Ecological intensification ( EI PROJECT)

Natural areas in agricultural landscapes are a key source of functional biodiversity, which spill over to deliver ecosystem services to crops. This WP will examine relationships between functional biodiversity groups (i.e., arthropod pollinators, arthropod and vertebrate predators, soil microbial communities) and agriculturally relevant ecosystem services within the landscape, establishing how these relationships are in turn affected by the landscape context. Landscape contexts are determined by their compositional and spatial configuration attributes as well as by the intensity of human induced practice and management.

This will reveal agricultural management practices mostly used by farmers in fruit crops, the current degree of adoption of environmental or ecological intensification practices and their relationship with the provision of ecosystem services at farm scale sampled in Research line 1. Additionally, we will explore farmers perception of agriculturally biodiversity-based ecosystem services in different landscape context, its relationship with their management practices and identify barriers and drivers to EI management practices

We will evaluate the effects of Ecological Intensification practices to enhance pollination, pest control and carbon sequestration in one farm in each landscape. Appropriates innovations of EI practices will be selected considering: 1) applicability across Chilean conventional fruit farmers; 2) complementarity with existing farm practices; 3) low cost; 4) supported by evidence that it enhances pollinators, pest control and soil carbon sequestration, and 5) farmers perception based on WP2 and 3.