Work package 4

Quantifying the role of ecosystem services in crop production at farm and landscape scales

WP leader – Lund University (S), Henrik Smith.

A crop production function specifies the yield of a particular commodity for all combinations of inputs where inputs can be thought of broadly as comprising both purchased inputs (e.g. fertilisers and pesticides) and supporting and regulating ecosystem services (e.g. pest regulation, pollination, soil fertility). Knowledge of the production function is crucial for modelling farmer decision-making because yield is the primary determinant of profit and hence for evaluating policy options.

The objective and novelty of WP4 is to estimate spatially explicit production functions that consider the impact of landscape structure on flows of supporting ecosystem services (i.e. pollination, biocontrol and soil fertility) and ultimately on yields of the major crops grown in each of the case-study landscapes. This will allow us to quantify how the spatial distribution of a particular habitat affects yield. During the initial stages of the project these will be developed using existing data from other projects or publications.

Data produced by WP1-3 will be used to calibrate the models when they become available during the second half of the project. 

  1. Develop a landscape model that uses production functions to relate crop yield in individual fields to flows of multiple ecosystem services as influenced by field and landscape characteristics.
  2. Calibrate the landscape model to 7 pan European case-study landscapes and map flows of ecosystem services and agricultural yields.
  3. Analyse trade-offs between multiple ecosystem services under ecological intensification