A recent paper published in the Journal of Applied Ecology has highlighted the value of small areas of woodland within farmland. Due to their small size, these woodlands have a high ratio of the woodland edge length : core area size. Because woodland edges receive more sunlight and nutrients from the surrounding farmlands, they often make these small oases more valuable per unit area than large woodlands.

Of course, preserving areas of large woodland is still essential as they are unmatched with their ability to sustain higher biodiversity, but this research helps demonstrate the value of potentially otherwise overlooked habitats.

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Study reference: Valdés, A., Lenoir, J., De Frenne, P., Andrieu, E., Brunet, J., Chabrerie, O., Cousins, S.A., Deconchat, M., De Smedt, P., Diekmann, M. and Ehrmann, S., 2019. High ecosystem service delivery potential of small woodlands in agricultural landscapes. Journal of Applied Ecology.