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EcoStack

Photos by Charles J Sharp & Katja Schulz, Wikimedia commons

Stacking of ecosystems services: mechanisms and interactions for optimal crop protection, pollination enhancement, and productivity

EcoStack will develop ecologically, economically and socially sustainable crop production strategies via stacking of biodiversity service providers and bio-inspired tools for crop protection, within and around agricultural fields, in order enhance sustainability of food production systems across Europe.

 

The EcoStack project aims to provide European farmers with the knowledge and tools needed to maximize ecosystem services for the production of crops, while minimizing environmental impacts of agriculture and ensuring the profitability of farming. EcoStack focuses on the management of beneficial organisms within the field, rather than trying to manage the external influx, utilizing the increasing knowledge of interactions between trophic levels and assessing functional biodiversity benefits at different levels (within and between species, fields, landscapes).  The project also addresses relevant socio-economic questions including farmer uptake. 

Objectives

  1. Assess sustainable crop production needs, and EcoStack outcomes, based on functional biodiversity, using an interactive forum of actor groups and stakeholders, to achieve sustainable productivity gains.
  2. Evaluate and optimize the role of main off-crop habitats supplying ecosystem services for crop production.
  3. Design and test in-crop interventions, which support the generation of ecosystem services within the crop, and which may carry over the next crop in the rotation.
  4. Develop, design and implement integrated systems for optimized provision of ecosystem services and use of plant protection tools, with focus on ecological, economic and social sustainability of integrated systems.

SESS is part of the expanding the existing list of beneficial and pest species (see ALMaSS Species models), and modelling the organisms ecology and behaviour. The primary tool used for the simulation is ALMaSS. The models will be used for creating a range of plausible scenarios for future agricultural management across pedoclimatic and socioeconomic conditions in Europe and evaluating it with respect to ESPs (European Protected Species). To include realistic conditions on farms, information on drivers and constraints of EcoStack-strategies will be obtained by modeling farmer decision making underpinned by case studies on social aspects.

To visit EcoStacks website click here

EcoStack logo

Contact

Christopher John Topping

Professor with Special Responsibilities Department of Bioscience - Biodiversity and Conservation

Project duration 

2018-2023

Funding

Horizon 2020