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How the ecological risks of extended bioenergy production can be reduced
Date:4/23/2012

nt areas of this intensively utilised open land, bred over many months on the ground in fields and fed on mainly insects and, additionally, the seeds of wild herbs and grains found there", explains Jan Engel, the first author of the UFZ-study, who is working at the University of Jena in the meantime. "This bird species is representative for important areas of the agrarian ecosystem. An improvement in the habitat quality for the skylark would therefore also support vegetation, insects and other ground-breeding bird species". In addition to the Eurasian skylark (Alauda arvensis), the researchers are currently investigating the effects on other field birds such as the Yellow wagtail (Motacilla flava) and the Corn bunting (Emberiza calandra) with their model in order to be able to make more extensive statements in future.

"The results of our study are a contribution to the debate about the ecological impact of extended bioenergy production. They underscore the need to adapt accompanying nature conservation measures to the regional conditions where possible", concludes Professor Andreas Huth from the UFZ. For the evaluation of the impact of bioenergy, the researchers therefore recommend also to take the differences in regional landscape types, such as the mean size of fields, into account. Above all, they underpin the importance of creating incentives for the preservation and establishment of ecological priority areas, such as fallow land, in the context of the impending EU agricultural reform.
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Contact: Tilo Arnhold
presse@ufz.de
49-341-235-1635
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Source:Eurekalert  

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