Home About Browse Search
Svenska


Permanent grasslands in Europe: Land use change and intensification decrease their multifunctionality

Schils, Rene L. M. and Bufe, Conny and Rhymer, Caroline M. and Francksen, Richard M. and Klaus, Valentin H. and Abdalla, Mohamed and Milazzo, Filippo and Lellei-Kovacs, Eszter and ten Berge, Hein and Bertora, Chiara and Chodkiewicz, Anna and Damatirca, Claudia and Feigenwinter, Iris and Fernandez-Rebollo, Pilar and Ghiasi, Shiva and Hejduk, Stanislav and Hiron, Matthew and Janicka, Maria and Pellaton, Raoul and Vanwalleghem, Tom and Zavattaro, Laura and Kampen, Jarl and Derkx, Ria and Smith, Pete and Whittingham, Mark J. and Buchmann, Nina and Newell Price, J. Paul (2022). Permanent grasslands in Europe: Land use change and intensification decrease their multifunctionality. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 330 , 107891
[Research article]

[img] PDF
6MB

Abstract

Permanent grasslands cover 34% of the European Union's agricultural area and are vital for a wide variety of ecosystem services essential for our society. Over recent decades, the permanent grassland area has declined and land use change continues to threaten its extent. Simultaneously, the management intensity of permanent grasslands increased. We performed a systematic literature review on the multifunctionality of permanent grasslands in Europe, examining the effects of land use and management on 19 grassland ecosystem service indicators. Based on the evidence in 696 out of 70,456 screened papers, published since 1980, we found that both land use change and intensification of management decreased multifunctionality. In particular, preventing conversion of permanent grasslands to croplands secured the delivery of multiple ecosystem services. A lower management intensity was associated with benefits for biodiversity, climate regulation and water purification, but impacted the provision of high-quality animal feed. Increasing the number of species in the sward enhanced multifunctionality of permanent grassland without significant trade-offs such as losses in production. Our review covered many aspects of land use, management and ecosystem services, but we also identified areas with no or only few studies. The most prominent gaps were related to comparisons between permanent and temporary grasslands, and effects of management practices on the provision of cultural values, and on erosion and flood control. We suggest that, despite apparent changes in human dietary preferences, the protection of permanent grasslands in Europe must be prioritised. At the same time, considering the need to reduce ruminant livestock's contribution to climate change, the time seems ripe to increase support for low-intensity grassland management to optimise the provision of essential ecosystem services from Europe's permanent grasslands.

Authors/Creators:Schils, Rene L. M. and Bufe, Conny and Rhymer, Caroline M. and Francksen, Richard M. and Klaus, Valentin H. and Abdalla, Mohamed and Milazzo, Filippo and Lellei-Kovacs, Eszter and ten Berge, Hein and Bertora, Chiara and Chodkiewicz, Anna and Damatirca, Claudia and Feigenwinter, Iris and Fernandez-Rebollo, Pilar and Ghiasi, Shiva and Hejduk, Stanislav and Hiron, Matthew and Janicka, Maria and Pellaton, Raoul and Vanwalleghem, Tom and Zavattaro, Laura and Kampen, Jarl and Derkx, Ria and Smith, Pete and Whittingham, Mark J. and Buchmann, Nina and Newell Price, J. Paul
Title:Permanent grasslands in Europe: Land use change and intensification decrease their multifunctionality
Series Name/Journal:Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment
Year of publishing :2022
Volume:330
Article number:107891
Number of Pages:10
Publisher:ELSEVIER
ISSN:0167-8809
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 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Keywords:Agro-ecology, Ecosystem services, Grassland, Land use change, Systematic literature review
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-117248
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-117248
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1016/j.agee.2022.107891
Web of Science (WoS)000790163200006
ID Code:28112
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:27 May 2022 14:38
Metadata Last Modified:27 May 2022 14:41

Repository Staff Only: item control page

Downloads

Downloads per year (since September 2012)

View more statistics

Downloads
Hits