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Book chapter2023Open access

Biodiversity friendly landscapes : a question with many solutions

Bengtsson, Jan; Bommarco, Riccardo


Building on some of Teja Tscharntke’s key papers we discuss a number of complexities of farming systems and agricultural landscapes that we believe should be included in future studies of production landscapes. We contend that transformation of modern agricultural landscapes to biodiversity-friendly ones needs a combination of farming on-field measures, land-use practices and landscape measures, but also policies supporting less intensive production. We argue that in future research, landscape ecologists should acknowledge the multiple values of biodiversity, and abandon using simple species richness indicators for those values. Ecologists should rather focus on understanding what species and their interactions are actually doing in production ecosystems. Some myths in landscape ecology, such as global food scarcity, land sparing, and intensive farming being the benchmark for sustainable food production, are rejected. We show that the global agricultural system is entrenched in a productivist narrative that hinders development of more sustainable production systems. In order to change current agricultural systems towards sustainable production and biodiversity-friendly landscapes, we need a broader perspective that incorporates knowledge and understanding of social-ecological systems and processes. We exemplify this with four future scenarios for Swedish food systems that in different ways are suggested to contribute to biodiversity goals, though perhaps not exactly via the biodiversity-friendly landscapes envisioned by Teja and many other ecologists.

Published in

Title: Defining Agroecology – A Festschrift for Teja Tscharntke
ISBN: 978-3-384-01055-1
Publisher: Tredition