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The effect of agri-environmental schemes on arable bryophytes

Extensively managed arable fields are important components of the traditional agricultural landscape, and, as many habitats and taxa associated with farmland, of high conservation concern in Europe. To counteract adverse effects on wildlife in agroecosystems and to make agricultural production ecologically sustainable, agri-environment schemes (AES) were introduced during the past decades. Hornworts are examples of the specialised flora of arable fields adapted to regular disturbance, and their gametophytic occurrences depend on crop management. In many areas of Central and Northern Europe, they have decreased due to agricultural intensification. We examine whether AES in Switzerland, introduced in 1999 and amended in 2005, promote hornwort occurrences in the country.

Read more: http://www.bryolich.ch/bryologie/hornmoose_en.htmlexternal link, opens in new window

Arable lanscape.
Typical arable landscape in the Swiss lowlands, the most common habitat for hornworts in Central Europe. Photo: Irene Bisang.
Anthoceros agrestis
Anthoceros agrestis, the most widespread hornwort in Central Europe. Photo: Irene Bisang.