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Sustaining agricultural change through ecological engineering and optimal use of natural resources

 

STACCATO is a BiodivERsA project carried out in collaboration with 10 European Institutions and investigates direct effects of climate and land-use change on biodiversity, as well as indirect effects on ecosystem services.

 

Background

Agricultural landscapes are often subjected to intensive use. This can reduce biodiversity and - in consequence - ecosystem services like pollination, biological pest control, or recreational use. STACCATO is a BiodivERsA project carried out in collaboration with 10 European Institutions. Our project part focuses on biodiversity and aims to investigate direct effects of climate and land-use change on biodiversity, as well as indirect effects on ecosystem services.

Study set up

We will investigate 10 pairs of sites in the Swiss Plateau und Jura. The sites will be spread along a gradient of intensity with respect to agricultural use. Intensity will in this project be quantified by how much semi-natural grasslands are remaining in an agricultural landscape. Each site will consist of a pair of sites, where one site will be placed in an oil-seed rape field, and the other in the nearest semi-natural grassland. We will assess both biodiversity and proxies for ecosystem services. As this entire design will be replicated across 6 European countries, we will not only be able to quantify the influence of land-use intensity on biodiversity, but also the interactions between semi-natural vegetation and crop, and their effects on the provision of ecosystem services.