Abstract Agricultural management is a major factor driving the change of faunal richness in anthropogenic landscapes. Thus, there is
an urgent need to develop tools that allow decision-makers to understand better intended and unintended effects of agriculturalpolicy measures on biodiversity. Here we demonstrate the potential of such a tool by combining a socio-economic model withthe biodiversity model GEPARD to forecast the response of bird and carabid species richness to two scenarios of agriculturalsubsidies: (1) subsidies based on production levels and prices and (2) direct income support that is independent of productionlevels. We focussed on farmland of the Lahn-Dill area, Germany, as an example of European regions with low intensity farming.GEPARD predicts faunal richness and is based on multi-scaled resource-selection functions. Under both scenarios the area ofpredicted losses in species richness of birds and carabids was larger than the area of predicted gains in species richness.However, the area with predicted losses of avian richness was smaller under the direct income support scenario than underthe production-based subsidy scenario, whereas the area with predicted losses of carabid species richness was smaller underthe production-based subsidy scenario than under the direct income support. Yet locally, richness gains of up to four specieswere predicted for carabids under both scenarios. We conclude that the sometimes contrasting and heterogeneous responses ofbirds and carabids at different localities suggest the need for spatially targeted subsidy schemes. With the help of the GIS-basedapproach presented in this study, prediction maps on potential changes in local and regional species richness can be easilygenerated.