Hedgerows as ecosystems: service delivery, management and restoration

Ian Montgomery, Tancredi Caruso, Neil Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Hedge density, structure, and function vary with primary production and gradient and are subject to other, diverse factors. Hedgerows are emerging ecosystems with aboveground and belowground components. Functions of hedges map onto provisioning, regulating, cultural and supporting ecosystem services including: food production, non-crop food and wood products, firewood, pollination, pest control, soil conservation and quality, mitigation of water flux and availability, carbon sequestration, landscape connectivity and character, and biodiversity. Urban hedges provide a more equitable microclimate, critical connections between green spaces, and enhance human health and well-being through contact with biodiversity. Soil and water conservation are well-researched in tropical hedges, but less so for their contribution to pollination, pest control and biodiversity. Establishing lower limits for width and longer intervals between cutting of temperate hedges would enhance biosecurity and promote carbon sequestration and biodiversity. Hedges have a global role in mitigating biodiversity loss and climate change, which restoration should maximise, notwithstanding regional character.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2020

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