Proceeding in this way made it possible to compare the results of all three agricultural production systems – arable land, grasslands and forest – with each other. Areas of medium intensity of use demonstrated the highest increase (85 %) in yield following intensification measures. But they also had the greatest loss of species (23 %).

In contrast, areas that already had high intensity of use did not reveal any significant loss of species but still showed an increase in yield of 15 per cent. "Initially, this sounds excellent," says Beckmann. "But where there was not much biodiversity left to start with due to highly intense usage, there is, of course, also not much that can be lost.”

In a comparison of the effects of intensification measures on arable land, grasslands and forests, forests performed best with regard to lower species loss. The study findings indicate that in individual cases such as timber production, intensified land use may also lead to greater yields without any detrimental effect on biodiversity.

However, concrete recommendations for action in specific regions cannot be derived from the study, the scientists confine.