Does Finnish High Nature Value farmland indicator correspond to the farmland bird and butterfly diversity?

Authors and Affiliations: 

Mäkeläinen, Sanna (1), Harlio, Annika (2), Heikkinen, Risto K (3), Herzon, Iryna (4), Kuussaari, Mikko (5), Lepikkö, Katri (6), Maier, Andrea (6), Seimola, Tuomas (6), Tiainen, Juha (6),
Arponen, Anni (1)

(1) Metapopulation Research Centre, Dept. of Biosciences, University of Helsinki (Finland)
(2)Environment Centre, City of Helsinki, City of Helsinki (Finland)
(3) Finnish Environment Institute, Helsinki (Finland)
(4) Dept. of Agricultural Sciences, University of Helsinki (Finland)
(5) Finnish Environment Institute, Helsinki (Finland)
(6) Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Helsinki (Finland)

Speaker: Iryna Herzon

Corresponding author: 
Sanna Mäkeläinen

The key criterion of a biodiversity indicator is its sufficiently strong association with the biodiversity aspect in focus. To strengthen the environmental performance of the Common Agricultural Policy, support sustainable agriculture and monitor changes in agricultural land use, an indicator of High Nature Value (HNV) farmland has been developed at the European and national levels. HNV farmland comprises agricultural areas of low-intensity farming and fine-scale landscape mosaics, which are important to many native farmland species and have been declining due to agricultural intensification. However, there is strong regional variation in both definition and distribution of HNV farmland across Europe. A national HNV farmland indicator has been developed also in Finland and it has been used to measure the annual change in the proportion of valuable agricultural areas. We use bird and butterfly census data collected in 2005–2011, during the research project monitoring the impacts of agri-environmental policy in Finland, and investigate the associations of diversity measures, such as species richness in different ecological groups and that of species of conservation concern, with the HNV farmland indicator at different spatial scales. We also study the importance of individual components of the national HNV farmland indicator, such as amount of semi-natural grasslands, permanent pastures and area under the agri-environment contracts, to the patterns of bird and butterfly diversity. Results will be assessed in the light of conservation effectiveness and policy development.


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