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Comparative review of multifunctionality and ecosystem services in sustainable agriculture

By Jiao Huang, Muriel Tichit, Monique Poulot, Ségolène Darly, Shuangcheng Li, Caroline Petit and Christine Aubry


Two scientific communities with broad interest in sustainable agriculture independently focus on multifunctional agriculture or ecosystem services. These communities have limited interaction and exchange, and each group faces research challenges according to independently operating paradigms. This paper presents a comparative review of published research in multifunctional agriculture and ecosystem services. The motivation for this work is to improve communication, integrate experimental approaches, and propose areas of consensus and dialog for the two communities. This extensive analysis of publication trends, ideologies, and approaches enables formulation of four main conclusions. First, the two communities are closely related through their use of the term "function." However, multifunctional agriculture considers functions as agricultural activity outputs and prefers farm-centred approaches, whereas ecosystem services considers ecosystem functions in the provision of services and prefers service-centred approaches. Second, research approaches to common questions in these two communities share some similarities, and there would be great value in integrating these approaches. Third, the two communities have potential for dialog regarding the bundle of ecosystem services and the spectrum of multifunctional agriculture, or regarding land sharing and land sparing. Fourth, we propose an integrated conceptual framework that distinguishes six groups of ecosystem services and disservices in the agricultural landscape, and combines the concepts of multifunctional agriculture and ecosystem services. This integrated framework improves applications of multifunctional agriculture and ecosystem services for operational use. Future research should examine if the framework can be readily adapted for modelling specific problems in agricultural management

Topics: Integrated framework, Agriculture, Multifunctionality, Ecosystem services, [ SHS ] Humanities and Social Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2015
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2014.10.020
OAI identifier: oai:HAL:hal-01198274v1
Provided by: Hal-Diderot
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