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A macro-scale perspective on within-farm management: how climate and topography alter the effect of farming practices

Authors

  • Tatsuya Amano,

    Corresponding author
    1. Biodiversity Division, National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences, 3-1-3, Kannondai, Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki 305-8604, Japan
    2. Laboratory of Biodiversity Science, School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Tokyo, 1-1-1 Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8657, Japan
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  • Yoshinobu Kusumoto,

    1. Biodiversity Division, National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences, 3-1-3, Kannondai, Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki 305-8604, Japan
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  • Hiroshi Okamura,

    1. National Research Institute of Far Seas Fisheries, Fisheries Research Agency, 2-12-4 Fukuura, Kanazawa, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa 236-8648, Japan
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  • Yuki G. Baba,

    1. Biodiversity Division, National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences, 3-1-3, Kannondai, Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki 305-8604, Japan
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  • Kenji Hamasaki,

    1. Biodiversity Division, National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences, 3-1-3, Kannondai, Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki 305-8604, Japan
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    • KYOUSEI Science Center for Life and Nature, Nara Women’s University, Kitauoyahigashi-machi, Nara 630-8506, Japan

  • Koichi Tanaka,

    1. Biodiversity Division, National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences, 3-1-3, Kannondai, Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki 305-8604, Japan
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  • Shori Yamamoto

    1. Biodiversity Division, National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences, 3-1-3, Kannondai, Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki 305-8604, Japan
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Correspondence and present address: Conservation Science Group, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EJ, UK
E-mail: amatatsu830@gmail.com

Abstract

Ecology Letters (2011) 14: 1263–1272

Abstract

Organic farming has the potential to reverse biodiversity loss in farmland and benefit agriculture by enhancing ecosystem services. Although the mixed success of organic farming in enhancing biodiversity has been attributed to differences in taxa and landscape context, no studies have focused on the effect of macro-scale factors such as climate and topography. This study provides the first assessment of the impact of macro-scale factors on the effectiveness of within-farm management on biodiversity, using spiders in Japan as an example. A multilevel modelling approach revealed that reducing pesticide applications increases spider abundance, particularly in areas with high precipitation, which were also associated with high potential spider abundance. Using the model we identified areas throughout Japan that can potentially benefit from organic farming. The alteration of local habitat-abundance relations by macro-scale factors could explain the reported low spatial generality in the effects of organic farming and patterns of habitat association.

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