Uncultivated or extensively used land provides habitat for beneficial organisms. Unfortunately, they can also provide habitat for organisms that are harmful to both biodiversity and the agricultural economy.
Beneficial organisms are primarily predator species that are most important in reducing crop pests. These mainly include various insect and bird species. Beneficial species also include naturally occurring pollinators such as bees and bumblebees. Negatively impacting species include those considered invasive, which often appear in habitats that are subject to uncontrolled change. These are plant species that displace native species, mainly grassland species, and contribute to a decline in biodiversity both in terms of native plants and in the abundance and diversity of pollinators, ants and birds – such as goldenrod and Canadian goldenrod. Also, animal species that are considered invasive, e.g. raccoon, grey squirrel and ornamental species of tortoises, compete with and effectively crowd out native species. For this reason, it is important to be aware of both beneficial and harmful species present on the farm and to take appropriate care of extensively used areas.
More details on invasive organisms are provided in Area 5: Sowing and planting.