How effective are European agri-environment schemes in conserving and promoting biodiversity?

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1 Journal Applied Ecology , Blackwell Oxford, JPE Journal British Essay Ecological D Kleijn Review Ecological UK & Publishing Applied effectiveness W.J. Sutherland Society, Ecology Ltd agri-environment schemes REVIEW How effective are European agri-environment schemes in conserving and promoting biodiversity? DAVID KLEIJN* and WILLIAM J. SUTHERLAND Nature Conservation and Plant Ecology Group, Wageningen University, Bornsesteeg 69, 6708 PD Wageningen, The Netherlands; and Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation, School Biological Sciences, University East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK Summary 1. Increasing concern over the environmental impact agriculture in Europe has led to the introduction agri-environment schemes. These schemes compensate farmers financially for any loss income associated with measures that aim to benefit the environment or biodiversity. There are currently agri-environment schemes in 26 out 44 European countries. 2. Agri-environment schemes vary markedly between countries even within the European Union. The main objectives include reducing nutrient and pesticide emissions, protecting biodiversity, restoring landscapes and preventing rural depopulation. In virtually all countries the uptake schemes is highest in areas extensive agriculture where biodiversity is still relatively high and lowest in intensively farmed areas where biodiversity is low. 3. Approximately $24 3 billion has been spent on agri-environment schemes in the European Union (EU) since 1994, an unknown proportion it on schemes with biodiversity conservation aims. We carried out a comprehensive search for studies that test the effectiveness agri-environment schemes in published papers or reports. Only 62 evaluation studies were found originating from just five EU countries and Switzerland (5). Indeed 76% the studies were from the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, where until now only c. 6% the EU agri-environmental budget has been spent. Other studies were from Germany (6), Ireland (3) and Portugal (1). 4. In the majority studies, the research design was inadequate to assess reliably the effectiveness the schemes. Thirty-one percent did not contain a statistical analysis. Where an experimental approach was used, designs were usually weak and biased towards giving a favourable result. The commonest experimental design (37% the studies) was a comparison biodiversity in agri-environment schemes and control areas. However, there is a risk bias if either farmers or scheme co-ordinators select the sites for agri-environment schemes. In such cases the sites are likely to have a higher biodiversity at the outset compared to the. This problem may be addressed by collecting baseline data (34% studies), comparing trends (32%) or changes (26%) in biodiversity between areas with and without schemes or by pairing scheme and control sites that experience similar environmental conditions (16%). 5. Overall, 54% the examined species (groups) demonstrated increases and 6% decreases in species richness or abundance compared with. Seventeen percent showed increases for some species and decreases for other species, while 23% showed no change at all in response to agri-environment schemes. The response varied between taxa. Of 19 studies examining the response birds that included a statistical analysis, four showed significant increases in species richness or abundance, two showed decreases and nine showed both increases and decreases. Comparative figures for 20 arthropod studies yielded 11 studies that showed an increase in species richness or abundance, no study showed a decrease and three showed both increases and Ecological Society *Correspondence: David Kleijn. fax

2 948 D. Kleijn & W. J. Sutherland decreases. Fourteen plant studies yielded six studies that showed increases in species richness or abundance, two showed decreases and no study showed both increases and decreases. 6. Synthesis and applications. The lack robust evaluation studies does not allow a general judgement the effectiveness European agri-environment schemes. We suggest that in the future, ecological evaluations must become an integral part any scheme, including the collection baseline data, the random placement scheme and control sites in areas with similar initial conditions, and sufficient replication. Results these studies should be collected and disseminated more widely, in order to identify the approaches and prescriptions that best deliver biodiversity enhancement and value for money from community support. Key-words: EEC Regulation 2078/ 92, farmland, policy evaluation, wildlife conservation. Journal Applied Ecology (2003) 40, Journal Applied Introduction Post-war European agriculture can be considered a success in that it has resulted in increased yields and an enhanced capacity for self-sufficiency. For example, in the UK the yields per hectare wheat, barley, potatoes and sugar beet have tripled since 1950, while over the same time milk yields have more than doubled (Pretty 2000). However, it is widely accepted that increased agricultural productivity has associated costs in economic, consumer perception and environmental terms. More recently, there has been a global shift towards reducing subsidies. For example, in the UK, manufacturing subsidies have been virtually eliminated, yet agriculture remains heavily subsidized at about 40% the income. The free trade talks the World Trade Organization have repeatedly identified agricultural subsidies as an area badly needing reform, especially the European Union (EU) Common Agricultural Policy (Yu, Sutherland & Clark 2002). The $ million annual cost the European Union Common Agricultural Policy largely comprises direct payments to farmers, price support, taxing imports from non-eu countries, subsidizing exports and paying for storage when no market is available. As a result, prices in the European Union exceed those on the international market. The external costs agriculture were estimated by Pretty (2001) to be about $180 per hectare grassland and arable, with external benefits equivalent to $17 to $50 per hectare. It is widely accepted that the expansion the European Union in 2004 to include Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia will make the current agricultural support mechanisms financially unviable (Donald 2002). Consumers are currently questioning the benefits intensive agriculture. While the concerns may not necessarily always be rational (Beringer 2000), there is clear public mistrust and distaste for some aspects modern agriculture. The intensification agriculture has resulted in major environmental problems in recent decades, notably declines in bird populations together with their associated food resources (Donald, Green & Heath 2000; Benton 2002; Robinson & Sutherland 2002) and this is likely to continue (Tilman 2001). Future intensification, such as the use genetically modified crops, is likely to have further detrimental consequences for biodiversity (Watkinson 2000). There are also implications for wider environmental issues, such as flood risk and effects on water quality (Sutherland 2002). One response to concerns over biodiversity loss has been the introduction agri-environment schemes, in which farmers are paid to modify their farming practice to provide environmental benefits. The EU agricultural policy first explicitly addressed the impact agriculture on the environment in a Green Paper published in 1985 (CEC 1985). The reform the EU agricultural policy in that year (EEC Regulation 797/ 85) included a novel set measures for environmental protection and Article 19 allowed Member States to pay national aid in environmentally sensitive areas (ESAs). In 1992 EEC Regulation 2078/92 was introduced, requiring all EU member states to apply agrienvironment measures according to environmental needs and potential. Between 50% and 75% the costs approved agri-environment schemes are co-funded by the EU, making this regulation a financially attractive form environmental protection. Concurrently, extensive agri-environment programmes were developed in Norway and Switzerland (both non-eu Member States) and in Austria and Sweden before their entry into the EU in Besides their intended positive effects on biodiversity and the environment, agri-environment schemes decouple payments from agricultural output. Thus they continue to provide income transfers to farmers, but in a way that does not distort world markets (Potter & Goodwin 1998; Matthews 2002). More than a decade after the introduction regulation 2078/92, little information is available on the

