A comparison of land-sharing and land-sparing strategies for plant richness conservation in agricultural landscapes
Strategies for conserving plant diversity in agroecosystems generally focus on either expanding land area in non-crop habitat or enhancing diversity within crop fields through changes in within-field management practices. In this study, we compare effects on landscape-scale species richness from such land-sharing or land-sparing strategies. We collected data in arable field, grassland, pasture, and forest habitat types (1.6 ha sampled per habitat type) across a 100-km2 region of farmland in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, USA. We fitted species–area relationships (SARs) for each habitat type and then combined extrapolations from the curves with estimates of community overlap to estimate richness in a 314.5-ha landscape. We then modified these baseline estimates by adjusting parameters in the SAR models to compare potential effects of land-sharing and land-sparing conservation practices on landscape richness. We found that species richness of the habitat types showed a strong inverse relationship to the re...
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