Flower Belts

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Project assumption

Agriculture, a fundamentally important area of ​​the economy, is currently the most important factor in the biodiversity decline. It is estimated that between 2000-2050 it will be responsible for half of this decline with the mass cultivation of plants alone causing 1/3 of it. Thus, agriculture contributes very strongly to the depletion of ecosystem services and, as a result, poses a threat to the well-being and the very existence of human beings.

The results of scientific research are unambiguous. A prerequisite for reconciling intensive agriculture with high biodiversity so that the level of ecosystem services remain unharmed is a varied structure of the agricultural landscape. There are two ways to achieve this goal:

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protection of currently existing so-called verge environments, i.e. trees, bushes, balks, wetlands, water reservoirs, slopes on the outskirts or within fields

diversification of arable fields, which in moderate climate constitute (apart from densely built-up areas) the most monotonous and the least biologically diverse parts of the land.

FLOWER BELTS AS A WAY TO RISE AND STRENGHTEN ECOSYSTEM SERVICES OF AGRICUTURAL AREAS
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A relatively simple and inexpensive way to diversify arable fields is to establish wildflower strips, i.e. parts of fields excluded from cultivation and sown with a mixture of blossoming wild plants. The abundance of such species means that the wildflower belts are rich with nectar and pollen. Moreover, they offer a variety of ecological niches. They are a durable, long-lasting environment for many animal species both in the vegetation season and winter, when they are hibernation shelter for many invertebrate species.

Among the large numbers of animals found in wildflower belts, there are groups of species beneficial from the point of view of ecosystem services and consequently important from the point of view of man. These are parasitoids, pollinators, predatory beetles and spiders. In addition, the wildflower strips also have a beneficial effect on birds and small mammals, which prefer such surroundings over the open monotonous arable fields.

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Research confirming the economic and environmental benefits of using flower belts in agriculture: