Intensity in low-input farms and development of indicators for biodiversity
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Author: Siyka Stoyanova, Felix Herzog, Yana Guteva, Siyka Angelova, Zonka Odjakova, Maria Sabeva
Biodiversity conservation is an urgent task for our society with special attention for grassland areas. Th EU FP7 research project BIOBIO - Indicators for biodiversity in organic and low-input farming systems aims at developing scientifically sound, useful and attractive biodiversity indicators for organic and low-input farming in Europe. The Bulgarian case study region in the project is presented by low-input farming in grassland in the Rhodopi mountains. Preliminary selection of 16 low-input farms in Bulgaria for a detailed assessment of biodiversity indicators is carried out. The socio-economic components, environmental factors and partially management intensity have been outlined in order to find farm covering a reliable scale of low-input farming. Three main groups of factors and conditions are implemented for developing an appropriate model for scaling: general socio-economic factors, non-enterprise specific socio-economic conditions, enterprise specific socio-economic conditions. The summarized effect of evaluated factors and conditions is presented by the farm intensity index. The developed model allows preliminary differentiation of farms in three main groups of intensity. A reliable scaling of farms prior to detailed assessment of indicators for biodiversity in low-input grassland has been confirmed scientifically.