Fallow land as a tool for farmland biodiversity conservation
Agri-environmental schemes (AES) have been designed to counteract the dramatic decline in farmland biodiversity across Europe driven by agricultural intensification. This study aimed to shed light on these aspects for the specific case of fallow fields located in a semi-arid region of the north-eastern Iberian Peninsula. Knowledge of the vegetation assembly response (in terms of functionality) to the different agricultural management and landscape conditions improves understanding of their effect on higher trophic levels, and may potentially contribute to enhancing their viability. In this study, different management practices were experimentally tested to show their effects on the habitat suitability of two groups of species which represent farmland biodiversity and ecosystem services: steppe bird species insect pollinators, respectively. Moreover, the surrender habitat assemblage was also taken into account. This study aims to improve current conservation measures by providing valuable information about the different aptitudes of management strategies, according to the preferences of the target species studied.