Cost-effective strategies to benefit biodiversity and ecosystem services in farmland

Project: Dissertation

Research areas and keywords

UKÄ subject classification

  • Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Economics


  • Biodiversity, Ecosystem services, Agriculture, Cost-effectiveness, Landscape management, Financial incentives


Already more than a third of the Earth’s land area is used for agriculture, mostly on lands previously covered by natural biotopes such as forests and grasslands. Even so the growing human population continuously drive the expansion of an ever more intensive agriculture. As a consequence, wild organisms lose their natural habitats, which is the main reason for the extinction of species. In addition to their ethical value, many species perform indispensable ecosystem services such as pollination, water purification and carbon sequestration. To stop losing species we urgently need to find a sustainable balance between agriculture and biodiversity conservation.

In my project I compare two recognized methods for preserving biodiversity and ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes. One is based on protecting natural habitats interspersed between agricultural fields, the other on applying more wild-life friendly farming methods. I compare the two methods in how they affect food production, threatened species and ecosystem services, in order to evaluate their cost-effectiveness.

I also look at synergies and conflicts between biodiversity and ecosystem services. The idea is to make environmental incentive schemes more effective by exploiting synergies and minimizing tradeoffs. For example, preserving an area which benefits numerous threatened species and ecosystem services that together are considered more valuable than the potential tradeoffs of decline in other ecosystem services and food production.

My research methods primarily include analyzing empirical data, economic and statistical modelling, and conceptual studies.
Effective start/end date2015/08/24 → …


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