Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022
Smaller farm size and ruminant animals are associated with increased supply of non-provisioning ecosystem servicesKarlsson, Johan O.; Tidaker, Pernilla; Roos, Elin
AbstractTo balance trade-offs between livestock's negative environmental impacts and their positive contributions (e.g. maintaining semi-natural grasslands, varied agricultural landscapes and crop rotations), a better understanding is needed of how the supply of ecosystem services differs across farms. We analysed a suite of indicators for non-provisioning ecosystem services on a large subset of Swedish farms (71% of farms, covering 82% of agricultural land) and related these to farm type, farm size and livestock density. The analysed indicators exhibited clear geographical patterns with hotspots especially in less productive regions. Controlling for this spatial variation we still found that small-scale and ruminant farms were associated with more varied landscapes, small-scale habitats, semi-natural grasslands and better crop sequences compared to nearby farms specialised in crop production, while farms specialising in monogastric livestock were associated with less varied landscapes and inferior crop sequences. Results for cultural ecosystem services indicated that farms with more semi-natural grassland were associated with more visitors and more likely located within designated recreation or nature conservation areas.
KeywordsAgriculture; Ecosystem service; Farm; Indicator; Landscape; Livestock
Published inAMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment
2022, volume: 51, number: 9, pages: 2025-2042
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