All change in the uplands

Hanley, N., Acs, S., Dallimer, M., Gaston, K.J., Graves, A., Morris, J. & Armsworth, P.R. 2012. Farm-scale ecological and economic impacts of agricultural change in the uplands. Land Use Policy 29, 587-597.

Recent decades have witnessed substantial losses of biodiversity in Europe, partly driven by the intensification of agricultural production. Future trends for upland birds will likely be impacted by changes in agricultural support regimes, such as those currently envisaged in on-going reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy. Using integrated ecological-economic models, we show that the impacts of future agricultural scenarios on farm incomes, land use and biodiversity are very diverse across policy scenarios and farm types. Moreover, each policy scenario produces unequal distributions of farm income changes and gains and losses in alternative biodiversity indicators. This shows that generalisations of the effects of policy and pricing changes on farm incomes, land uses and biodiversity can be misleading.