Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Exploring Operational Procedures to Assess Ecosystem Services on Farm Level, Including the Role of Soil Health

Version 1 : Received: 28 March 2022 / Approved: 29 March 2022 / Online: 29 March 2022 (09:57:22 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Bouma, J.; de Haan, J.; Dekkers, M.-F.S. Exploring Operational Procedures to Assess Ecosystem Services at Farm Level, including the Role of Soil Health. Soil Syst. 2022, 6, 34. Bouma, J.; de Haan, J.; Dekkers, M.-F.S. Exploring Operational Procedures to Assess Ecosystem Services at Farm Level, including the Role of Soil Health. Soil Syst. 2022, 6, 34.

Journal reference: Soil Syst. 2022, 6, 34
DOI: 10.3390/soilsystems6020034

Abstract

Reaching the land-related UN-Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and similar goals articulated by the EU-Green Deal (GD) by 2030 presents a major challenge and requires a pragmatic approach to be focused on joint learning by land users (mostly farmers), researchers and other stakeholders in “Living Labs” and system experiments at experimental farms of research organizations. Defining specific indicators and thresholds for ecosystem services in line with land-related SDGs, are crucial to establish: “Lighthouses” that can act as inspiring examples if they meet the various thresholds. This exploratory paper discusses indicators and thresholds for an arable farm operating on marine, calcareous light clay soils in the Netherlands. Studies of a system experiment are used to discuss and test operational methodology to be widely applied when characterizing many “Living Labs” in future as planned by the European Union. The important role of soils, contributing to ecosystem services, is discussed in terms of soil health. Recommendations are made for innovative methodology to be associated with all land-related SDGs. Satisfying thresholds of ecosystem services, that will vary by soil type, region and farm-type, can be the basis for farm subsidies such as the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Research on Living Labs and in system experiments has to be judged by different criteria than those associated with traditional linear research. Important contributions by soils to achieve ecosystem services are framed in terms of soil health and are the most effective way to promote soil science in a by now widely desired inter- and transdisciplinary context.

Keywords

SDGs; Green Deal; simulation modeling; soil survey interpretation; land evaluation

Subject

EARTH SCIENCES, Environmental Sciences

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