3 949 Ecological effectiveness agri-environment schemes Journal Applied effects agri-environment schemes on biodiversity conservation. The limited number studies that have been published present contrasting results (e.g. Kleijn 2001; Peach 2001). Most EU countries are currently implementing their second 5-year agrienvironment programme. National schemes have been initiated in three, and there are plans for pilot incentive schemes in another six Central and Eastern European countries (Petersen & Feehan 2003). There is an obvious need for an overview that shows exactly what agrienvironment schemes achieve in terms biodiversity conservation. We attempt such a review here. First, we briefly describe the differences in design and implementation agri-environment programmes between countries in Europe. Subsequently, we review the effectiveness agri-environment schemes by surveying all available literature, with the aim integrating the findings various studies to produce recommendations for improvement. We have restricted ourselves to the effects schemes on biodiversity. We only consider schemes implemented until 2000, as the new modified programmes are too recent for proper evaluation. We do not consider set-aside schemes, as these are not formally agri-environment schemes but a means reducing production, and their ecological merits have been discussed elsewhere (Clarke 1992; Buckingham 1999). Likewise, although organic farming is an agri-environment scheme and support is co-funded by the EU under Regulation 2078/92, we do not consider the effects organic farming as this has been discussed extensively elsewhere and the objectives are not necessarily biodiversity conservation (Weibull, Bengtsson & Nohlgren 2000; Mäder 2002). Design agri-environment programmes across Europe For clarity, in this review we distinguish between agrienvironment programmes, schemes and measures. We consider an agri-environment programme to be the collection schemes implemented in a country. Individual schemes have different objectives (e.g. grassland extensification or conservation endangered livestock breeds) and regularly consist a set measures. For example, in the case a grassland extensification scheme, measures (also called prescriptions) may consist a reduction in stocking densities or a cessation fertilizer inputs. Agri-environment programmes vary markedly between countries in Europe (Table 1). The objectives these programmes usually reflect a combination the main environmental, ecological and socio-economic problems associated with agriculture, as well as the political situation in each country. In Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, schemes available to farmers concentrate on wildlife and habitat conservation. In Denmark and Germany most schemes fered to farmers aim to reduce agrochemical emissions, while in France the programme is geared towards the prevention land abandonment in agriculturally marginal areas. In Ireland and Austria, the objectives programmes are balanced between environmental protection, biodiversity conservation and landscape maintenance (Table 1). Schemes can be implemented either horizontally throughout the country or zonally (also known as targeted or vertically ) in certain areas that have been identified as being particularly vulnerable or a local biodiversity hotspot (e.g. environmentally sensitive areas (ESAs)). The designation areas where zonal measures can be implemented is usually carried out by governmental organizations. Most countries have a combination both approaches because a limited set zonal schemes exist that aim to conserve vulnerable ecosystems. Switzerland and Finland are the only countries that have entirely horizontal programmes, although most schemes in the German, Irish and Swedish programmes are applied horizontally. By contrast, most schemes in the United Kingdom and Spain are implemented in a zonal manner. A more extensive discussion the history and lay-out the agri-environment programmes in a range European countries is given in Buller, Wilson & Höll (2000). Patterns implementation agri-environment programmes Differences in uptake rate individual schemes largely determine whether and where the overall objectives agri-environment programmes can be met. In most countries uptake is very unequally divided over the available schemes, with a single scheme usually comprising more than 40% the total area covered by agrienvironment schemes (Table 1). Furthermore, schemes are ten unequally distributed geographically across countries, with high uptake rates in areas with extensive agriculture and low uptake rates in areas where agriculture is more intensive (Emerson & Gillmor 1999; Buller & Brives 2000; Grafen & Schramek 2000). The mechanism resulting in this pattern is illustrated in Fig. 1(a), which shows that for extensive farmers participation in an agri-environment programme is associated with comparatively low costs adaptation. Few changes are required to meet the requirements the schemes (Osterburg 2001). Thus, when uniform payments per hectare (calculated on an average base) are fered for voluntary measures, most uptake will occur in less favoured areas. The same mechanism probably explains why in most countries (especially France and Austria) the low impact/ low compensation schemes are those with the highest uptake. The effects agri-environment schemes on biodiversity EU members are obliged to evaluate their agrienvironment programme with respect to their socioeconomic, agricultural and environmental aspects (Article

4 950 D. Kleijn & W. J. Sutherland Table 1. Characteristics agri-environment programmes in European countries until the year Pilot agri-environment schemes currently applied in CEE countries are not included. UAA, Utilized Agricultural Area; AEP, agri-environment programme; AES, agri-environment scheme; ECA, ecological compensation area Austria. (UAA ha; area with AES ha; AEP since 1995, previous programme outside the EU-context since 1972). The Austrian programme (ÖPUL) consists 25 schemes. Eight horizontal schemes address extensification and reduction the negative impact agriculture on the environment, the other zonal schemes address specific farming practices, biodiversity conservation and the creation or conservation landscape elements. ÖPUL aims to promote farming with reduced environmental impact, maintain farming in agriculturally marginal areas (Alps) and conserve biodiversity and landscape. However, in % the budget was spent on the horizontal schemes and only 17% on schemes aimed at biodiversity and landscape conservation. Schemes with the highest uptake: crop rotation stabilization (18% AEP budget) and the basic subsidy (17%). Source: Groier & Loibl (2000). Belgium. (UAA ha; area with AES ha; AEP since 1994). In Flanders no AEP existed before 2000 (Reheul & van Huylenbroeck 2000). The Walloon programme consists five horizontal schemes and six zonal schemes. The programme addresses environmental and biodiversity aspects more or less equally but in 1997 only 25% the AEP area was under some scheme addressing biodiversity or landscape conservation issues. Highest uptake: planting a cover-crop between two crops (41%) and restricting stocking densities to between 0 6 and 1 4 lifestock units (26% AEP area). Source: Walot (2002). Denmark. (UAA ha; area with AES ha; AEP since 1992, previous schemes under regulation 797/85 since 1990). The majority the schemes the Danish AEP are applied zonally (ESA approach). Schemes aimed at the reduction nitrogen use, promotion rygrass as ground cover and organic farming can be implemented throughout the country. The main objective the Danish AEP is to achieve a reduction in nitrogen inputs. Landscape and nature protection has been minor importance so far. Highest uptake: maintenance extensive grasland (52% AEP area) and organic farming (37%). Source: Andersen, Henningsen & Primdahl (2000). Finland. (UAA ha; area with AES ha; AEP since 1995). Finland has a strictly horizontal General Protection Scheme (GPS) with six compulsory basic measures and five additional measures which one has to be selected. Furthermore, a Special Protection Scheme (SPS, 12 measures) exists that is optional but participation is available only in combination with the GPS. The emphasis the Finnish programme is on environmental aspects: one six compulsory measures and one five additional measures the GPS address biodiversity and landscape maintenance. Three the 12 measures the SPS address promotion biodiversity and landscape. Source: M. Kaljonen (unpublished paper). France. (UAA ha; area with AES ha; AEP since 1992, previous schemes under regulation 797/85 since 1989). In France, national and regional schemes exist alongside local operations. As regional schemes are the same in each region, both the national and the regional schemes can be considered horizontal whereas the local operations are zonal. Main goal the AEP is to maintain agricultural activities in areas with a high risk agricultural land abandonment and rural depopulation. Highest uptake: the national scheme maintenance extensive animal husbandry (70% the total AEP budget) and local operations (c. 15% AEP budget). By 1997 some 67% the local operations addressed wildlife and ecosystem protection. Source: Buller & Brives (2000). Germany. (UAA ha; area with AES ha; AEP since 1992, previous schemes under regulation 797/85 since 1985). The German AEP is difficult to summarize as each federal state ( Land ) has its own AEP. Almost all schemes are horizontal within each federal state with the exception schemes aimed at the protection environment, natural resources, countryside and landscape, which are zonal in some the states. German agri-environment schemes can be divided in two main types. First, schemes aimed at changing farming practices and second, schemes aimed at the preservation specific environmentally vulnerable areas, biotopes or species. The latter schemes contribute only 9% the total AEP area (Osterburg 2001), however, in some federal states these schemes operate outside the framework regulation 2078/92 and are therefore not co-funded by the EU. c. 70% the German AEP budget between 1993 and 1996 was spent by the agriculturally extensive German states Bayern, Baden- Würtemberg and Sachsen. Highest uptake: environmentally orientated basic payment only in Bayern and Sachsen (57% total German AEP budget) and grassland schemes extensification, conversion to arable land, preservation specific biotopes (23%). Source: Grafen & Schramek (2000). Greece. (UAA ha; area with AES 00 c ha; AEP since 1995, previous schemes under regulation 797/85 since 1986). So far, five a projected 13 schemes have been implemented. The schemes address organic plant production, organic livestock production, 20-year set aside, reduction nitrogen pollution and conservation endangered breeds. Highest uptake: reduction nitrogen pollution ( ha). Source: Louloudis, Beopoulos & Vlahos (2000), Louloudis & Dimopoulos (2001). Ireland. (UAA ha; area with AES ha; AEP since 1994). The Irish Rural Environmental Protection Scheme (REPS) consists one scheme only with 11 compulsory measures and a further six Supplementary Measures. The basic scheme is very comprehensive and addresses biodiversity and environmental protection, training courses and keeping farm and environmental records. The REPS aims to conserve wildlife habitats and endangered species flora and fauna as well as to address environmental problems. Five compulsory measures are particularly relevant to biodiversity conservation. All Supplementary Measures are primarily aimed at conservation aspects and only apply in designated areas. Source: Emerson & Gillmor (1999). Journal Applied Italy. (UAA ha; area with AES ha; AEP since 1994/1995). Italy is divided into 21 regions, each having their own agri-environmental programme. Within regions most schemes are implemented horizontally. The AEP is primarily used as an instrument to reduce the negative impact agriculture on the environment. Biodiversity conservation is only addressed indirectly through the maintenance the countryside and the landscape scheme. However, 94% this scheme is implemented in the provinces Bolzano, Trento and Valle d Aosta, and is therefore virtually restricted to the alpine region. Highest uptake: reduction fertilizer and pesticides inputs (37% AEP area) and maintenance countryside and landscape (32%). Source: INEA (1999).

