Soils and their biodiversity form the basis of agricultural production systems and generate a range of fundamental ecosystem services, such as providing food, feed, clean water and carbon storage, and control of pests and diseases. Yet soil degradation is widespread in the EU: erosion, loss of soil organic matter and compaction are some of the degradation processes that are threatening soil fertility. The SOILSERVICE project has quantified the negative impacts of intensive arable cropping systems on soil ecosystem services due to loss of soil organic matter and soil biodiversity.
SOILSERVICE has also analysed how soils can be better managed to mitigate climate change and reduce nutrient and chemical inputs, and, ultimately, improve the long-term incomes of European farmers. This goes hand in hand with conserving soil biodiversity, the natural capital that generates ecosystem services. SOILSERVICE has linked ecosystem services to farmers’ economic decision making by combining production, land use, soil biodiversity and sustainability in socio-economic models that can be used to analyse the consequences of current and planned policies. The findings of SOILSERVICE provide a basis for a broad range of policy decisions related to reform of the Common Agricultural Policy and environmental policy.
Soilservice Final Report
Deliverable D18: Farmers' cost of supplying soil ecosystem services in diverse EU regions
Soilservice Policy Brief