Do Seminatural Habitats Provide Ecosystem Services for the Landscape?

Seminatural habitats such as hedgerows, wildflower strips and extensively used meadows provide ecosystem services through their ability to contribute to biodiversity, encourage beneficials and pollinators, reduce erosion or regulate the water balance. To date, however, little research has been conducted on their influence on the landscape.

In the EU project ‘QuESSA’, the studied combinations of two crops – one crop with a grassy seminatural habitat or a small grove – were photographed in six countries (Germany, Switzerland, Great Britain, France, Italy and Hungary). The photos were edited for comparability in terms of background and sky. In a representative online survey, participants (N = 352) were asked to rank the images. Initial results show that in all of the countries, the combination of crop with grove is frequently preferred, but that the striking blossom of flowering crops or arable companion flora at the edge has a positive influence on the rating.



University of Koblenz, Landau (D):