Project

Delivering quantitative insights for spatial optimization of functional agro-biodiversity to support ecosystem services at the landscape scale

Duration
01 January 2019 → Ongoing
Funding
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Plant biology
  • Engineering and technology
    • Urban and regional design, development and planning
  • Agricultural and food sciences
    • Agricultural plant production
    • Horticultural production
Keywords
landscape complexity functional agrobiodiversity ecosystem services
 
Project description

It is increasingly recognized that the functioning of rural ecosystems is threatened by farmland biodiversity loss. The reinforcement of functional agro-biodiversity (FAB) and related services require measures on the landscape scale, which is nowadays no common practice and in need of scientific support at the landscape scale. The overall objective of this project is to deliver quantitative support for an improved spatial implementation of FAB measures in rural landscapes via the development of FAB-maps, to simultaneously promote multiple ecosystem services. To achieve this objective, standardized mini-gardens of 1 m² (FAB-gardens) are designed and used as measurement points to monitor multiple FAB-based ecosystem services (e.g. pollination, pest control) and are installed at locations with variable surrounding landscape complexity. In a subsequent step, FAB-gardens are installed at different distances from semi-natural elements in landscapes with low and high landscape complexity. Citizen science will be used to help gathering an extensive dataset based on standardized measurement protocols. In the end, our results will steer institutions or actors active in FAB reinforcement towards an improved efficiency of their expenses and measures. Spatially explicit tools (FAB-maps) are developed starting from the current complexity of the landscape under consideration resulting in an improved spatial allocation of FAB-measures to areas where they are most efficient and effective.