Beneficial birds more abundant and diverse on organic farms

Photo credit: Noel Pennington Photo credit: Noel Pennington

A study from Japan confirms that bird diversity is greater on organic versus conventional farms.  The study fills a gap in our knowledge about the impacts of perennial organic systems, such as orchards, in preserving biodiversity. Many studies have shown that annual organic farming systems are beneficial for a wide range of plants and animals, but few have focused on crops that do not require replanting every year.  In this study, researchers looked at bird communities on organic and conventional apple orchards in northern Japan. They found that the total species richness of birds was greater in organic orchards than conventional orchards, with the insectivorous species of birds particularly more abundant.