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What do we need to know to enhance the environmental sustainability of agricultural production?: a prioritisation of knowledge needs for the UK food system

Dicks, Lynn V.; Bardgett, Richard D.; Bell, Jenny; Benton, Tim G.; Booth, Angela; Bouwman, Jan; Brown, Chris; Bruce, Ann; Burgess, Paul J.; Butler, Simon J.; Crute, Ian; Dixon, Frances; Drummond, Caroline; Freckleton, Robert P.; Gill, Maggie; Graham, Andrea; Hails, Rosie S.; Hallett, James; Hart, Beth; Hillier, Jon G.; Holland, John M.; Huxley, Jonathan N.; Ingram, John S.I.; King, Vanessa; MacMillan, Tom; McGonigle, Daniel F.; McQuaid, Carmel; Nevard, Tim; Norman, Steve; Norris, Ken; Pazderka, Catherine; Poonaji, Inder; Quinn, Claire H.; Ramsden, Stephen J.; Sinclair, Duncan; Siriwardena, Gavin M.; Vickery, Juliet A.; Whitmore, Andrew P.; Wolmer, William; Sutherland, William J.. 2013 What do we need to know to enhance the environmental sustainability of agricultural production?: a prioritisation of knowledge needs for the UK food system. Sustainability, 5 (7). 3095-3115. 10.3390/su5073095

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Abstract/Summary

Increasing concerns about global environmental change and food security have focused attention on the need for environmentally sustainable agriculture. This is agriculture that makes efficient use of natural resources and does not degrade the environmental systems that underpin it, or deplete natural capital stocks. We convened a group of 29 ‘practitioners’ and 17 environmental scientists with direct involvement or expertise in the environmental sustainability of agriculture. The practitioners included representatives from UK industry, non-government organizations and government agencies. We collaboratively developed a long list of 264 knowledge needs to help enhance the environmental sustainability of agriculture within the UK or for the UK market. We refined and selected the most important knowledge needs through a three-stage process of voting, discussion and scoring. Scientists and practitioners identified similar priorities. We present the 26 highest priority knowledge needs. Many of them demand integration of knowledge from different disciplines to inform policy and practice. The top five are about sustainability of livestock feed, trade-offs between ecosystem services at farm or landscape scale, phosphorus recycling and metrics to measure sustainability. The outcomes will be used to guide on-going knowledge exchange work, future science policy and funding.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3390/su5073095
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity > BD Topic 3 - Managing Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in a Changing Environment > BD - 3.1 - Develop methods to quantify the link between biodiversity ..
CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity > BD Topic 3 - Managing Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in a Changing Environment
CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity > BD Topic 1 - Observations, Patterns, and Predictions for Biodiversity
CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity
CEH Sections: Directors, SPCs
ISSN: 2071-1050
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - Official URL link provides full text
Additional Keywords: agriculture, environment, knowledge gaps, sustainability farming, retail, food
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
Date made live: 13 Nov 2013 11:39 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/503803

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