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Article

Management to Support Multiple Ecosystem Services from Productive Grasslands

1
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Wallingford, Oxfordshire OX10 8BB, UK
2
Wildlife Farming Company, Chesterton, Oxfordshire OX26 1UN, UK
3
Rothamstead Research, North Wyke, Okehampton, Devon EX20 2SB, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Duncan B. Westbury
Sustainability 2021, 13(11), 6263; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116263
Received: 16 April 2021 / Revised: 20 May 2021 / Accepted: 25 May 2021 / Published: 1 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agro-Ecosystem Approaches for Sustainable Food Production)
Sustainable intensification will require the development of new management systems to support global food demands, whilst conserving the integrity of ecosystem functions. Here, we test and identify management strategies to maintain or enhance agricultural production in grasslands whilst simultaneously supporting the provision of multiple ecosystem services. Over four years, we investigated how the establishment of three plant functional groups (grasses, legumes, and other flowering forbs), using different cultivation (minimum tillage and deep ploughing) and management (cutting, grazing and their intensity) techniques, affected provision and complementarity between key ecosystem services. These ecosystem services were agronomic production, pollination, pest control, food resources for farmland birds, and soil services. We found that the establishment of floristically diverse swards, particularly those containing grasses, legumes and forbs, maximised forage yield and quality, pollinator abundance, soil nitrogen, and bird food resources, as well as enhancing populations of natural predators of pests. Cutting management increased bird food resources and natural predators of pests without depleting other services considered. However, a single management solution to maximise the delivery of all ecosystem services is unlikely to exist, as trade-offs also occurred. Consequently, management options may need to be tailored to strategically support localised deficits in key ecosystem services. View Full-Text
Keywords: agri-environment schemes; birds; cultural service; ecosystem service; grassland enhancement; pollination; pest control; soil; sustainable intensification agri-environment schemes; birds; cultural service; ecosystem service; grassland enhancement; pollination; pest control; soil; sustainable intensification
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MDPI and ACS Style

Savage, J.; Woodcock, B.A.; Bullock, J.M.; Nowakowski, M.; Tallowin, J.R.B.; Pywell, R.F. Management to Support Multiple Ecosystem Services from Productive Grasslands. Sustainability 2021, 13, 6263. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116263

AMA Style

Savage J, Woodcock BA, Bullock JM, Nowakowski M, Tallowin JRB, Pywell RF. Management to Support Multiple Ecosystem Services from Productive Grasslands. Sustainability. 2021; 13(11):6263. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116263

Chicago/Turabian Style

Savage, Joanna, Ben A. Woodcock, James M. Bullock, Marek Nowakowski, Jeremy R.B. Tallowin, and Richard F. Pywell. 2021. "Management to Support Multiple Ecosystem Services from Productive Grasslands" Sustainability 13, no. 11: 6263. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116263

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