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dc.contributor.supervisorParmesan, Camille
dc.contributor.authorBerkley, Nicholas Alexander James
dc.contributor.otherFaculty of Science and Engineeringen_US
dc.date.accessioned2018-11-19T17:21:01Z
dc.date.issued2018
dc.identifier10223203en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10026.1/12825
dc.descriptionFor published content see: DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12565en_US
dc.description.abstract

Land use change is a major driver of species loss worldwide, the extent and intensity of agricultural land use poses particular pressures for biodiversity and the ecosystem services it provides. In recent years, agroecosystems have seen the introduction of 2nd generation bioenergy crops in order to tackle anthropogenic climate change, providing a renewable alternative to fossil fuels. In this thesis I study the impact of cultivating two commercial perennial energy crops (PECs), Miscanthus x giganteus and willow short-rotation coppice, when compared to the cereal crops they replace. I investigate processes relevant to the provisioning of pollination and decomposition services and explore patterns of soil element bioaccessibility alongside analyses of the similarity and diversity of soil bacterial communities. When compared to cereals, I find a consistent increase in pollinator (hoverfly, bumblebee and butterfly/moth) wildflower visitation in the margins of willow but not Miscanthus. In Miscanthus, opposing trends arose for different pollinator taxa: butterflies/moths were more frequent flower visitors in Miscanthus margins than cereal margins, while hoverfly flower visits were most frequent in cereal margins. Furthermore, the availability of margin wildflowers was enhanced in willow but not Miscanthus and the seed set of margin phytometers was similar between Miscanthus and cereals. Cultivation of willow, in particular, may therefore yield local conservation benefits for both wildflowers and pollinators. However, there was no evidence for enhancement of pollinator activity in cereals adjacent to either PEC, indicating that the strategic cultivation of these crops is unlikely to enhance pollinator service provision in the wider agri-environment. For investigated soil elements, bioaccessibility in PECs did not differ significantly to cereal controls, and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) revealed no difference in the diversity of bacterial communities. Similarly, DGGE fingerprint patterns did not indicate the development of crop specific assemblages, demonstrating that the mobility of soil elements and structure of bacterial communities were principally determined by factors other than the identity of the crop cultivated. Investigation of meso-microfaunal decomposition rates in Miscanthus using litter bags demonstrated an impact on decomposition processes, with a significant increase in winter decomposition rates in the PEC when compared to cereals.

en_US
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherUniversity of Plymouth
dc.subjectBioenergyen_US
dc.subjectAgricultureen_US
dc.subjectBiodiversityen_US
dc.subjectBiofuelen_US
dc.subjectConservationen_US
dc.subjectMiscanthusen_US
dc.subjectPollinationen_US
dc.subjectWillow Short-rotation Coppiceen_US
dc.subjectBacteriaen_US
dc.subjectSoilen_US
dc.subjectSoil Elementsen_US
dc.subjectPollinator Networken_US
dc.subjectDecompositionen_US
dc.subject.classificationPhDen_US
dc.titlePatterns and Process: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function Response to Changes in the Arable Landscapeen_US
dc.typeThesis
plymouth.versionpublishableen_US
dc.rights.embargodate2019-11-19T17:21:01Z
dc.rights.embargoperiod12 monthsen_US
dc.type.qualificationDoctorateen_US
rioxxterms.versionNA
plymouth.orcid_idhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-3989-9036en_US


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