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WP3 – Optimizing ecosystem services and public goods

Optimizing the value of ecosystem services and public goods generated by farmers through coordinated land-use management

Managing ecosystem services and public goods in agricultural landscapes is challenging since these landscapes emerge from the land-use decisions of thousands of individual farmers. Typically, ecosystem services of potential benefit to farmers such as pollination and biocontrol are undersupplied because they are generated at scales beyond individual farms and thus affected by the ‘tragedy of ecosystem services’. Similarly, public goods such as biodiversity and recreation are also dependent on the arrangement of habitat in the landscape. Optimizing multifunctional landscapes therefore requires farmers to coordinate their land-use decisions.

The objective of WP3 is to understand how habitats should be arranged in space to optimize the societal value of ecosystem services and public goods in agricultural landscapes. Considering the potential joint benefits for both farmers and society of habitat management is a novel aspect of this research. It will be done using a spatial, agent-based model of agricultural production (AgriPoliS) that includes agri-ecological spatially related production functions to model ecosystem services and public goods. We will extend AgriPoliS by modelling ecosystem services that benefit farmers (pollination, biocontrol and soil fertility) and public goods that benefit society at large (those identified in WP2) in an integrated ecological-economic analysis.


  • Extend agri-ecological production functions relating land-use and landscape configuration to agricultural ecosystem services to include output of public goods
  • Quantify the benefits and costs of increased flows of ecosystem services and public goods achievable through coordinated landscape management
  • Assess the potential of innovative governance to improve the management of arable landscapes and the incentives needed to change farmer behaviour

WP3 leader

Henrik Smith
Lund University, Sweden
Henrik [dot] Smith [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se (Henrik[dot]Smith[at]biol[dot]lu[dot]se)


Agricultural landscape with arable fields, hedgerows and wetlands. Photo.
Photo: Juliana Dänhardt