Projects in progress

Interaction between Ecosystem Services under Different Agricultural and Landscape Management Strategies

Ecosystem services in lemon plantations: What is the effect of management, both at the plot and landscape scales?

Plantaciones de Limones y fragmento de bosque/ Citrus limon orchards and forest fragment

Funding Source: PIUNT Projects; Secretary of Science, Art and Technological Innovation.

Abstract: Agricultural production is highly dependent on ecosystem services and there is now a growing recognition that, in particular, regulating services such as pest control, pollination, and nutrient cycling can jointly affect production in many crops. The provision of these services depends on the biodiversity and abundance of organisms and their functioning. Consequently, these services originate from or are strongly related to the natural or semi-natural environment around or within the cultivated area, which is notably affected by management practices. Ecological intensification has been proposed as a way to maximize ecosystem services; it is an alternative that can contribute to replace or complement the external inputs associated with conventional agriculture and at the same time minimize the effects on the environment. This project aims to evaluate the interaction between three regulation services (pollination, pest control and nutrient cycling) and determine how they are affected by different management practices within the cultivated area and at landscape scale (configuration of natural remnants), and finally relate these patterns to production. For this we will characterize the activity of pollinators, natural enemies and edaphic biota through field observations and exclusion experiments in lemon crops (Citrus limon), then we will evaluate their connection with services (pollination, pest control and nutrient cycling), and We will analyze how the interaction of these services associated with different management situations affects production. We hope that the results of the project will have a strong impact both on the knowledge about the complementarity, synergy or antagonism between these services, as well as to adapt or suggest relatively simple management practices (for example, maintain coverage in trails) that allow an intensification ecology in lemon cultivation.

Principal investigator: Roxana Aragón

Participants: Roxana Aragón; Natacha Chacoff; Carolina Monmany; Silvia Lomascolo; Silvio Castillo; Franco Andrada; Andrés Ramirez Mejía; Carolina Cuezzo.