Sustainability Assessment of Diversified Cropping Systems
The sustainability assessment project has a wider aim to understand how cropping system diversification influence the dynamics of the agroecosystem functions in the Scania region. An important aim is to improve our understanding of how the increase of functional biodiversity across multiple and temporal scales could affect the use of resources, functions and services from the ecosystems. There are still many challenges for the transition towards more complex agricultural systems and the transformation of the food system. Crop diversity needs to be designed and managed to target a wider range of ecosystems services and set up to the local environment and socio-economic conditions. It is important to recognize biophysical and socio-economic factors that may influence the implementation of diversified cropping systems. The research project will use several tools and strategies to identify crop diversification at the landscape level, analyze synergies and trade-offs among different types of ecosystem services and disservices in diversified cropping systems; and generate knowledge and guidelines to build up tools and technologies to help farmers overcome the knowledge gap in the establishment of more diverse cropping systems. Some of the ecosystem services we will emphasize are: nutrient cycling (improved N availability and reduced N leaching), soil formation (root biomass, SOM), biological control (weed suppression), and provisioning services (productivity and crop stability).