Organic beef and other ecosystem services produced at semi-natural pasture and forest mosaics
The proposed project has two overall aims; one is to analyze and assess possibilities to make small scale organic beef production economical viable by designing coherent grazing land of pastures and forests mosaics. The other overall aim is to calculate the possible trade-offs between the different ecosystem services, i.e. organic beef production versus wood production, climate change mitigation and biodiversity, at the local and national scales. We will assess in what degree wood production might decrease in grazed forests, and whether a reduction can be compensated for by planting trees on set-aside arable land. The impact of coherent grazing mosaics on bird, plant and pollinators diversity will also be assessed. We will use the concept of ecosystem services; this is a true multidisciplinary approach with economic, forestry, agriculture, biology and soil science competences included. It is based on literature surveys, experimental trials, participatory methods, national inventories and geographical information systems. The project will be carried out in close co-operation with stake holders such as individual beef entrepreneurs with pasture based production and their associations. These stakeholders are represented in the project by the Pasture Beef Association (Naturbeteskött) and the Swedish Rural Economy and Agricultural Society in Sjuhärad.
Project leader: Annemieke Gärdenäs
Contact: Anna Hessle