Research ArticleECOLOGY

Agricultural diversification promotes multiple ecosystem services without compromising yield

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Science Advances  04 Nov 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 45, eaba1715
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba1715
  • Fig. 1 Vote count reveals that agricultural diversification practices generally have a positive impact on biodiversity and ecosystem services.

    Number of reported effect sizes with a significant positive (green), negative (red), or neutral (gray) response to agricultural diversification, overall (A) and to each category of diversification practice separately (B to G). The systematic review comprises 456 effect sizes from 98 meta-analyses based on 6167 original studies (fig. S1). Diversification practice and ecosystem service categories were based on classifications following (8, 9) and (13, 14, 27), respectively (tables S1 and S2).

  • Fig. 2 Second-order meta-analysis shows how agriculture diversification promotes biodiversity and ecosystem services without compromising crop yield when compared with cropping systems without these practices.

    (A) All diversification practices included (324 effect sizes and 69 meta-analyses, based on 5160 original studies with 41,946 comparisons). (B) Diversification practices targeting the aboveground environment (crop and noncrop diversity; 91 effect sizes and 24 meta-analyses). (C) Diversification practices targeting the belowground environment (organic amendment, reduced tillage, and inoculation; 211 effect sizes and 55 meta-analyses). Note the difference in scale of the x axes when comparing (A) with (B) and (C). Organic farming is included only in the global model (A) since it often includes practices targeting both above- and belowground environments. The number of effect sizes and meta-analyses included in each category are displayed in parentheses. Ecosystem service categories are classified following (13, 14, 27) (table S2). Error bars represent 95% CIs.

  • Fig. 3 Agricultural diversification generally promotes win-win scenarios, simultaneously supporting crop yield and the provisioning of a concomitant ecosystem service category.

    The visualization is based on a subset of meta-analyses, which simultaneously presented the responses to agricultural diversification of crop yield (y axis) and at least one concomitant ecosystem service (ES) (x axis) (in total 24 studies, 111 pairs of effect sizes). Numbers in red indicate the proportion of effect size combinations in each quadrate. Points represent combinations of raw effect sizes (lnRR) and the colors correspond to the specific service, as indicated in the box to the right. Values in parentheses after each service indicate the number of effect sizes for the concomitant service, crop yield, and the number of meta-analyses.

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary Materials

    Agricultural diversification promotes multiple ecosystem services without compromising yield

    Giovanni Tamburini, Riccardo Bommarco, Thomas Cherico Wanger, Claire Kremen, Marcel G. A. van der Heijden, Matt Liebman, Sara Hallin

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    • Figs. S1 to S8
    • Tables S1 to S5
    • Legend for data file S1

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