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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Assessing the Impact of Farm-Management Practices on Ecosystem Services in European Agricultural Systems: A Rapid Evidence Assessment

Van Ruymbek, Kato; Ferreira, Joana G.; Gkisakis, Vasileios D.; Kantelhardt, Jochen; Manevska Tasevska, Gordana; Matthew, Peter; Niedermayr, Andreas; Schaller, Lena; Bańkowska, Katarzyna; Mertens, Kewan; Vranken, Liesbet


Many farm-management practices focus on maximizing production, while others better reconcile production with the regulation of ecological processes and sociocultural identity through the provisioning of ecosystem services (ESs). Though many studies have evaluated the performance of management practices against ES supply, these studies often focused on only a few practices simultaneously. Here, we incorporate 23 distinct management practices in a rapid evidence assessment to draw more comprehensive conclusions on their supply potential across 14 ESs in European agriculture. The results are visualized using performance indicators that quantify the ES-supply potential of a given management practice. In total, 172 indicators are calculated, among which cover crops are found to have the strongest positive impact on pollination-supply potential, while extensive livestock management is found to have the strongest negative impact for the supply potential for habitat creation/protection. The indicators also provide insight into the state of the peer-reviewed literature. At both the farm and territorial levels, the literature noticeably fails to evaluate cultural services. Further, disparities between the number of indicators composed at the farm and territorial levels indicate a systematic bias in the literature toward the assessment of smaller spatial levels.


farm-management practices; ecosystem-services supply potential; performance assessment; performance indicators; rapid evidence assessment

Published in

2023, Volume: 15, number: 17, article number: 12819

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

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