The application of ecological theory and conservation biology to agricultural ecosystems has become an important and growing research field and undergraduate course component in recent years. This book is both an academic textbook and practical guide to farm conservation, and has evolved from the authors' extensive teaching experience. It covers the ecology of farmed land, how agricultural practices influence the environment, how agriculture has changed over time and how the species that inhabit the agri-environment have adapted. It also covers the history of agricultural policy and subsidies and the development of agri-environment schemes. A number of different farming systems are discussed, as are the difficulties in determining their relative merits. Guidance is offered on how to produce a workable farm conservation plan, and the final chapters look to the future and the development of new, greener farming systems.
Dr John Warren has 20 years of research and teaching experience in agroecology, at the University of Liverpool and the University of the West Indies. He spent seven years at the Scottish Agricultural College as head of the Farmland Ecology Unit, and is currently director of education and lecturer at the Institute of Rural Sciences, University of Wales, Aberystwyth. Dr Ken Belcher is an Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. Prior to this, he was a waterfowl and wetland biologist and he maintains a strong interest in the interactions and potential conflicts between agricultural systems and wildlife conservation.
1. An introduction to agro-ecology; 2. Agricultural support and environmentalism; 3. Environmental impacts of agriculture; 4. Principles behind agri-environment schemes; 5. Farm conservation planning; 6. Habitat management; 7. The management of agricultural wastes; 8. Low impact farming systems; 9. Landscape and farmscape ecology; 10. The future of agri-environmental systems.