The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here:

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

Research and working themes within SAPES

The framework of our research is to understand the decision loop shown in Figure 1. By evaluating the causes and consequences of agricultural management actions and their effects on multiple ecosystem services, we aim at developing tools that support the policy progress and help to improve policies to promote a sustainable agriculture.


Flow chart diagram showing a simplified decision loop and how the SAPES research themes are fitted and interlinked within this loop.

Three themes within SAPES

To achieve this goal, our work is divided into three themes.

  • Theme 1 focuses on the ecological processes and links between agricultural land-use, biodiversity and ecosystem services.
  • In theme 2, we want to understand farmers’ land-use decisions, how they are influenced by different governance regimes and how this feeds back to ecosystem service functioning.
  • Finally, theme 3 brings together results from theme 1 and 2 in a synthesis work used to develop state-of-the-art decision support tools for policy makers and stakeholders.

The work within each of the themes is based on relevant previous and ongoing research and brought forward by enhanced effort on synthesis studies. An additional important function of SAPES is to support this work by providing databases, training, dissemination and stakeholder interactions.

Read more about each theme

Theme 1 
Synergies and trade-offs between agricultural production and delivery of multiple ecosystem services

Theme 2 
Understanding land-use decisions: Economic valuation and governance of agricultural landscapes

Theme 3 
Contributing to adaptive governance of agro-ecosystems: Synthesize research results into state-of-the-art decision tools


Earthworm on soil. Photo.
Photo: Juliana Dänhardt


Two ladybirds on arable soil. Photo.
Photo: Klaus Birkhofer


Hoverfly on blue flower. Photo.
Photo: Anna Boo