Natural, semi-natural and agricultural landscapes provide a range of ecosystem services, firstly and most obviously the provisioning of food, water, fibre, fuel and timber amongst other products. But beyond this, these systems provide recreational and cultural services such as sport fisheries, nature reserves and the protection of rural livelihoods. Many landscapes also regulate and support environmental services such as soil and water conservation, climate regulation, carbon storage, energy production, nutrient and waste re-cycling and biodiversity regulation (Idol et al 2011). Climate change and biodiversity loss are two of the biggest global challenges in the coming decades, primarily due to their impacts on the provision of ecosystem services. There is an urgent need to find ways both to meet immediate and growing demand for food, whilst managing global biodiversity to assure our capacity to respond to climate and other environmental change.
Integrated natural and social science expertise is required to facilitate processes of exploring the impacts, costs and benefits of decisions on the management of ecosystem services among the diverse stakeholders involved and affected. Our multidisciplinary expertise is essential to expanding our knowledge about ecosystem services and their management for sustaining and improving our growing population’s livelihoods whilst protecting the natural world.
The Ecosystem Services research group concentrates on the following main and subtopics:
- Carbon, water & nutrient dynamics, and plant-plant interactions
- Biodiversity services- pollination & pest and weed control
- Agroecological systems
- Building capacity for sustainable agriculture
- Environmental Sustainability
- Biodiversity conservation in agricultural landscapes
- Mitigation of carbon emissions and impacts of climate change
- Incentives for the provision of ecosystem services