5 951 Ecological effectiveness agri-environment schemes Table 1. Continued Luxembourg. (UAA ha; area with AES ha; AEP since 1996). Only one scheme, available to all farmers in Luxembourg, had been implemented in This scheme addressed maintenance the countryside and landscape. Source: Anonymous (1998). Norway. (UAA ha; area with AES unknown). Norway has two major agri-environment schemes. The Acreage and Cultural Landscape Scheme is mainly aimed at maintaining agricultural practices in marginal areas and has general prescriptions that are easy to adapt to. The Special Measures for the Cultural Landscape Scheme consists much more detailed prescriptions, many having objectives aimed at nature conservation. Highest uptake: unknown. Source: Rønningen (2001). Portugal. (UAA ha; area with AES ha; AEP since 1994). Only schemes addressing the reduction agricultural pollution and training courses and demonstration projects are applied horizontally, all other schemes are zonal and most them address specific farming systems. Emphasis the Portugese AEP is on the maintenance extensive farming systems. The schemes with the expected highest uptake rates are those aimed at the maintenance extensive grazing systems and Holm Oak landscapes ( montados ). Highest uptake: not available yet. Source: Eden & Vieira (2000). Spain. (UAA ha; area with AES ha; AEP since 1993). The Spanish AEP is implemented by the individual regions but a set mandatory horizontal and zonal schemes is prescribed by the national government. The implementation the Spanish scheme has met with considerable delay and data on uptake are only preliminary. Estimated budget allocation suggests that the emphasis the Spanish AEP lies on landscape protection (48% AEP budget) and extensification (30%). Highest uptake: preliminary data indicate that landscape conservation and fire prevention in extensive grasslands are the two schemes with the highest uptake rates followed by schemes aimed at wildlife protection in extensive croplands. Source: Peco (2000). Sweden. (UAA ha; area with AES ha; AEP since 1995, previous schemes outside the EU-context since 1986). The Swedish AEP consists four clusters schemes each having a different objective. The environmentally sensitive area cluster is zonal, the others are basically horizontal. The AEP objectives are to maintain a naturally and culturally valuable and varied landscape, to conserve biodiversity and to minimize nutrient leaching and pesticide use. Uptake figures indicate that schemes aimed at the maintenance open landscapes and conservation cultural-historical remains are very popular, whereas uptake schemes aimed at biodiversity conservation remain far below the targeted areas. Highest uptake: maintenance open landscape in forest and northern regions (30% AEP area) and perennial ley farming (29%). Source: Carlsen & Hasund (2000). Switzerland. (UAA ha; area with ECA ha; ECA since 1993). The Swiss AEP differs considerably from that EU-member countries. Farmers throughout Switzerland may manage at least 7% their UAA as so-called Ecological Compensation Areas (ECAs) in order to obtain a basic direct payment. The 7% ECA may consist a variety biotopes such as extensive grasslands, traditional orchards, hedges, field margin strips, conservation headlands, ditches, stone walls or unpaved roads. Farmers can receive additional management subsidies for some these biotopes, such as extensive grasslands. Some types biotopes, such as again extensive grasslands, that meet a certain quality level and/or are located in ecological corridors between important habitats qualify for additional subsidies. The overall aim ECAs is halting the agriculturally induced loss biodiversity by conserving valuable biotopes, restoring degraded biotopes and creating new biotopes. Highest uptake: lowintensity meadows (49% ECA area) and extensively used meadows (41%). Source: Günter (2002). The Netherlands. (UAA ha; area with AES 99 c ha; AEP since 1992, previous schemes partly under regulation 797/85 and partly outside the EU-context since 1981). The Dutch AEP consists seven schemes. One scheme (management ) specifically addresses the maintenance and conservation biodiversity and landscape and is applied zonally. All other schemes address a variety topics including demonstration projects, training courses and public access to farmland. In budgetary terms the zonal scheme is by far the most important. Highest uptake: management (90% AEP area). Source: Anonymous (2000). The United Kingdom. (UAA ha; area with AES ha; AEP since 1992, previous schemes under regulation 797/85 since 1987). The AEP varies somewhat between England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland but the basic outline is the same. For the whole the UK nine different schemes exist which only one, the Organic Aid Scheme is truly horizontal. Others can either be applied in certain regions or address certain biotopes. There is a strong emphasis in the UK AEP on wildlife conservation. The concept Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESA) was originally developed in the UK and first implemented here under regulation 797/85 and still forms the backbone the UK AEP. Wildlife conservation in the wider countryside is addressed by the Countryside Stewardship Scheme. Environmental issues play a minor role (Nitrate Sensitive Areas scheme and Organic Aid Scheme). Highest uptake: ESA scheme (58% AEP budget and 74% area) and Countryside Stewardship Scheme (21% budget and 7% area). Source: Hart & Wilson (2000). Journal Applied 16, EC Regulation 746/96). Currently, most evaluation studies simply examine uptake patterns different schemes within programmes. However, implementation schemes does not guarantee that the stated objectives the scheme will actually be met. Furthermore, the biodiversity and environmental objectives are rarely defined clearly at the outset, which hampers proper evaluation in a number countries (Schramek 2001). Table 2 summarizes all those studies that we have been able to locate that evaluate the effects agrienvironment schemes on the abundance or species richness organisms. Initially, we performed an extensive literature review. However, as most evaluation studies are published outside the mainstream scientific journals, we also searched the internet and approached some 40 key people outside the Netherlands and the United Kingdom to ascertain whether they knew any evaluation studies in their country or any person who might have more information. Many studies claimed to evaluate the effects schemes but simply

