What do farms provide in terms of habitat to native plants and animals? What do native (or, at least, wild) organisms provide to farms?
These two, largely reciprocal questions have shaped much of our recent work into farm ecology. The first we have studied by creating on-farm habitat maps and exploring the plants and animals of those units. We have tried to understand how agricultural management might be affecting the biodiversity of such organisms. To study the second question, we have gone into farm fields in search of insects and spiders, trying to understand which ones are most common here and how surrounding, non-crop areas might be influencing their abundances.
(Our On-farm Habitats page provides more information about individual on-farm habitats, including ecological and management considerations).
What do farms provide in terms of habitat to native plants and animals? These are articles and reports which approach past and present farmland from the perspective of native species habitat.
What do native (or, at least, wild) organisms provide to farms? These materials look mainly at invertebrate-mediated agroecological services, a complicated (albeit shorter) way of saying the pollination benefits that farmers receive from bees and the pest control effects received from the likes of spiders, wasps and others.