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Published on February 8, 2008

Author: Vilfrid


The economic importance of ecological services provided by associated biodiversity in agricultural systems:  The economic importance of ecological services provided by associated biodiversity in agricultural systems Satellite Event CGRFA FAO, Rome 9 November 2004 What are the issues?:  What are the issues? Ecosystem goods and services provided by associated diversity:  Ecosystem goods and services provided by associated diversity Goods: food, fresh water, fuel wood, fibre, GR, biochemicals Services: the benefits people obtain from regulation of ecosystem processes (climate, disease, hydrological regime, detoxification), support services (soil formation, nutrient cycling, pollination) as well as other cultural benefits. These biologically generated services are largely considered to be “free”; rarely included in analysis of economic benefits to agriculture. This is the case of Associated biodiversity in agricultural systems However it can and should be valued – i.e. the benefits quantified. Examples of: Pollination is fundamental in agriculture (enables plant reproduction and food production for humans and animals (fruits and seeds; improved seed and fruit quality and quantity) Soil organisms provide a range of unique ecosystem services: nutrient cycling, decomposition, soil structure, C sequestration, pest control, .... Slide4:  Ecological economics: What is the total economic value of associated biodiversity in agricultural systems? After Primack (2000) TEV = [Use values] + [Option values] + [Non-use values] Use (instrumental) values include direct and indirect economic values Non-use values include existence and strategic values Value of pollination :  Value of pollination Many species provide pollination services - primarily bees, but also butterflies, moths, bats, birds, etc. Many important food crops rely on animal pollination, including fruits and vegetables and fodder. The decline of pollinator populations impacts negatively on crop production (+ food security) Three types of Values as an intrinsic ecosystem service conservation/maintenance of surrounding natural ecosystems (habitat) specific plant/pollinator relationships in real terms - from increased agricultural yield improved quality and quantity (fruit set, seeds) in real terms, as “agricultural input” value against potential loss of pollination service costs of hand pollination (China) and hive rental (India) Value of honeybee pollination:  Value of honeybee pollination Estimates show that the benefit of using honeybees for enhancing crops yields through cross pollination is much higher than their role as produces of honey and beeswax (Partap, 2002). Estimated value of honeybee pollination (Apis mellifera) to crop production: US agriculture: US$ 14.6 billion (Morse & Calderone 2000). Canadian agriculture: CDN 1.2 billion (Winston & Scott 1984) EEC agriculture: US$ 3 billion (Williams, 1992). New Zealand agriculture: US$ 2.3 billion (Matheson and Schrader, 1987). China agriculture (four major crops - cotton, rapeseed, sunflower and tea): US$ 0.7 billion. (Partpap, U. 2002) Case studies : valuing pollination:  Case studies : valuing pollination China Hand pollination in China (Maoxian county in Hengduan Mountains of China) – e.g. apples and pears. Provides employment & income generating opportunities to many people during apple flowering season. Expensive, time consuming and highly unsustainable option for crop pollination due to increasing labour scarcity and costs. A large part of farmers’ income is used in managing pollination of their crop. Bee-keepers do not rent out their hives, even during the flowering season, due to excessive use of pesticides India Bees (Apis cerana or A. mellifera) used in India (Himachal Pradesh in NW Himalayas) for apple pollination: fees for renting bee colonies Indian rupees 800/- (US$ 16) per colony for two weeks. (Partap, 98). Slide8:  From Micro-organisms e.g. bacteria + fungi Micro & meso-fauna protozoa, nematodes to acari & springtails Macro-fauna e.g. ants, termites, earthworms Soil Biodiversity ...Roots in the soil and their interactions with species above & below ground Slide9:  Indirect uses for food provisioning Consumptive & productive uses of soil biota Primack 2000 IBOY group Direct uses for food Slide10:  Provides many Ecosystem Services nutrient cycling regulates the dynamics of soil organic matter soil C sequestration and reduced GHG emissions modifies soil physical structure and maintains water regimes enhances amount/efficiency of plant nutrient acquisition enhances plant health... These services are essential to the functioning of natural ecosystems AND an important resource for the sustainable management of agricultural systems (crops, pasture, trees and rangeland). Productive and environmental benefits Enhances Agricultural Production: soil quality and health and plant health Slide11:  Decaëns & Jiménez, after Lavelle et al. 2004 The use / instrumental values of soil biodiversity Indirect economic values: ecosystem services Global Economic value of ES by soil biodiversity:  Global Economic value of ES by soil biodiversity Slide13:  Determining the services from soil biodiversity Benefits of ecological functions performed by soil organisms Soil biodiversity is extremely complex (not well understood), however based on food web or functional domain approaches 4 main functional groups of soil organisms may be proposed See interaction web below: Brussaard 1998 Slide14:  Direct use: Soil invertebrates used as food - high nutritional value 32 Amazonian ethnic groups consume >100 soil invertebrate species (Paoletti) Up to 60% of animal protein during rainy season for “Guahibos” Amerindians of Venezuela Other values of soil biodiversity Option value: Potential to provide an economic benefit to human society at some point in the future: For Soil biodiversity: difficult to predict and not yet considered Existence value: Linked with the concern of people for wildlife conservation. Funds and conservation organisations for charismatic “mega fauna” : unlikely for soil bugs, or associated biodiversity in general Willingness to Pay (WTP): Valuation method that does not include the ecological function of a species Slide15:  Scientific and educational value Slide16:  Management practices to enhance values of soil biodiversity Select & improve adapted leguminous varieties with associated Rhizobium bacteria and inoculate for enhanced BNF 40-48 million tons N/yr is fixed in agricultural crops and fields … Reduce soil tillage (disturbance of soil fauna, compaction, loss of porosity/channels, N release): reduce labour, energy, timeliness Enhance soil cover: reduce soil temperature, enhance infiltration, soil moisture and OM (roots & mulch): better germination, health & yield Enhance and vary organic matter supply: maintain pH, enhance mycorrhizae and enhance availability P and micro-nutrients (often limiting e.g. acid soils) and nutrient supply for many organisms Rotations and mixes of annual and perennial species: varied organisms, biocontrol e.g. nematodes; root biomass and SOM, deep rooting –access to nutrients and moisture Diversify habitats (buffers, contour strips, field borders, change land use and sequence varied niches and organisms Considerations:  Considerations Multiple values of soil bota and pollinators  strong justification for increased recognition of their functions and support How much associated biodiversity is enough to maintain ecosystem functioning in agricultural systems? Can we identify “strategically important” species or functional groups (local to international levels) Need to focus and prioritise work What tools and mechanisms are available / required to evaluate and to promote due attention to the economic and social values of associated biodiversity? Wider use of Case studies, key indicators, cost/benefit analysis How to raise awareness and build capacity at all levels (from users to policy makers) Enhance management and valuation of services (provided/underutilised)

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Cristin Malafronte  | 29/05/15
Awesome post . Cheers for, posting on my blog dude! I will message you some time. I did not know that.
Leif Uyematsu  | 31/05/15
I like it! I like it a lot. You know exactly what youre talking about, exactly where other people are coming from on this issue. Im glad that I had the fortune to stumble across your blog. Its definitely an important issue that not enough people are talking about and Im glad that I got the chance to see all the angles.
Leif Uyematsu  | 22/06/15
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