6 952 D. Kleijn & W. J. Sutherland Fig. 1. Conceptual models describing (a) the relationship between farming intensity and the impact schemes on a farmer s activities (solid line) as well as the uptake those schemes (dashed line), and illustrating (b) the potential effects schemes addressing improvement effects and protection effects (sensu Primdahl 2003). An equal shift in land-use intensity may result in a more pronounced effect on biodiversity (shaded area) in extensive areas compared with intensive areas. Journal Applied described the status or trends species interest in the scheme site without any reference or control data. These studies cannot be used to infer effects the changes in management due to the agri-environment schemes, hence we did not consider them further in this review. Although we may have missed some studies, we are confident that we have conducted a thorough search for studies throughout Europe. We located 62 studies from just six countries, which 76% were from just two countries (18 from the Netherlands and 29 from the United Kingdom). Only 27% (17) the studies were published in international peer-reviewed journals. Excluding the United Kingdom and Ireland, 83% the studies were published in the national language and remain therefore largely inaccessible to people outside that country (Table 2, Table 3). APPROACHES USED TO EVALUATE BIODIVERSITY EFFECTS OF SCHEMES The approaches to evaluation varied enormously, even within individual countries, making it very difficult to ascribe a specific study design (Table 2). For example, the most common approach (37% the studies) compared biodiversity in the agri-environment scheme and control areas at one point in time. However, some studies compared entire areas with a mosaic schemes, nature reserves and conventional management with areas that were managed conventionally throughout and usually were located outside ESAs. Other studies compared the pooled species diversity all fields with agri-environment schemes with the pooled species diversity all conventionally managed fields in a single area that consisted a mosaic scheme and conventional fields. The same difficulties apply to the two other common study design, examining changes in biodiversity (26% the studies) or trends in time in areas with and without schemes (32%). Only 34% the studies included baseline data, and 16% used a paired study approach to reduce environmental noise (Table 3). The number replicates varied from 1 to 398. The number was ten similar to the number replicates but in some cases far larger or smaller (161 for 26 experimental replicates and, greater concern, 2 for 82 experimental replicates). Two Swiss studies compared the spatial distribution birds over the landscape and analysed whether sites with schemes were used by birds more than would be expected based on a random distribution. These studies did not contain formal control areas. The data from 31% the studies were not analysed statistically. Some reports divided the analysis into a number groups, such as common vs. Red List plant species. To avoid replication and information overload we selected the measure (usually species richness) that seemed to best represent the results. We checked that this was not distorting the conclusions. Twenty studies (32%) assessed the effects schemes on plants, 20 (32%) on various insect groups and spiders, one (2%) on mammals (brown hare Lepus europaeus Pallas) while 29 (47%) studies investigated the response birds. RESULTS OF STUDIES EVALUATING BIODIVERSITY EFFECTS OF SCHEMES Our results show that plant diversity may be difficult to enhance with agri-environment schemes (Table 2). Eleven the 20 studies addressing botanical diversity found positive effects schemes whereas two studies reported negative effects. Considering the subsample 14 studies that subjected the data to some form statistical analysis, six studies demonstrated positive and two studies demonstrated negative effects schemes, the remaining seven studies finding no effect at all. The poor performance the evaluated agrienvironment schemes with botanical objectives is in accordance with results experimental studies. These generally show that it is extremely difficult to enhance the botanical diversity intensively farmed agricultural

7 953 Ecological effectiveness agri-environment schemes Journal Applied Table 2. Summary characteristics studies that evaluate the effectiveness agri-environment schemes. replicates and in numbers unless other units are given. For abbreviations see Table 1. Studies that just report status or changes within schemes were excluded Duration study Results Notes Reference Base-line data Statistical analysis replicates Investigated Country Scheme species (group) Design Weibel (1998) Yes No 1995 Skylarks foraged more frequently and longer in wildflower strips than in any other biotope 24 territories Skylark Relative biotope use within skylark territories CH ECA wildflower strips Pfiffner (2000)* 16, 7 7 No No 1997 Higher number species and red list species on extensive and low-intensity grasslands compared to control Carabid beetles Comparison ECA and control sites CH ECA extensive grasslands Hunziker (2001) ECA sites were perennial biotopes only whereas included arable fields Proportion ECA area relative to total area occupied by grasshoppers increased significantly for seven species from 1990 to Yes Yes 1990 & 2000 CH ECA Grass-hoppers Species richness and abundance on target sites and wider countryside before and after schemes Peter & Walter (2001)* Species richness and abundance individual species increased more on fields with ECA Yes Yes 1990 & 2000 Grass-hoppers Species richness and abundance on target and control sites before and after schemes CH ECA extensive grasslands Her (2002)*, Spiess, Marfurt & Birrer (2002)* Spatial autocorrelation between ECA and vertical structures. Explains part the observed effects Five species (mostly hedgerow species) more abundant, one species less abundant on/near ECAs than expected 23 Yes No 1998 & 1999 CH ECA Birds Spatial distribution territories relative to that ECA sites Raskin (1994)* 2 2 No No 1988 Species richness and abundance hoverflies and carabid beetles higher on AES sites Comparison AES and control sites Hoverflies and carabid beetles D Conservation headlands for arable weeds (Cont d)

8 954 D. Kleijn & W. J. Sutherland Duration study Results Notes Reference Base-line data Statistical analysis replicates Weiss (1999)* Scheme areas include fields nature conservation organization 2 2 No No pairs inside stable and outside declining or inside declining less rapidly than outside AES area Ikemeyer & Krüger (1999)* Scheme areas include fields nature conservation organization 2292 ha 437 ha No No pairs inside stable and outside declining or inside declining less rapidly than outside AES area Weis (2001)* Plant species richness increases on fields with AES and remains stable on control fields No Yes 1986 & 1997 Weis (2001)* Plant species richness increases slightly in grazed plots on AES fields and decreases sharply in exclosures 8 6 No Yes , 1994, 1996 & 1999 Kruess & Tscharntke (2002a,b) 6 6 Yes No 1996 Plant diversity not different, insect richness and abundance significantly higher on scheme sites relative to control sites Feehan, Gillmor & Culleton (2002) Yes No 1999 Plant species richness lower; carabid beetle richness similar to control farms Feehan (2002) Yes No 2000 Species richness plants and carabid beetles similar on REPS and control farms Journal Applied Table 2. Continued Investigated Country Scheme species (group) Design Population trends inside/outside AES area Black-tailed godwit, curlew, snipe D Conservation wet meadows Waders Population trends inside/outside AES area D Conservation wet meadows Plants Changes in species richness on fields with and D Mittelgebirgsprogramm grassland extensification Plants Trends in species richness on grazed AES fields and exclosures that serve as D Mittelgebirgsprogramm Resumed grazing on abandoned pastures Species richness and abundance in a randomized block design Plants, various insect groups D Grazing extensification Species richness in field boundaries on farms with and without REPS EI REPS scheme Plants and carabid beetles in grasslands Species richness in field boundaries on farms with and without REPS EI REPS scheme Plants and carabid beetles in tillage land

