Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Reviewing change in the arable flora of Europe: a meta-analysis


Richner, N; Holderegger, R; Linder, Peter H; Walter, T (2015). Reviewing change in the arable flora of Europe: a meta-analysis. Weed Research, 55(1):1-13.

Abstract

Changing agricultural practices have dramatically altered the arable flora of Europe since the Second World War. We conducted a meta-analysis of the available literature to assess the dynamics of species richness and species traits in the arable flora across Europe during this time period. We found a total of 32 publications, yielding 53 data sets with an average number of 252 studied plots per data set. Average species number per plot of arable plants across all data sets declined by about 20%. However, twelve data sets showed an increase in average species number per plot, including all studies starting after 1980. Plant species preferring nutrient-rich sites, neophytes and monocotyledons generally increased since 1980, while characteristic or threatened species of arable weed communities further declined. This temporal development of the European arable flora suggests that the changes happening in agricultural management since the 1980s, such as organic farming and reduced pesticide input, may have helped slow the decline of the arable flora in terms of species number, but not in terms of characteristic or threatened arable weeds. Hence, more specific measures are necessary to stop decline of the latter, making sure that these measures are advantageous for rare and characteristic arable species, but not for harmful weeds.

Abstract

Changing agricultural practices have dramatically altered the arable flora of Europe since the Second World War. We conducted a meta-analysis of the available literature to assess the dynamics of species richness and species traits in the arable flora across Europe during this time period. We found a total of 32 publications, yielding 53 data sets with an average number of 252 studied plots per data set. Average species number per plot of arable plants across all data sets declined by about 20%. However, twelve data sets showed an increase in average species number per plot, including all studies starting after 1980. Plant species preferring nutrient-rich sites, neophytes and monocotyledons generally increased since 1980, while characteristic or threatened species of arable weed communities further declined. This temporal development of the European arable flora suggests that the changes happening in agricultural management since the 1980s, such as organic farming and reduced pesticide input, may have helped slow the decline of the arable flora in terms of species number, but not in terms of characteristic or threatened arable weeds. Hence, more specific measures are necessary to stop decline of the latter, making sure that these measures are advantageous for rare and characteristic arable species, but not for harmful weeds.

Statistics

Citations

15 citations in Web of Science®
15 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

0 downloads since deposited on 13 Jan 2016
0 downloads since 12 months

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany
Dewey Decimal Classification:580 Plants (Botany)
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:13 Jan 2016 16:32
Last Modified:11 Sep 2016 05:03
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0043-1737
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/wre.12123

Download