A social–ecological framework and toolbox to help strengthening functional agrobiodiversity-supported ecosystem services at the landscape scale

Abstract

Functional agrobiodiversity (FAB) has severely declined during the last decades. Current efforts to reinforce FAB are mainly focused on single-actor, parcel-based measures, whereas multi-actor landscape approaches are supposed to be more effective. In this paper, we propose a social–ecological framework that structures how different land users at both the parcel and landscape level interact with FAB as a natural resource. Furthermore, we introduce 1 m2 FAB gardens as an interactive multipurpose measurement tool to gather data on ecosystem services in collaboration with land users. The presented action research approach provides new insights on motivations and interests of different land users in FAB and how knowledge exchange can result in a higher motivation to invest in FAB. Using a case study in Flanders, we illustrate the FAB-garden concept and highlight its strengths and necessary considerations to properly complement other research approaches in this social–ecological system.

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Acknowledgements

Special thanks to the volunteering citizen scientists for their efforts. FG was funded by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) with a SB Grant (1S82419N). The BEL-Landscape research observatory is supported by the Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (ILVO) and Ghent University.

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Gerits, F., Messely, L., Reubens, B. et al. A social–ecological framework and toolbox to help strengthening functional agrobiodiversity-supported ecosystem services at the landscape scale. Ambio 50, 360–374 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-020-01382-0

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Keywords

  • Citizen science
  • Ecosystem services
  • Functional agrobiodiversity
  • Landscape observatory
  • Social–ecological system