9 955 Ecological effectiveness agri-environment schemes Duration study Results Notes Reference Base-line data Statistical analysis replicates Flynn (2002) 5 5 Yes No 2000 Bird species richness similar on REPS and control farms Altenburg & Wymenga (1991)* Most the control fields located outside the ESA Changes in species richness/cover similar on AES fields and 35 9 No No 1984/85 & 1990 Terlouw (1992)* Trends in settlement densities similar on fields with and 23 ha 81 ha No Yes 1988 & 1991 Van den Brink & Fijn (1992)* 1. ESAs include reserves 2. Prior to the scheme higher densities three and lower densities two species were present on AES fields relative to control fields Yes Partially Trends two species more positive and one species more negative in ESAs relative to outside ESAs 2. Trends lapwing more positive on AES fields than control fields 1 :7 2 : : 11 2 : 90 Van den Brink & Fijn (1992)* 1. ESAs include reserves 2. Prior to scheme ditch banks contain less and grasslands more species on AES fields relative to Yes Partially In ESAs more positive vegetation development than outside ESAs in both ditch banks and grasslands 2. Trends more positive on AES fields than control fields in both ditch banks and grasslands Journal Applied Table 2. Continued Investigated Country Scheme species (group) Design EI REPS scheme Farmland birds Species richness on farms with and without REPS Plants Comparison changes on fields with and NL Botanical management Meadow birds Comparison changes on fields with and NL Meadow bird Meadow birds Comparison trends (1) in ESAs and control areas and (2) inside ESAs on fields with and without schemes NL Meadow bird Plants Comparison trends (1) in ESAs and control areas and (2) inside ESAs on fields with and without schemes NL Botanical management (Cont d)

10 956 D. Kleijn & W. J. Sutherland Duration study Results Notes Reference Base-line data Statistical analysis replicates Brandsma (1993)* 119 ha 144 ha No No Population trends more positive on AES fields for three species Altenburg, Rebergen & Wymenga (1993)*, Uilhoorn (1996)* Population trends more positive on AES fields for six species 122 ha 702 ha No No 1983, 1986, 1989, 1992 & 1995 Wymenga, Jalving & Jansen (1994)* Vegetation broadly classified, significance results difficult to interpret Shift towards qualitatively better vegetation classes between 1987 and 1993 more pronounced on fields with AES 255 ha 117 ha No No 1987 & 1993 Altenburg & Griffioen (1994)* Most control fields outside ESA in area with woodlots Population trends less negative on AES fields for two species 388 ha 420 ha No No 1985, 1987, 1990 & 1993 Dijkstra (1994)* Nature Value Index decreases significantly in edges fields without but stays stable in edges fields with AES Yes Yes 1990 & 1994 Ter Stege, Jalving & Wymenga (1995)* Vegetation broadly classified, significance results difficult to interpret Shift towards qualitatively better vegetation classes between 1988 and 1994 more pronounced on fields with AES 86 ha 500 ha No No 1988 & 1994 Van Buel & Vergeer (1995)* No significant differences between fields with and 115 ha 49 ha Yes No 1987, 1990 & 1993 Journal Applied Table 2. Continued Investigated Country Scheme species (group) Design Meadow birds Comparison population trends on fields with and NL Meadow bird Meadow birds Comparison population trends on fields with and NL Meadow bird Vegetation Comparison shifts in vegetation classes on fields with and NL Botanical management Meadow birds Comparison population trends on fields with and NL Meadow bird Vegetation Comparison changes in Nature Value Index s in edges fields with and NL Botanical management Vegetation Comparison shifts in vegetation classes on fields with and NL Botanical management Meadow birds Comparison population trends on fields with and NL Meadow bird

11 957 Ecological effectiveness agri-environment schemes Duration study Results Notes Reference Base-line data Statistical analysis replicates Brongers & Kolkman (1996)* Trends in species richness/ cover (hay meadow) plant species more positive on fields with AES No Yes 1989 & 1995 Van Buel (1996)* 189 ha 462 ha No No 1995 Higher settlement densities five species on AES fields Canters (1996)* Analysis makes no distinction between conservation headlands and field margin strips 12, 13 12, 13 Yes No 1995 Higher number insect taxa, and higher abundance lady bugs (Coccinellidae), dragon flies (Odonata), bumblebees (Bombus spp.) and hover flies (Syrphidae) on AES strips Brongers (1999)* Significant increase in juvenile plants on AES fields relative to Yes Yes 1990, 1994 & 1998 Kleijn (1999)* Within ESAs two fields within a pair in environmentally similar areas 7 7 Yes No 1998 One carabid beetle species more abundant on fields with AES relative to control sites Kleijn (2001, in press) Within ESAs two fields within a pair in environmentally similar areas Yes No 2000 Diversity and abundance plants equal, that insects higher on fields with AES. One bird species less abundant on AES fields Kleijn & Van Zuijlen (in press) Within ESAs two fields within a pair in environmentally similar areas Population trends similar on AES and control fields Yes partially 1989, 1992 & 1995 Journal Applied Table 2. Continued Investigated Country Scheme species (group) Design Plants Comparison changes on fields with and NL Botanical management Meadow birds Comparison densities on fields with and NL Meadow bird Insects Comparison paired field margin strip/conservation headland with conventional crop edge NL Field margin strips and conservation headlands Trends in abundance on fields with and Fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris) NL Botanical management Abundance and species richness on paired AES and control fields Birds, plants, bees, hover flies, butterflies, carabids NL Meadow bird and botanical management Abundance and species richness on paired AES and control fields Birds, plants, bees, hover flies NL Meadow bird and botanical management Meadow birds Population trends on paired AES and control fields NL Meadow bird (Cont d)

12 958 D. Kleijn & W. J. Sutherland Duration study Results Notes Reference Base-line data Statistical analysis replicates Borralho (1999)* Higher numbers great bustard, lesser kestrel and little bustard in fields with AES Yes Yes 1995 & 1997 ADAS (1997a) ESA & control in different regions and surveyed in different years 1 1 Yes No Similar densities for eight species but twite and lapwing much lower in ESA ADAS (1997b) 27 9 Yes No 1993 No significant differences for a range variables ADAS (1999b) Significant increase in species richness in higher tier sites but not in control or lower tier Yes Yes 1994 & 1997 ADAS (1999b) Significant increase in species richness in higher tier sites but not in control or lower tier Yes Yes 1994 & 1997 ADAS (1999c) Yes Yes Significant increases in species suited to grazing in AES stands contradicts target but increase in maritime species is as required ADAS (1999a) Sample sizes small for breeding wader and waterfowl (mean 2 5 territories in total) 20 Yes No out 15 wintering waders and waterfowl decreased. Five five target passerines increased. Two six breeding waders and waterfowl increased Journal Applied Table 2. Continued Investigated Country Scheme species (group) Design Steppe birds Changes in abundance species in target and control sites P Castro Verde Zonal Plan Birds Comparison AES and control sites UK North Peaks ESA Comparison AES and control sites Invertebrates, plants UK Breckland ESA conservation headlands Plants Changes in target and control plots UK Radnor ESA hay meadows Plants Changes in target and control plots UK Radnor ESA wetlands Plants Changes in target and control plots UK Ynys Môn ESA coastal habitats UK Ynys Môn ESA Birds Comparison population trends with those in wider countryside

13 959 Ecological effectiveness agri-environment schemes Duration study Results Notes Reference Base-line data Statistical analysis replicates ADAS (2001b) Significant increase in species richness in but not in AES 16 4 Yes Yes 1995 & 1998 ADAS (2001a) No significant difference in species richness between years or treatments 82 2 Yes Yes 1995 & 1998 ADAS (2001a) s decreased by 58% on sole control transect but increased by 13% on AES sites 4 1 No Yes 1995 & 1998 Aebischer & Potts (1998) 1 1 Yes Yes Greater declines on area with AES Aebischer (2000) Wardens also find nests and ensure they are not damaged by farming operations 1 0 No Yes Increase from 150 pairs in 1991 to 233 in 1999 after AES introduced. Rapid decline between 1940s and 1980s Aebischer (2000) Includes purchase nature reserves mainly for corncrake 1 0 No Yes % annual increase after introduction scheme ( ) compared to 3 5% annual decline in reference period ( ) Allen, Gundrey & Gardner (2001) Yes No For four schemes higher numbers in AES than. For one scheme none on AES. s generally low Journal Applied Table 2. Continued Investigated Country Scheme species (group) Design Plants Changes in target and control plots UK Lleyn Peninsula ESA coastal grasslands Plants Changes in target and control plots UK Clwydian Range ESA calcareous grasslands Changes in target and control plots Butterflies in calcareous grassland UK Clwydian Range ESA Grey partridge Population trends in target and control areas UK ESA arable reversion Stone curlew Population trends before and after AES scheme UK Countryside Stewardship Scheme Corncrake Population trends before and after AES scheme UK ESA corncrake initiative Bumblebees Comparison paired sites and. Carried out for various schemes UK Pilot Arable Stewardship (Cont d)

