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Effects of farm type on food production, landscape openness, grassland biodiversity, and greenhouse gas emissions in mixed agricultural-forestry regions

Olen, Niklas Boke and Roger, Fabian and Brady, Mark and Larsson, Cecilia and Andersson, Georg K. S. and Ekroos, Johan and Caplat, Paul and Smith, Henrik G. and Danhardt, Juliana and Clough, Yann (2021). Effects of farm type on food production, landscape openness, grassland biodiversity, and greenhouse gas emissions in mixed agricultural-forestry regions. Agricultural Systems. 189 , 103071
[Research article]

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Abstract

Context: The global demand for food is expected to continue increasing for decades, which may drive both agricultural expansion and intensification. The associated environmental impacts are potentially considerable but will depend on how the agricultural sector develops. Currently, there are contrasting regional developments in agriculture; expansion and/or intensification in some regions and abandonment in others, as well as changes in the type of farming. However, the environmental consequences of changes in farm type are not well understood.Objective: We have evaluated the impacts of farm type on food production and three key environmental variables & mdash;landscape openness, grassland biodiversity and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions & mdash;in three marginal agricultural regions in Sweden.Methods: We do this by first dividing the population of farms in each region into types, based on their land-use and livestock holdings using an innovative clustering method. Thereafter we analysed changes in production activities for farm types over time and evaluated the environmental and food-production impacts, where landscape openness is quantified using a novel indicator.Results and conclusion: Our results show that there is not one single farm type that would simultaneously maximize food production, grassland biodiversity, and landscape openness, whilst minimizing GHG emissions. However, there exists considerable potential to manage the trade-offs between food production and these environmental variables. For example, by reducing land use for dairying and instead increasing both cropping for food production and extensive livestock grazing to maintain landscape openness and biodiversity-rich semi natural pastures, it would keep food production at similar levels.Significance: Our farm typology allows us to assess the multifunctionality of farming, by relating contrasting production activities to multiple ecosystem services, grassland biodiversity and GHG emissions for informing policy towards more sustainable agriculture. We have demonstrated this with examples under Swedish conditions, but it should to a large extent also be applicable for other countries.

Authors/Creators:Olen, Niklas Boke and Roger, Fabian and Brady, Mark and Larsson, Cecilia and Andersson, Georg K. S. and Ekroos, Johan and Caplat, Paul and Smith, Henrik G. and Danhardt, Juliana and Clough, Yann
Title:Effects of farm type on food production, landscape openness, grassland biodiversity, and greenhouse gas emissions in mixed agricultural-forestry regions
Series Name/Journal:Agricultural Systems
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:189
Article number:103071
Number of Pages:12
Publisher:ELSEVIER SCI LTD
ISSN:0308-521X
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 405 Other Agricultural Sciences > Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Agricultural Science
Keywords:Agriculture, Biodiversity, Food production, Landscape openness, Farm typology, Ecosystem services
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-111439
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-111439
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1016/j.agsy.2021.103071
Web of Science (WoS)000632452600005
ID Code:23273
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Economics
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:15 Apr 2021 10:43
Metadata Last Modified:15 Apr 2021 10:51

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