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Trade-Offs between Economic and Environmental Impacts of Introducing Legumes into Cropping Systems

Reckling, Moritz and Bergkvist, Göran and Watson, Christine and Stoddard, Frederick L. and Zander, Peter M. and Walker, Robin L and Pristeri, A and Toncea, Ion and Bachinger, Johann (2016). Trade-Offs between Economic and Environmental Impacts of Introducing Legumes into Cropping Systems. Frontiers in Plant Science. 7, 1-15
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Abstract

Europe's agriculture is highly specialized, dependent on external inputs and responsible for negative environmental impacts. Legume crops are grown on less than 2% of the arable land and more than 70% of the demand for protein feed supplement is imported from overseas. The integration of legumes into cropping systems has the potential to contribute to the transition to a more resource-efficient agriculture and reduce the current protein deficit. Legume crops influence the production of other crops in the rotation making it difficult to evaluate the overall agronomic effects of legumes in cropping systems. A novel assessment framework was developed and applied in five case study regions across Europe with the objective of evaluating trade-offs between economic and environmental effects of integrating legumes into cropping systems. Legumes resulted in positive and negative impacts when integrated into various cropping systems across the case studies. On average, cropping systems with legumes reduced nitrous oxide emissions by 18 and 33% and N fertilizer use by 24 and 38% in arable and forage systems, respectively, compared to systems without legumes. Nitrate leaching was similar with and without legumes in arable systems and reduced by 22% in forage systems. However, grain legumes reduced gross margins in 3 of 5 regions. Forage legumes increased gross margins in 3 of 3 regions. Among the cropping systems with legumes, systems could be identified that had both relatively high economic returns and positive environmental impacts. Thus, increasing the cultivation of legumes could lead to economic competitive cropping systems and positive environmental impacts, but achieving this aim requires the development of novel management strategies informed by the involvement of advisors and farmers.

Authors/Creators:Reckling, Moritz and Bergkvist, Göran and Watson, Christine and Stoddard, Frederick L. and Zander, Peter M. and Walker, Robin L and Pristeri, A and Toncea, Ion and Bachinger, Johann
Title:Trade-Offs between Economic and Environmental Impacts of Introducing Legumes into Cropping Systems
Series/Journal:Frontiers in Plant Science (1664-462X)
Year of publishing :2016
Volume:7
Page range:1-15
Number of Pages:15
Publisher:Frontiers
ISSN:1664-462X
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Refereed:Yes
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Agricultural Science
Agrovoc terms:crop rotation, land use
Keywords:crop rotation, framework, land use and impacts, multi-criteria assessment, protein crops, resource-efficiency, rotation generator
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-3838
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-3838
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000376285000001
DOI10.3389/fpls.2016.00669
ID Code:13890
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Crop Production Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:20 Dec 2016 07:06
Metadata Last Modified:20 Dec 2016 07:06

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