14 960 D. Kleijn & W. J. Sutherland Duration study Results Notes Reference Base-line data Statistical analysis replicates Baines (2002), Calladine Baines & Warren (2002) Yes No Black grouse increased 4 6% p.a. with AES but declined 1 7% p.a. in. Significantly more females retained broods in AES. Eight 11 species rarer in AES (two significantly) including black grouse. Waders and other gamebirds declined faster in areas with AES 12 (1032 ha) 12 (1176 ha) Bradbury (2001), Bradbury & Allen (2003) Yes No Of 56 tests groups and areas four significant positive effects and five negative Bradbury & Allen (2003) Yes No Of 16 comparisons seven showed positive effect AES (one, lapwing significant) and nine negative effects (three, woodpigeon, sedge warbler and rook significant) Brereton, Stewart & Warren (2002) Over 50% sites owned by conservation organizations Yes No Equl numbers increased and decreased. Lower, but non significant decline (12% v 15 5%) on AES sites specialist species increased (five significantly) Journal Applied Table 2. Continued Investigated Country Scheme species (group) Design Moorland birds Abundance and trends in areas with and UK Regenerating heather moors Winter birds Farms with AES and UK Pilot Arable stewardship Breeding birds Farms with AES and UK Pilot Arable Stewardship Butterflies Abundance and trends in AES and control sites UK ESA and Countryside Stewardship Scheme

15 961 Ecological effectiveness agri-environment schemes Duration study Results Notes Reference Base-line data Statistical analysis replicates Cope (2003) Authors suggests numbers on reserve reached capacity thus increases elsewhere could be due to buffer effect 16 0 Yes Yes s increased at a proportionately higher rate on AES sites than on reserve. No difference in change between undisturbed and limited disturbance sites Gardener (2001b) Yes No Higher numbers on six region/treatment combinations (4 significant). Lower (not significant) in remaining combination Gardener (2001a) Yes No Of 29 region/treatment/date combinations higher numbers in AES for 14 (nine significant) and lower in five (two significant). For carabid larvae 24 region/higher treatment/date comparisons 15 higher in AES and nine lower but none were significant Hawthorne, Hassall & Sotherton (1998) 2 2 Yes No 1991 Of three carabids, two more abundant in AES, one more abundant in control Peach (2001) Yes Yes Increased by 82% on land in scheme but by 2% on Reynolds (2001) No distinction made between seven different scheme options Yes No No obvious effect on sawfly abundance but diversity higher on AES Journal Applied Table 2. Continued Investigated Country Scheme species (group) Design Barnacle goose Trends in abundance on reserve and areas without disturbance or limited disturbance before and after start scheme UK Barnacle Goose Management Scheme True bugs Comparison AES sites and paired UK Pilot Arable Stewardship Carabid beetles Comparison various AES options and UK Pilot Arable stewardship Carabid beetles Comparison paired cereal headlands with or UK ESA cereal headlands Cirl bunting Trends in bird numbers inside scheme or outside within 47 tetrads UK Countryside Stewardship Scheme Sawflies Comparison sites with AES and adjacent UK Pilot Arable Stewardship (Cont d)

16 962 D. Kleijn & W. J. Sutherland Duration study Results Notes Reference Base-line data Statistical analysis replicates Chown (1998) Monitored since 1989, schemes started No Yes Wader numbers increased in three AES sites, stable in four AES sites, decreased in three AES sites and in four Cardwell, Hassall & White (1994); Hassall (1992); White & Hassall (1994) 3 2 Yes No 1988 For all groups higher abundance and more species than control in uncropped AES headlands but only for Heteroptera in AES with reduced pesticide inputs Hawthorne & Hassall (1995) 4 2 Yes No 1991 More species and diversity than control in uncropped AES headlands but not in AES with reduced pesticide inputs Tapper (2001) Yes No No difference detected in numbers Wakeham- Dawson (1998) Yes No For downland reversion scheme 3 6 times as many skylarks on AES as on. For permanent grassland reversion AES had significantly fewer skylarks for one but significantly more for another time period Journal Applied Table 2. Continued Investigated Country Scheme species (group) Design Waders Comparison trends in AES and control sites UK ESAs raised water levels Comparison uncropped headlands and cereal headlands with reduced pesticide input with Carabid beetles, spiders, Heteroptera UK Breckland ESA cereal headland management Carabid beetles Comparison paired cereal headlands with or UK Breckland ESA cereal headland management Brown hare Comparison farms with AES and UK Pilot Arable Stewardship UK ESA Breeding skylark Comparison AES and in two ESAs

17 963 Ecological effectiveness agri-environment schemes Journal Applied Table 2. Continued Duration study Results Notes Reference Base-line data Statistical analysis replicates Investigated Country Scheme species (group) Design Wakeham- Dawson & Aebischer (1998) Highest number on cereal stubbles, then AES reverted downland, then far fewer on AES permanent grassland reversion and fewest on winter wheat Yes No 1994/5 1996/7 UK ESA Wintering skylarks Comparison on AES and in two ESAs *Published in the national language. s replicates differ depending on type scheme or sampling date. Table 3. Summary all studies that were published, in congress proceedings or in reports. Percentages are given in relation to the total 62 studies Total studies 100% Published in peer reviewed journals 27% In national language* 83% Have control sites 90% Have replication 77% Use statistical tests significance 69% Analyse changes between two points in time 26% Analyse trends in time 32% Have paired scheme and control sites 16% Have baseline data 34% Controls, replication and statistical analysis 58% Controls, replication, statistical analysis 39% and reduced bias *Excluding 32 studies from UK and Ireland. Including four studies with just two replicates. Including three studies with just two replicates. Bias resulting from scheme sites likely to be placed in better habitat reduced by use baseline data, comparing trends/ changes in time or pairing scheme and control sites. fields (Berendse 1992), particularly when the period intensive use has been long enough to deplete the local seed bank (Bekker 1997). The diversity arthropods appears to be much easier to enhance through implementation agrienvironment schemes than other groups. Fourteen 20 studies reported significant increases in the number species and three reported significant increases for some and decreases for other species in response to agri-environment schemes. Considering only those studies that included statistical tests yielded similar results. Of 17 studies, 11 found positive effects, three both positive and negative effects, and the remaining three studies did not find any effects schemes. Kleijn (2001) and Kruess & Tscharntke (2002a,b) found no increase in plant species richness, but nevertheless reported significant increases in insect diversity on fields with agri-environment schemes. This positive effect may be due to reduced levels disturbance on less intensively used fields, allowing organisms to complete their life cycle before the vegetation is removed by mowing or grazing (Kruess & Tscharntke 2002a). As with plants, increased diversity is usually due to more common species. However, Hunziker (2001) and Peter & Walter (2001) found that Ecological Compensation Areas in Switzerland significantly enhanced the number and abundance endangered grasshopper species. Their studies furthermore indicated the importance nearby source populations, for instance in nature conservation areas, for achieving positive effects conservation management on farmland (see also Duelli & Obrist 2003). The studies investigating the effects agri-environment schemes on birds show no consistent pattern. Thirteen 29 studies reported positive effects agri-environment schemes on bird species richness or abundance, two reported

