Functional agro-biodiversity: an evaluation of current approaches and outcomes

Maskell, Lindsay C. ORCID:; Radbourne, Alan ORCID:; Norton, Lisa R.; Reinsch, Sabine; Alison, Jamie; Bowles, Liz; Geudens, Katrien; Robinson, David A.. 2023 Functional agro-biodiversity: an evaluation of current approaches and outcomes. Land, 12 (11), 2078. 22, pp.

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The European Union’s ‘Green Deal’ proposes an ambitious roadmap towards climate neutrality by 2050 and the adoption of a circular economy. Functional AgroBiodiversity (FAB) measures, which balance food production with minimised impacts on nature, are a promising way to achieve this on farmland. Here, we undertake a rapid evidence assessment to highlight Functional Agro-Biodiversity (FAB) management measures which help to realise biodiversity, climate neutrality, efficiency in use of natural resources and the circular economy. We report evidence on the effectiveness of 10 common FAB measures employed in Europe following a resurgence of interest and increased availability of data on their impact. The review found that the outcomes of implementing FAB measures were largely positive, with a number of mixed effects. There are evidence gaps, e.g., the impact of FAB measures on yield, the magnitude and timescale of impacts, the effect of landscape context. We signpost the most relevant and well-documented FAB measures, providing a reference for land managers and practitioners to select FAB measures to achieve specific ecological and agricultural outcomes. It is also important to note that a combination of measures implemented in a strategic way can enhance the output success.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Soils and Land Use (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 2073-445X
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: reduced tillage, crop rotations, cover crops, organic matter input, agroforestry, reduction in plant protection products
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
Date made live: 12 Dec 2023 11:52 +0 (UTC)

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