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Hedgerows as Ecosystems: Service Delivery, Management, and Restoration


A review of the ecosystem services provided by hedgerows and how hedgerow management and restoration affects these services


Hedge density, structure, and function vary with primary production and slope gradient and are subject to other diverse factors. Hedgerows are emerging ecosystems with both above- and belowground components. Functions of hedges can be categorized as provisioning, regulating, cultural, and supporting ecosystem services; these functions include food production, noncrop food and wood production, firewood production, pollination, pest control, soil conservation and quality improvement, mitigation of water flux and availability, carbon sequestration, landscape connectivity and character maintenance, and contributions to biodiversity. Urban hedges provide a relatively equitable microclimate and 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 is known about their contribution to pollination, pest control, and biodiversity. Establishing a minimum hedge 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 maximize, notwithstanding regional character.

Author(s): I. Montgomery, T. Caruso, N. Reid

Platform: Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics

Journal: Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics

May require purchase
Not linked to qualification
Informational learning

Suitable for:

not suitable for Children, schools, families
not suitable for General public, gardeners, ramblers, armchair-enthusiasts etc
suitable for Professional interest in hedge management or surveying