Congratulations are due to CWAC PhD student Jess Neumann, whose paper “The compositional and configurational heterogeneity of matrix habitats shape woodland carabid communities in wooded-agricultural landscapes” was published today in the Journal of Landscape Ecology.
Supervised by Dr. Graham Holloway in the School of Biological Sciences and Dr. Geoff Griffiths in the School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Sciences, Jess’ work examines how woodland biodiversity in the heavily modified landscapes of southern England is impacted by landscape change. Her work was supported by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust – including project co-supervisor Dr. Andrew Hoodless – and by a grant from Forest Research.
The research published today provides new evidence for the importance of connecting linear features within fragmented woodland systems, particularly emphasizing the importance of mature hedgerows for slow-dispersing ground beetles. It also highlights the value of small fragments of semi-natural habitat as refugia for species which have lost their primary habitats, such as heathland specialists, but are able to persist in the landscape where patches of woodland and water bodies are retained.
This provides a clear message to policy makers that agri-environment schemes should consider the spatial configuration of options and the landscape context in which they are being implemented, a concept which is beginning to be incorporated into the new generation of schemes under the NELM umbrella.