18 964 D. Kleijn & W. J. Sutherland Journal Applied negative effects and nine reported both positive and negative effects. Taking the subsample 19 studies with statistical tests, only four reported positive effects, two reported negative effects and nine reported both positive and negative effects agri-environment schemes on birds. The best known agri-environment scheme success is the cirl bunting Emberiza cirlus (Peach 2001). This species declined massively in abundance and range in the 20th century, so that it became restricted to a small region in Devon and Jersey, UK (Wooton 2000). The species became the target an intensive research and management programme by the Royal Society for the Protection Birds, English Nature and the National Trust in the UK. The Country Stewardship Scheme fered a standard payment for maintaining low intensity grassland and, in Devon, a special cirl bunting project was set up to promote weedy spring sown barley stubble in the species range. Between 1992 and 1998, cirl buntings increased by 83% on land entering the Countryside Stewardship Scheme, but only by 2% on adjacent land not in the scheme. The population increased from 118 pairs in 1989 to 450 pairs in Similar successful programmes in the United Kingdom for the black grouse Tetrao tetrix (Baines, Warren & Calladine 2002), stone curlew Burhinus oedicnemus (Aebischer, Green & Evans 2000) and corncrake Crex crex (Aebischer 2000) suggest that agri-environment schemes can work well as part a closely supervised, integrated programme. However, it is unreasonable to extrapolate from such studies to those without intensive support and additional management activities. Our impression from the literature, discussions with researchers, extension ficers and farmers, and from visiting a wide range schemes is that agrienvironment schemes are most effective when they provide the finances that enable farmers or conservationists to carry out measures that they feel positive about. Schemes that are considered financially beneficial but an inconvenience and with little support, feedback, encouragement or inspection are much less likely to provide gains. Thus, we have observed many situations where the land managers care about the outcome and tune their management the agri-environment scheme to benefit biodiversity. Conversely, we have observed many other situations where an agri-environment scheme is clearly considered a financially beneficial inconvenience and carried out in the minimal manner possible, without regard to the outcome. It would be useful to test whether these impressions are correct. Discussion HOW EFFECTIVE ARE EUROPEAN AGRI- ENVIRONMENT SCHEMES IN PROTECTING BIODIVERSITY? We are unable to say how effective agri-environment schemes are in protecting and promoting biodiversity on farmland. A limited number well-designed and thoroughly analysed studies demonstrate convincing positive effects measured in terms increased species diversity or abundance, while other studies show no effects, negative effects, or positive effects on some species and negative effects on others. A number schemes do not achieve the expected effect or even have negative side-effects. This suggests that the prescribed management may require modification. However, modifications and improvements can only result from a regular evaluation all agri-environment schemes. The most striking conclusion from this review is that there is a lack research examining whether agri-environment schemes are effective. Only the Netherlands and the United Kingdom have made any significant effort to evaluate the effects agri-environment programmes on biodiversity (Table 2). Nevertheless, in the Netherlands, the usefulness these studies in evaluating the effectiveness the main agri-environment scheme is limited. The studies were contracted out to a range different ecological consulting agencies and the methodology differed between most the studies, thereby making an integrated analysis impossible (Wymenga, Jalving & Ter Stege 1996). Currently, agrienvironment incentive schemes are being initiated in the Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries that will join the EU in 2004, but, as far as we know, no evaluation studies are integrated into these programmes. The implementation nation-wide schemes, without learning from the mistakes made by their predecessors in other parts Europe, represents a missed opportunity to make agri-environment programmes as effective as possible from the outset. This review has revealed a considerable bias towards studies in intensively farmed areas. Uptake schemes is higher in areas farmed under extensive systems, but we found very few evaluation studies in extensive areas. Currently, biodiversity levels are low in most intensively farmed areas (Kleijn & Van der Voort 1997; Kleijn 2001). Agri-environment schemes targeted at these areas are expected to enhance species diversity over time (Fig. 1b; improvement effects). Generally, biodiversity levels are higher in extensively farmed areas (Wolff 2001; Dullinger in press). Agrienvironment schemes are expected to maintain this diversity by protecting areas from intensification or abandonment (Fig. 1b; protection effects). Changes in land-use intensity will have a greater impact on biodiversity in extensively farmed land than on intensively used farmland (Fig. 1b, see also Potter & Goodwin 1998). Agri-environment schemes that aim to protect biodiversity in extensively farmed areas may therefore be more effective than those aiming to improve biodiversity in intensively farmed areas. Most studies detailed in Table 2 are from intensively farmed areas in Western Europe; studies are lacking completely from the Mediterranean countries. It is unlikely that results from the studies carried out so far (Table 2) can be extrapolated at all to southern European countries, hence there is a need for more research in these countries.

19 965 Ecological effectiveness agri-environment schemes Journal Applied PROBLEMS WITH THE DESIGN OF EVALUATION STUDIES We conclude that the experimental designs a large proportion the evaluation studies are weak. The main approach was to compare areas land under existing agri-environment schemes with control areas not covered by schemes. If sites qualifying for agrienvironment schemes are located preferentially in the most diverse areas, comparisons between these and control sites will be biased towards giving favourable results. Bias is unavoidable if study sites in designated areas (for instance Environmentally Sensitive Areas selected on the basis their conservation interest) are compared with control areas outside designated areas. Furthermore, farmers that volunteer to enter agrienvironment schemes may already farm in a more environmentally sensitive manner. In the Netherlands this is compounded when farmers locate schemes on the more inaccessible or marginal fields within a farm (Kleijn, in press), and in the UK agri-environment schemes are ten located in habitats greater conservation interest (Carey 2002). Kleijn & Van Zuijlen (in press) reanalysed data Van Buel (1996) and found significantly higher densities meadow birds on fields managed under agri-environment schemes relative to conventionally managed fields. They showed that the higher meadow bird densities were primarily due to the higher quality fields within schemes (higher groundwater table). Between 1989 and 1995 population trends were similar on fields within schemes and on control fields. It was shown that the difference observed by Van Buel (1996) in 1995 was caused primarily by differences in initial site conditions. Bias can be avoided by randomly assigning half a subset farmers that sign up for schemes to the control treatment (continue farming as they had done prior to the scheme) and the other half to the scheme treatment. For small-scale measures, it may be more practical to ask farmers to identify a pair sites and then allocate one at random to be managed under the agri-environment scheme and the other to be managed conventionally. This would neutralize any influence farmer or agri-environment scheme ficer on the initial quality scheme and control sites. Baseline data should be collected prior to the start the scheme and repeated biodiversity surveys should be carried out in subsequent years, or in the final year the scheme. This would then give a fair estimate the effects the scheme. This method has been adopted in the UK study the environmental consequences genetically modified (GM) herbicide tolerant crops. Individual fields were divided in two and one half was randomly allocated to the GM treatment while the other half contained the control with conventional crops (Firbank 2003; Perry 2003). Clearly, it is essential that allocation a site to experimental or control must be random and cannot be influenced by local decisions. Where the ideal situation is not possible, for example when a scheme that is already in place needs to be evaluated (which will be the rule rather then the exception), the best possible alternatives are (i) to collect baseline data, (ii) to examine trends in time, and (iii) to try to reduce systematic differences in initial conditions between scheme and control sites as far as possible. Great care should be taken to pair scheme areas with nearby control areas that are similar in most respects (e.g. soil type, groundwater table and landscape structure) so that these are eliminated as confounding factors. However, it will remain difficult to interpret positive results with confidence. None the studies reviewed here met standards set in the previous section and only a few complied with the best alternatives described above. For instance, only 36 studies had, sufficient replication and rigorous statistical analysis (Table 3). Just 24 studies from five countries additionally made use baseline data, and/or trend analysis, and/or pairing control and scheme sites. COSTS AND BENEFITS OF AGRI- ENVIRONMENT SCHEMES What is the efficiency agri-environment schemes (the benefits per unit costs)? None the studies listed in Table 2 addressed this aspect. Up to 2003, $ million has been spent in the 15 EU countries alone (EEA 2002). Most this money was spent on measures whose objectives were not biodiversity conservation. It is impossible to estimate the amount spent on biodiversity conservation schemes and no estimates benefits are available either. Hanley, Whitby & Simpson (1999) compared costs and benefits the United Kindom ESA scheme and found that benefits greatly outweighed the costs. Benefits were estimated by means the Contingent Valuation Method, a survey-based approach that directly elicits preferences for environmental goods from individuals. However, it is important to point out that respondents were shown pictures the landscape with and without the ESA, but were not given any information on the probability successful restoration the with scenario, nor how long it would take (Hanley 1999). Thus, individuals valued agri-environment schemes on the assumption that they would result in increased diversity. Our review shows that this is not always the case. Thus, there is a need for studies that directly link the costs schemes with their biodiversity benefits. To our knowledge, the only study that has attempted this correlated the amount agri-environmental subsidy received for the management grassland fields in Austria with plant species richness those fields (Zechmeister 2003). They found no positive relationship between amount subsidy and botanical diversity. Some agri-environment schemes have other objectives besides biodiversity conservation. The environmental and economic benefits these other objectives may be substantial, particularly when their impact extends

