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Impact of Olive Cultivation on Biodiversity in Messenia, Greece
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The biggest threat and cause to loss of biodiversity have been found to be the intensification of agriculture under the 20th century. Messenia is one of the oldest olive cultivation areas in Greece and the landscape is dominated by olive groves characterized by extensive tillage, which causes serious erosion and might be a threat to plant diversity. Organic olive cultivation is an alternative that aims to preserve and support biodiversity. In this study the plant composition in the edge zones of an organic and a conventional olive grove in Messenia were inventoried to be able to investigate if organic cultivation methods enhance plant diversity. Moreover, other factors affecting plant diversity in olive groves and suggestions for precautions in the olive cultivation sector to support biodiversity are discussed. The results show that the organic olive grove hosted 40 % higher species richness, which indicates, as in other similar studies, that the organic olive cultivation methods have a higher capacity to support biodiversity. By restricting tillage and promoting organic olive cultivation, not only biodiversity would be enhanced; this could also prevent further soil erosion and create a more heterogenic agricultural landscape with higher biological and cultural values. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 30 p.
Keyword [en]
olive, olive grove, organic olive cultivation, conventional olive cultivation, biodiversity, plant diversity, Messenia
National Category
Other Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-107144OAI: diva2:743327
External cooperation
Navarino Environmental Observatory (NEO)
Available from: 2014-11-21 Created: 2014-09-03 Last updated: 2015-12-04Bibliographically approved

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