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Biodiversity & Agriculture

Bayer CropScience project boosts ecological diversity of agricultural crop land

Jul 04, 2016
Blooming strips beside a field, as seen here in the background at the Dettenheim location, are one of the measures used to increase biodiversity.

Results look promising from a Bayer Crop Science Germany project to increase the biodiversity on intensively managed agricultural land.

On Friday, representatives from agriculture, nature protection, politics, press and administration met in Dettenheim and Bühl, Germany, to discuss the promising results of a Bayer Crop Science Germany project aimed at increasing the biodiversity on intensively managed agricultural land. The work was carried out in cooperation with the Institute for Landscape Ecology and Nature Conservation (ILN) in Bühl and the Institute for Agroecology and Biodiversity (IFAB) in Mannheim. The project began in 2010 with two agricultural premises in the upper rhine valley region, in the South-West of Germany. For more than 5 years, ecological revaluation measures have been applied and resulting changes in biodiversity monitored in a 50 hectare area. Only three years after introduction, the number of wild bees in the project area had multiplied ten-fold, and the number of species had increased 2.5 times.

Measures included the growing of flowering strips, the provision of beetle banks and nesting aids for wild bees. A control area was determined to compare changes in biodiversity for which the number of wild bees and butterflies species was used as an indicator, among others. Dr Rainer Oppermann, Head of the Institute for Agroecology and Biodiversity highlighted the significance of the measures for nature conservation: “Not only local wild bee species were monitored but also representatives from the German Red list of endangered bee species were found to be benefiting from the flowering strips”.

“We are very pleased with the great results of our initiative and hope that the biodiversity measures will be duplicated in more areas. We also look forward to the collaboration with the agri-cooperative in Luisenhof” said Dr Helmut Schramm, managing director of the Bayer CropScience Deutschland GmbH.

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