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A scoping study to develop a methodology that can be used to assess the value of agri-environment scheme options in the creation and maintenance of small-scale habitat mosaics to benefit priority species - LM0202

The aim of the project is to carry out a scoping study that will develop a methodology for testing the Mosaic Approach within the new environmental land management scheme. This methodology will be used in a separate project that will assess the value of agri-environment options and their targeting as a means of creating and maintaining small-scale mosaics on priority habitats, so that they support larger populations of a greater number of priority species and contribute to Biodiversity 2020 objectives delivered through agri-environment.

In order to undertake a field-based study that will empirically address the research needs relating to the Mosaic Approach in agri-environment, a scoping study is first required. The purpose of this will be to develop a methodology for testing the Mosaic Approach in a context that is relevant to agri-environment options, and that ultimately will deliver evidence that can be translated into advice about how to develop small-scale mosaics within agricultural landscapes.
The scoping study will have the following objectives:

•To undertake a review of the literature on the ecology and management of small-scale mosaics, and the ecological requirements of priority species. It will help inform and justify the methodology to be used in the field-based study, including the selection of habitats and taxa to be used in it.

•To recommend, justify, and give details of, an appropriate methodology that will enable the attributes (e.g. size, density and spatial configuration) of the key structural elements (bare ground, flower-rich habitats, and scattered trees and scrub) of small-scale mosaics delivered by the use of agri-environment options to be tested within a statistically robust sampling framework.

•To make recommendations about suitable habitats and/or landscape types to be used in undertaking the field-based study. Ideally these should enable results to be extrapolated to a wider range of habitats, and should encompass mosaics that are currently being delivered by agri-environment schemes.

•To make recommendations for suitable taxa to be covered by the field-based study. Ideally these should be selected to be representative of the requirements of a wider range of species.

•To undertake a survey of expert opinion on how different agri-environment options could be appropriate to the application of the Mosaic Approach.
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : LM0202 Scoping Study FinalReport   (891k)
• TPS - Two Page Summary : LM0202 2pg summary   (538k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2014

To: 2015

Cost: £29,496
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Centre For Ecology and Hydrology (CEH)