed that the most relative variable character during the period of study is the length of spike (C.V. %=15.09%), following to 1000 grain mass (C.V. %=8.04%) and spikelets per spike (C.V. %=7.66%). PC-analysis was applied to group accessions according to similarity on the basis of five traits (length of vegetative growth phase, plant height, spike length, spikelets per spike and 1000 seed weight) in two components in the factor plane. The analysis shows that the first component explains 30.349% of the total variation and the second -26.001%. Two factors explain total 56.350% of the variation in the experience. A database with assessment information of regenerated accessions was created. The results of this study will support efforts of conservation and utilization of landraces in winter bread wheat breeding programs.

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