A concept of food-web structure in organic arable farming systems

F. W. Smeding, G. R. de Snoo

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


A proposal for a descriptive or topological farm food web is derived from field observations and from references in literature. Important themes in the food-web theory are tentatively applied to this preliminary model, explaining differences between local farm food-web structures and how they are related to farm and/or ecological infrastructure (EI) management. Predictions are made for four different farm food-web structures for extremes of farm and environmental gradients corresponding to the length of organic duration and amount/quality of El. The implications with regard to farming practices and nature conservation are that both organic duration and the amount/quality of ecological infrastructure may contribute to ecosystem services and nature conservation. However, an optimisation of the farm food web with regard to ecosystem services, may possibly run counter to nature conservation goals. (C) 2003 Published by Elsevier Science B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-236
Number of pages18
JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • farming system biodiversity food web predator organic farming field margin skylarks alauda arvensis winter-wheat fields southern england population-dynamics natural enemies carabid beetles pest-management soil agroecosystems bioindicators Environmental Sciences & Ecology Geography Physical Geography Public Administration Urban Studies


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