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Study on the Role of Agriculture as Provisioning Ecosystem Service


Study on the Role of Agriculture as Provisioning Ecosystem Service

The main aim of this study was to design and implement a methodology to assess the provisioning service of agriculture in the EU-27.

Agriculture provides substantial ecosystem services which lead to several benefits that humans derive from nature. This report examines the quantitative connection between provisioning agro-ecosystem services in terms of food, feed, fibers, and fuel supply and the ecological demands of these ecosystems. Energy balances of agro-ecosystems as well as different biophysical structures and processes were applied to quantify the relationship between these different services. Moreover, trade-offs between provisioning and other ecosystem services such as regulating and cultural services are discussed.


Marta Pérez-Soba, Berien Elbersen, Markus Kempen et al. 2012: Study on the Role of Agriculture as Provisioning Ecosystem Service. Interim Report to the Institute for Environment and Sustainability. Alterra Wageningen UR, Ecologic Institute, University of Copenhagen, EuroCARE.

103 pp.
Table of Contents

1. Setting the scene of the study
2. Review of main concepts dealing with agricultural production as ecosystem service, and specifically as provisioning ecosystem service
3. Analytical framework for the quantitative assessment of the energy balance
4. Results
5. Discussion
6. Conclusions and recommendations
7. References
Annex 1: Grouping of crop groups for presentation and analysis of final energy balance calculations
Annex 2: Calculating energy input for spreading manure
Annex 3: Calculating energy input through labour
Annex 4: Energy content of output of food, feed and other biomass
Annex 5: Allocation of input and output variables from region to HSMU level
Annex 6: Preparation of the three reference layers with the MARS-CGMS system
Annex 7: Analysis of most suitable crop aggregats for presentation of results
Annex 8: Land use, input and output information per country and environmental zone
Annex 9: Variation in input levels per crop

ecosystem service, energy balance, energy input, energy output, biomass, crops,