Special Issue "Agro(Eco)System Services—Supply and Demand from Fields to Society"
A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2015).
Interests: Human-environmental system interactions, quantification and mapping of ecosystem services, land use systems, landscape ecology
Interests: ecosystem functions and ecosystem services in cultural landscapes; sustainable land management; ecology of wetlands; palaeoecology; science policy interfaces
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Institute for Earth and Environmental Science, University of Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 24/25, D-14476 Potsdam, Germany
Interests: Systemic research approaches, landscape development, future land use systems, environmental geology/geoecology
Globalization and external driving forces increasingly influence today’s agriculture. Nevertheless, at the same time, specialized markets develop for high quality products or regional brands. Only a few years ago, the main (and in some cases the only) interest of agricultural producers was to enhance production efficiency at the sites, often resulting in relatively mono-structured landscapes, soil erosion, nutrient losses, ground-water pollution, and decreases in biodiversity and landscape aesthetics. Step by step, much more attention has been paid to the natural capital and non-productivity issues of landscapes and ecosystems. Coincidentally, demands for, e.g., regenerative energies and thus biomass production, call for intensive land use systems. Therefore, changes in the established agricultural markets, as well as climate change, globalization, and demographic developments will influence demands for agricultural goods and services. One essential question within this context is, how society will adapt to these challenges in connection with securing a climate-friendly energy supply, safeguarding food supply, and responsibly managing scarce water resources, biodiversity, and soil. Other issues include the potential use of genetic engineering in agriculture and forestry and the safekeeping of services of general interest in rural areas. Minimizing conflicts between these processes is crucial.
The points mentioned above show that established agricultural production is no longer the economic activity supporting rural economies. The crucial question is which additional opportunities for the use of land come up, so as to contribute to renewed economic activities within rural regions. Regions offering a wider range of goods and services may gain advantages in competition. This leads to the discussion of ecosystem services from an agricultural/rural area perspective. Therefore, we intend to reinforce research and discussion about agro(eco)system services.
Agro(eco)system services are (related to ecosystem services) the multiple goods and services provided to humanity by nature in combination with (often substantial) additional anthropogenic inputs (such as fertilizer, pesticides, energy, labor, machinery, knowledge) in agricultural systems. Agricultural systems/landscapes are in this context multifunctional; they supply scenery, biodiversity, and production, regulatory, socio-economic, and cultural services. Are such landscapes therewith today per se a result of particular demands for agro(eco)system services, as they have always been modified by human interventions into natural processes? Applying the agro(eco)system service concept can help to show the effects of human interventions by qualitatively and quantitatively analyzing trade-offs between different services and by supporting the development of site-specific, more sustainable land use strategies.
In the proposed Special Issue of the journal LAND, we intend to analyze existing agricultural systems in different socio-ecological settings, based on system-oriented modeling and simulation, experimental work, and analyses of agriculture and land use systems in related studies. Based on that, concepts for improved agricultural systems that aim to integrate the supply of/demand for multiple agro(eco)system services so as to maintain long-term functioning will be elaborated. The contributions will, amongst others, be drawn from the International Workshop “Agrosystem Services 2014”, which was held at the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) in Müncheberg, Germany and the LEGATO (Land-use Intensity and Ecological Engineering – Assessment Tools for Risks and Opportunities in Irrigated Rice Based Production Systems) project, as well as from other projects.
The Special Issue will be organized in three sections:
II. Supply of agro(eco)system services: Case studies
III. Demand for agro(eco)system services with a specific focus on future production schemes
The scope of contributions to the Special Issue includes Agro(eco)system Service potential analyses (referring to food supply and security, biomass as a substitute for fossil resources, demographic dynamics), new applications for agricultural biomass (food, non-food use), experimental work on existing agricultural systems, modeling of the ecosystem functions and services of cultivation management systems, the maintenance of ecosystem functioning and biodiversity, landscape-level decision making, and alternative agricultural management strategies (e.g., organic farming, ecological engineering, bi-cropping) as well as recent policy requirements (e.g., EU Common Agricultural Policy, EU Nature 2000 or the new EU Biodiversity strategy). All articles submitted will be of high scientific quality and will go through the peer-review process of LAND. They will be oriented toward the journal’s aims and scope.
Article Publication Fees of invited and/or quality submissions can be waived.
Dr. Benjamin Burkhard
Dr. Stefan Hotes
Prof. Dr. Hubert Wiggering
Manuscript Submission Information
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