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WP2 – Trade-offs and synergies

Identifying trade-offs and synergies between delivery of cultural and regulating/supporting ecosystem services

The ecosystem services approach offers a promising framework for solving the two apparently conflicting goals in European agricultural policy of securing sustainable food production while not compromising the role of farmland for conservation of biodiversity and production of public goods. Policy instruments should, as far as possible, target synergies between the generation of ecosystem services benefitting agricultural production and other ecosystem services such as biodiversity conservation. In this way, farmers could be motivated to promote biodiversity because of benefits to agricultural production like stability of yield, while at the same time promoting public goods.

In WP2, we will empirically examine to what extent management strategies aimed to promote the cultural service ‘biodiversity conservation’ may simultaneously enhance regulating services. We will focus on a selection of regulating services contributing to crop growth (mainly pollination and pest control). We will also assess synergies among targeted regulating, supporting and cultural services of existing agri-environmental measures in European agricultural systems, and explore public-good values associated with the examined services. The effectiveness of a wide range of existing measures in terms of public goods and synergies in public good provision will be analysed through a survey of experts from research, government and NGOs. Broader relationships between public demand and public good provision will be explored through cross-sectional analyses of budgets and preferences expressed in existing European surveys.

Information on synergies and trade-offs between services will be used to formulate ecological production functions in WP3, and to identify policy measures in WP4 and WP5. Estimates of public good values for biodiversity, cultural landscapes, carbon storage, reduced pesticide use and reduced nitrogen emissions will also broaden the basis for policy evaluations in WP3.


  • Determine synergies and trade-offs between conservation of biodiversity and generation of supporting and regulating ecosystem services
  • Determine synergies among ecosystem services targeted by greening measures and assess public-good values of ecosystem services generated in agricultural landscapes

WP2 leader

Felix Schläpfer
Kalaidos University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland
felix [dot] schlaepfer [at] kalaidos-fh [dot] ch (felix[dot]schlaepfer[at]kalaidos-fh[dot]ch)


Landscape with flowering rapeseed. Photo.