Ecosystem Services Research Group priorities 2021-2026
Agricultural production is both dependent upon ecosystem services both to sustain productivity but also has negative and positive impacts on the ecosystem services that support that productivity and the support systems that maintain life on earth. At crop level ecosystem processes need to be managed to maximise productivity, but the cropping system must also be designed to sustain future productivity and ecosystem services to life support systems. Nevertheless, there will be trade-offs and potentially synergies between the immediate needs for provisioning ecosystem services and sustaining regulatory and supporting ecosystem services for the longer-term benefit of humanity and life on earth. Thus the research priorities fall across three complementary areas of work:
- PRODUCTIVITY: Determine the processes and identify responses to abiotic and biotic factors limiting crop productivity (e.g. soil fertility, climate variability, weeds, pests, parasites and pollinators)
- SUSTAINABILITY: Identify the attributes and processes that contribute to sustainable productivity in agricultural systems such as soil improving cropping systems, agroforestry, perennial crops (e.g. vineyards, coffee plantations) and home gardens (e.g. enset)
- TRADE-OFFS: Quantification of the environmental performance (including resource use intensity and ecosystem services provision) of agricultural production systems and trade-offs with socioeconomic benefits at farm, landscape, national and global scales.