This paper aims to assess the impacts of agricultural land-use changes on biodiversity in Taihu Lake Basin, China, and to identify possible conservation strategies. We used the mean species abundance (MSA) approach, building on simple cause–effect relationships between environmental drivers and biodiversity impacts at the global level. Our assessment estimated that 21% of the original species in the undisturbed ecosystem were present in 2000. We also analysed and reviewed agricultural pressures at different spatial scales to enable the development of conservation strategies at regional and farm levels. This analysis showed, first, that intensive crop management is reflected by the amount of fertilisers applied. Policies and technologies aiming to reduce environmental impacts have been ineffective. Second, the abundance of semi-natural elements was found to be low and the fragmentation high. To link agricultural pressures to the MSA approach, we propose a multi-scale cause–effect approach, which can be linked to other land uses. This approach is useful to provide a quick scan of biodiversity status and identify conservation strategies. Training farmers to use site-specific nutrient management should be stimulated. Furthermore, acknowledging multiple land-use functions will help to develop biodiversity conservation strategies that are acceptable to farmers and policymakers.
|Journal||International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|