20 966 D. Kleijn & W. J. Sutherland Journal Applied outside the area targeted for the schemes (Daily & Ellison 2002). For example, in Germany the conversion 6% permanent grassland to arable land resulted in the release 10 tonnes nitrogen ha 1 (as NO 3 ) and 100 tonnes carbon (as CO 2 ) as well as enhanced winter water runf. This has been suggested as a contribution towards the greater flooding frequencies along the major German rivers (Van der Ploeg, Ehlers & Sieker 1999). Agri-environment schemes that revert arable land to permanent grassland should result in reduced emissions and flooding frequencies in the wider countryside, as well as enhancing biodiversity. In the UK, creating a 80-m wide salt marsh along an eroding coast can result in the annual cost coastal defence dropping from c. $7200 m 1 to c. $600 m 1 (House Commons Select Committee on Agriculture 1998). Economic analysis showed that ecological protection and restoration the Catskill-Delaware watershed was a more cost effective means protecting the water quality for New York than improving the technology for water treatment (Ashendorff 1997). SYNTHESIS AND APPLICATIONS The outcome this review does not allow for a general judgement the effectiveness agri-environment schemes because a lack sufficiently rigorous studies. There is a particularly urgent need for studies evaluating the effects schemes in extensively farmed areas and in Mediterranean countries. The fact that a number studies found no change or even negative effects agri-environment schemes on biodiversity highlights the importance regular evaluations all major agri-environment schemes. To do this, it is necessary to formulate clear and unambiguous biodiversity objectives for each scheme, if they have not been formulated already. Furthermore, the design evaluation studies deserves more attention. Studies should include the collection baseline data, should incorporate control sites that are similar to scheme sites in every respect but the change in management, and both control sites and scheme sites should be sufficiently replicated. This can be achieved most effectively by making evaluation programmes an integral part each agri-environment programme. The results these studies need to be disseminated to the international scientific community, preferably through publication in international peer-reviewed journals, or by making an institution responsible for collating and distributing this type research. Only then will we be able to (i) find out why some schemes are effective and others not, (ii) determine how existing schemes can be made more effective, and (iii) decide what schemes may be abandoned and how new schemes should be formulated. Acknowledgements We thank Jon Marshall for suggesting this review and the following for providing useful information: Jacques Baudry, Harriet Bennett, Nigel Boatman, Anne Bonis, Pierre-Yves Bontemps, Richard Bradbury, Val Brown, Pierre Burghart, Nigel Critchley, Nicola Crockford, Mario Diaz, Jane Feehan, John Feehan, Maeve Flynn, Aldina Franco, Gary Fry, Des Gillmor, Phil Grice, Knut Per Hasund, Johnny Kahlert, Mikko Kuussaari, Anders Larsson, Leonidas Louloudis, Bernhard Osterburg, Jørgen Primdahl, Katrina Rønningen, Norbert Sauberer, Wolfgang Schumacher, Riccardo Simoncini, Franz Sinabell, Patrick Steyaert and Anki Weibull. The constructive comments three anonymous referees and Gillian Kerby are much appreciated. The work D.K. was done within the framework the EU-funded project EASY (QLK5-CT ). References ADAS (1997a) Monitoring Breeding Birds in the North Peak ESA ADAS report to Ministry Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, London. ADAS (1997b) Biology Monitoring Arable Field Margins in the Breckland ESA ADAS report to Ministry Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, London. ADAS (1999a) Bird Monitoring in the Ynys Môn ESA ADAS report to Welsh Office Agriculture Department, Cardiff. ADAS (1999b) Environmental Monitoring in the Radnor ESA Report to Welsh Office Agriculture Department, Cardiff. ADAS (1999c) Environmental Monitoring in the Ynys Môn ESA ADAS report to the Welsh Office Agriculture Department, Cardiff. ADAS (2001a) Environmental Monitoring in the Clwydian Range ESA Report to Welsh Office Agriculture Department, Cardiff. ADAS (2001b) Environmental Monitoring in the Lleyn Peninsula ESA Report to Welsh Office Agriculture Department, Cardiff. Aebischer, N.J., Green, R.E. & Evans, A.D. (2000) From science to recovery: four case studies how research has been translated into conservation action in the UK. Ecology and Conservation Lowland Farmland Birds (eds N.J. Aebischer, A.D. Evans, P.V. Grice & J.A. Vickery), pp British Ornithologists Union, Tring, UK. Aebischer, N.J. & Potts, G.R. (1998) Spatial changes in grey partridge (Perdix perdix) distribution in relation to 25 years changing agriculture in Sussex, U.K. Gibier Faune Sauvage, 15, Allen, D.S., Gundrey, A.L. & Gardner, S.M. (2001) Bumblebees. Technical appendix to ecological evaluation the arable stewardship pilot scheme ADAS, Wolverhampton, UK. Altenburg, W. & Griffioen, R. (1994) Evaluatie van het beheersplan Midden-Opsterland VI. Weidevogels in Midden- Opsterland in resp. in Henswoude in Publicatie no. 73. Altenburg & Wymenga Veenwouden/Directie Beheer Landbouwgronden, Utrecht. Altenburg, W., Rebergen, B. & Wymenga, E. (1993) Weidevogels in de Terschellingerpolder in Publicatie no. 65. Altenburg & Wymenga, Veenwouden/Directie Beheer Landbouwgronden, Utrecht. Altenburg, W. & Wymenga, E. (1991) Evaluatie van het beheersplan Midden-Opsterland V. Weidevogels en vegetatie in 1984/ Publicatie no. 46. Altenburg & Wymenga, Veenwouden/Directie Beheer Landbouwgronden, Utrecht. Andersen, E., Henningsen, A. & Primdahl, J. (2000) Denmark: implementation new agri-environmental policy based on Regulation Agri-Environmental Policy in the

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