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Indicators and trade-offs of ecosystem services in agricultural soils along a landscape heterogeneity gradient

Williams, Alwyn LU and Hedlund, Katarina LU (2014) In Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. Applied Soil Ecology 77. p.1-8
Abstract
Soil functions can be classified as supporting (nutrient cycling) and provisioning (crop production) ecosystem services (ES). These services consist of multiple and dynamic functions and are typically assessed using indicators, e.g. microbial biomass as an indicator of supporting services. Agricultural intensification negatively affects indicators of soil functions and is therefore considered to deplete soil ES. It has been suggested that incorporating leys into crop rotations can enhance soil ES. We examined this by comparing indicators of supporting soil services - organic carbon, nitrogen, water holding capacity and available phosphorous (carbon storage and nutrient retention); net nitrogen mineralisation rate and microbial biomass... (More)
Soil functions can be classified as supporting (nutrient cycling) and provisioning (crop production) ecosystem services (ES). These services consist of multiple and dynamic functions and are typically assessed using indicators, e.g. microbial biomass as an indicator of supporting services. Agricultural intensification negatively affects indicators of soil functions and is therefore considered to deplete soil ES. It has been suggested that incorporating leys into crop rotations can enhance soil ES. We examined this by comparing indicators of supporting soil services - organic carbon, nitrogen, water holding capacity and available phosphorous (carbon storage and nutrient retention); net nitrogen mineralisation rate and microbial biomass (nutrient cycling and retention) - in barley fields, leys and permanent pastures along a landscape heterogeneity gradient (100, 500 and 1000 m radii). In addition, barley yields (provisioning service) were analysed against these indicators to identify trade-offs among soil services. Levels of most indicators did not differ between barley and ley fields and were consistently lower than in permanent pastures. Leys supported greater microbial biomass than barley fields. Landscape heterogeneity had no effect on the indicators or microbial community composition. However, landscape heterogeneity correlated negatively with yield and soil pH, suggesting that soils in heterogeneous landscapes are less fertile and therefore have lower yields. No trade-offs were found between increasing barley yield and the soil indicators. The results suggest that soil ES are determined at the field level, with little influence from the surrounding landscape, and that greater crop yields do not necessarily come at the expense of supporting soil services. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Ecosystem services, Landscape complexity, Microbial community, Mycorrhiza, Soil carbon, Trade-offs
in
Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. Applied Soil Ecology
volume
77
pages
1 - 8
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000335731100001
  • scopus:84893429852
ISSN
0929-1393
DOI
10.1016/j.apsoil.2014.01.001
project
BECC
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
3929a839-ce55-4859-a71d-7d75e619c3c1 (old id 4470579)
date added to LUP
2014-06-19 12:59:14
date last changed
2017-10-08 03:00:08
@article{3929a839-ce55-4859-a71d-7d75e619c3c1,
  abstract     = {Soil functions can be classified as supporting (nutrient cycling) and provisioning (crop production) ecosystem services (ES). These services consist of multiple and dynamic functions and are typically assessed using indicators, e.g. microbial biomass as an indicator of supporting services. Agricultural intensification negatively affects indicators of soil functions and is therefore considered to deplete soil ES. It has been suggested that incorporating leys into crop rotations can enhance soil ES. We examined this by comparing indicators of supporting soil services - organic carbon, nitrogen, water holding capacity and available phosphorous (carbon storage and nutrient retention); net nitrogen mineralisation rate and microbial biomass (nutrient cycling and retention) - in barley fields, leys and permanent pastures along a landscape heterogeneity gradient (100, 500 and 1000 m radii). In addition, barley yields (provisioning service) were analysed against these indicators to identify trade-offs among soil services. Levels of most indicators did not differ between barley and ley fields and were consistently lower than in permanent pastures. Leys supported greater microbial biomass than barley fields. Landscape heterogeneity had no effect on the indicators or microbial community composition. However, landscape heterogeneity correlated negatively with yield and soil pH, suggesting that soils in heterogeneous landscapes are less fertile and therefore have lower yields. No trade-offs were found between increasing barley yield and the soil indicators. The results suggest that soil ES are determined at the field level, with little influence from the surrounding landscape, and that greater crop yields do not necessarily come at the expense of supporting soil services. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.},
  author       = {Williams, Alwyn and Hedlund, Katarina},
  issn         = {0929-1393},
  keyword      = {Ecosystem services,Landscape complexity,Microbial community,Mycorrhiza,Soil carbon,Trade-offs},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {1--8},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. Applied Soil Ecology},
  title        = {Indicators and trade-offs of ecosystem services in agricultural soils along a landscape heterogeneity gradient},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apsoil.2014.01.001},
  volume       = {77},
  year         = {2014},
}