Evaluating ecosystem services in Thinopyrum intermedium – a model crop for perennial cereal production in Sweden (ASSESS)

Last changed: 25 October 2023

Perennial cereal grain production is developing as an agricultural practice globally, including in Europe. Perennial cereal grain production has many similarities to other grass-based production systems and semi-natural grasslands, with larger possibilities to host biodiversity and to provide a carbon sink. Thus, including perennial cereal grain crops in the current agricultural landscape could mitigate the threats agriculture are posing to biodiversity and mitigate the climate change by increasing the sequestration of C into the soil.

Utilizing our SITES Agroecological Field Experiment (SAFE), we will assess the potential of T. intermedium to deliver ecosystem services at field level in comparison to annual counterparts (winter wheat and winter rye). We will focus on soil microbial biomass to determine the size and the relative amounts of microbial functional groups under both annual and perennial cereal crops. In addition, we will explore the potential relationships between the soil microbial community and crop performance.