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Linking supporting and cultural ecosystem services for agriculture sustainability, a case study on shelterbelts

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louise bellet

on 7 October 2013

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Transcript of Linking supporting and cultural ecosystem services for agriculture sustainability, a case study on shelterbelts

From agriculture to community well-being, the value of shelterbelts in the Rural Municipality of Stanley, MB, Canada
Shelterbelts, a significant element of prairie sustainability?
Louise Bellet

6th ESP Conference 2013
L. Bellet*, M. H. Entz, M. Tenuta, and R. Kool
M.Sc. Candidate, Royal Roads University
Prairie agriculture is changing, increasingly at risks due to negative tradeoffs.
business orientated
Loss of environmental resources
Lack of social consideration in decisions
Investment in Shelterbelts, a win-win situation?
Research Questions
Knowledge gap: how significant are shelterbelt to prairie community well-being?

Shelterbelts have a ameliorative effect on the agro-landscape
Pollination increase crop yield by 15 to 40%

reduce wind to protect soil and crops

Microclimate increase heat unit and air humidity by 30%

Knowledge gaps: shelterbelts' effects on below-ground biodiversity
1) How do shelterbelts affect soil organism's activity, a significant driver of soil formation and nutrient cycling?
2) How significant are the social and cultural values of shelterbelts to the R.M. of Stanley community?
Study Design
Some evidences that shelterbelts act as a reservoir of soil organisms within the agro-landscape, and support higher biological activity in adjacent fields
MBC X2 in Shelterbelt compared to field
MBC X1.75 in field adjacent to shelterbelt compared to non-sheltered field
Great majority of earthworms are found in the shelterbelt (91% and 82%)
OMC and ON are higher in sheltered field
OMC=2.07% versus 1.5%
ON=0.13% versus 0.08%
Across the world, agricultural landscapes are closely connected to people's cultural practices and social values
Social study design
Rural Municipality of Stanley - 1874 Mennonite Settlement
Adjoined by the towns of Winkler and Morden
Survey participant selection based on geo-localization
34% response rate (N=103)
Identified Non-response Bias
Soil Parameters
Microbial Biomass Carbon (MBC)
Organic Matter Carbon (OM)
Organic Nitrogen (ON)
Soil environmental indicators
Statistical Analysis Software (SAS)
1) Spatial effect of shelterbelt:
Analysis of Variance
Analysis of Regression
2) Treatment effect of shelterbelt:
Analysis of Variance
Correlation Analysis
Statistical Significance P<0.05
Degree of Freedom = 9
Kolmogorv-Smirnov Test for Normality (>0.1500)
1) There is a strong connection between the R.M of Stanley community and shelterbelt
2) Shelterbelts are perceived as an agricultural tool, but mainly provide social benefits
3) Cultural bias influences the perceived values of shelterbelts
4) Further research and education is needed to help farmers maximize shelterbelts' beneficial interactions while reducing competition with crop production.
3) Despite a strong appreciation for their contribution to soil conservation and agro-system health, the perceived agricultural value of shelterbelts is diminishing.
2) Shelterbelts relates strongly to a cultural practice, partly managed by non-production values as opposed to an agricultural tool. The cultural significance of shelterbelts however is poorly articulated.
5) Investment in community and environmental stewardship incentives might therefore become the main driver of field shelterbelts conservation, linking soil health to broader societal, ecological and economic outcomes.
Soil Biology Study
Social Study
To quantify the social and ecological services of shelterbelts and better understand how they are inter-related to support agricultural landscape joint production, conservation and livelihood.
Shelterbelts influenced soil conditions, potentially favouring soil biological activity and nutrient cycling
4) Farmers identify many ecological interferences from shelterbelts and perceive maintenance as an issue.
5) The preferred management authority regarding shelterbelt is the Muncipality
6) The respondents express diverse willingness to pay for shelterbelts
1) The community of R.M of Stanley identifies many social and cultural benefits associated with sheltebelts, but they are not as highly valued as agricultural benefits
Redefine shelterbelts as a multifunctional element of the socio-ecological system.
Develop land planning guide to recommend optimal shelterbelt placement at landscape scale to enhance agro-ecosystem functions and services for private and public benefits
Raise farmers awareness about shelterbelts ecological interactions and synergies with agricultural system.
Support farmers' maintenance and renovation of shelterbelts through training, technical equipment and by-products commercialization.
Raise community appreciation for farmers' environmental and community stewardship
Reduce the gap between people, nature and productive landscape.

Possible Tools ?
Quantified and weighted matrix of ES provided by shelterbelts
Evaluation of the opportunity cost of removing shelterbelts from the agro-landscape
Promote cooperation between landscape stakeholders to maintain shelterbelts
Educational and community social marketing campaign to raise stewardship values of farming and non-farming community.
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