Published article

Assessing the Impact of Farm-Management Practices on Ecosystem Services in European Agricultural Systems: A Rapid Evidence Assessment, Sustainability, 15:17

Authors: Kato Van Ruymbeke  Joana G. Ferreira  Vasileios D. Gkisakis  Jochen Kantelhardt  Gordana Manevska-Tasevska  Peter Matthews  Andreas Niedermayr  Lena Schaller  Katarzyna Bankowska  Kewan Merteus  Liesbet Vranken 

Many farm-management practices focus on maximizing production, while others better reconcile production with the regulation of ecological processes and sociocultural identity through the provisioning of ecosystem services (ESs). Though many studies have evaluated the performance of management practices against ES supply, these studies often focused on only a few practices simultaneously. Here, we incorporate 23 distinct management practices in a rapid evidence assessment to draw more comprehensive conclusions on their supply potential across 14 ESs in European agriculture. The results are visualized using performance indicators that quantify the ES-supply potential of a given management practice. In total, 172 indicators are calculated, among which cover crops are found to have the strongest positive impact on pollination-supply potential, while extensive livestock management is found to have the strongest negative impact for the supply potential for habitat creation/protection. The indicators also provide insight into the state of the peer-reviewed literature. At both the farm and territorial levels, the literature noticeably fails to evaluate cultural services. Further, disparities between the number of indicators composed at the farm and territorial levels indicate a systematic bias in the literature toward the assessment of smaller spatial levels.


Kato Van Ruymbeke

Joana G. Ferreira

Vasileios D. Gkisakis

Jochen Kantelhardt

Gordana Manevska-Tasevska

Peter Matthews

Andreas Niedermayr

Lena Schaller

Katarzyna Bankowska

Kewan Merteus

Liesbet Vranken