Relationships between Danish organic farming and landscape composition

Gregor Philipp Levin

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelpeer review


This article presents an investigation of relationships between organic farming and landscape composition in Denmark. Landscape composition was analysed in terms of density of uncultivated landscape elements (I), number of land uses per hectare (II), diversity of land use (III) and mean field size (IV). Two analytical approaches were used. The first was based on an examination of the national agricultural registers for 1998, 2001 and 2004. The second approach used aerial photo interpretation for an analysis of 72 conventional and 40 organic farms within three sample areas for 1982, 1995 and 2002. The national analysis indicated that organic farming has a direct effect on landscape composition. In 2001, organic farms were characterised by a higher number of land uses per ha, a higher land use diversity and smaller mean field sizes. From 1998 to 2004, conversion to organic farming was related to an increasing number of land uses per ha, increasing land-use diversity and decreasing mean field sizes. Relationships between organic farming and landscape composition were independent of variations in regional location, farm size or farm size change. At the level of sample areas, a significant relationship between organic farming and landscape composition was only found for densities of small biotopes. However, when differences in farm size and physical geographical conditions between conventional and organic farms were taken into account, several significant differences in landscape composition were clarified in two of the three sample areas. Furthermore, changes in landscape composition following conversion to organic farming were largely biased by the characteristics of the sample areas. Thus, in contrast to the national level, the sample area study indicated that differences in landscape composition between organic and conventional farms were not a direct implication of organic farming practices, but were related to variations within other parameters and to the location of organically farmed land. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

TidsskriftAgriculture, Ecosystems & Environment
Udgave nummer2-4
Sider (fra-til)330-344
Antal sider15
StatusUdgivet - 2007

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