Farmlands and bird phylogenetic diversity

How to best protect avian phylogenetic diversity when converting natural habitats to farmland? By integrating wildlife friendly habitats within farmlands or by intensifying farming in some areas to allow tTrogon personatushe offset of natural reserves?

Edwards et al. (2015) study the effects of these two strategies (land-sharing vs land-sparing) and conclude that small-scale integration of wildlife friendly patches may not be enough for many bird species to persist without the protection of larger natural areas. Thus, a land-sparing strategy is more likely to retain evolutionary distinct bird species while establishing highly productive farmland areas.

For a nice summary of the study check GrrlScientist’s article in The Guardian and some great bird pictures here.

Access the Current Biology publication HERE

Photograph by James Gilroy. Female masked trogon, Trogon personatus, an agriculture loser (land-sparing is best)