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      Applying the ecosystem services framework to pasture-based livestock farming systems in Europe

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          Abstract

          The concept of ‘Ecosystem Services’ (ES) focuses on the linkages between ecosystems, including agroecosystems, and human well-being, referring to all the benefits, direct and indirect, that people obtain from ecosystems. In this paper, we review the application of the ES framework to pasture-based livestock farming systems, which allows (1) regulating, supporting and cultural ES to be integrated at the same level with provisioning ES, and (2) the multiple trade-offs and synergies that exist among ES to be considered. Research on livestock farming has focused mostly on provisioning ES (meat, milk and fibre production), despite the fact that provisioning ES strongly depends on regulating and supporting ES for their existence. We first present an inventory of the non-provisioning ES (regulating, supporting and cultural) provided by pasture-based livestock systems in Europe. Next, we review the trade-offs between provisioning and non-provisioning ES at multiple scales and present an overview of the methodologies for assessing biophysical trade-offs. Third, we present non-biophysical (economical and socio-cultural) methodologies and applications for ES valuation. We conclude with some recommendations for policy design.

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          Agricultural abandonment in mountain areas of Europe: Environmental consequences and policy response

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            Ecosystem services and dis-services to agriculture

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              Bringing Ecosystem Services into Economic Decision-Making: Land Use in the United Kingdom

              Landscapes generate a wide range of valuable ecosystem services, yet land-use decisions often ignore the value of these services. Using the example of the United Kingdom, we show the significance of land-use change not only for agricultural production but also for emissions and sequestration of greenhouse gases, open-access recreational visits, urban green space, and wild-species diversity. We use spatially explicit models in conjunction with valuation methods to estimate comparable economic values for these services, taking account of climate change impacts. We show that, although decisions that focus solely on agriculture reduce overall ecosystem service values, highly significant value increases can be obtained from targeted planning by incorporating all potential services and their values and that this approach also conserves wild-species diversity.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Animal
                Animal
                Cambridge University Press (CUP)
                1751-7311
                1751-732X
                August 2014
                March 12 2014
                August 2014
                : 8
                : 8
                : 1361-1372
                Article
                10.1017/S1751731114000421
                © 2014

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