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Objectives2018-10-30T10:40:55+00:00

EcoStack Objectives

The overall objective of EcoStack is to develop and support ecologically, economically and socially sustainable crop production via stacking and protection of functional biodiversity.

EcoStack has four major objectives:

To achieve this specific objective we will:

  • Identify gaps in knowledge concerning the role of Ecosystem Service Providers in crop production in different types of crops and management systems and across the major pedo-climatic zones of Europe
  • Agree on common procedures for experimental work and data collection across all participating units
  • Obtain stakeholder guidance and achieve insights from farmer-researcher interactions, by using the Multi-Actor approach, to co-design best practices for engaging Ecosystem Service Providers in crop production
  • Establish a set of stratified farm networks over different European pedo-climatic and socio-economic conditions to investigate prototypes of sustainable agro-ecology systems, disseminate project results, and foster stakeholder-guided development of new concepts for maximizing benefits from ecosystem services

To achieve this specific objective we will:

  • Quantify the effects of natural enemies and pollinators on crop yields for several crops and pedo-climatic conditions
  • Determine how this varies with variation in landscape and the dispersal abilities of the Ecosystem Service Providers
  • Optimize Ecosystem Service Providers movement service provision for yield improvement

To achieve this specific objective we will:

  • Investigate sets of in-field agronomic interventions for enhancing Ecosystem Service Providers which most benefit crop production
  • Analyse the need for and availability of pollen and nectar resources for Ecosystem Service Providers within crops
  • Identify microbial consortia to support ecosystem services and harness natural biostimulants, which elicit defence responses in plants
  • Determine the role of endophytes in steering ecosystem services: their bottom-up effects on natural enemies of pests, and on pollinators
  • Investigate potential trade-offs between biocontrol and pollination service providers

To achieve this specific objective we will:

  • Integrate all plant protection tools including social, economic and landscape elements to support sustainable crop production, using a comprehensive, validated modelling approach
  • Identify, analyse, and compare the socio-economic impacts and social acceptability of the various options of enhancing functional biodiversity in agricultural landscapes
  • Enhance the impact of natural antagonists through biologically-inspired technologies, which will enable the pest management capacity of biological control agents to be taken beyond the organism level
  • Develop “bio-inspired” plant protection strategies, based on the use of natural products active against pests and pathogens or that trigger plant defence responses
  • Assess the in-field status of Ecosystem Service Providers sensitivity to agrochemicals and compatibility for integrated pest management
  • Via integrative modelling of multiple drivers for Ecosystem Service Providers integrate agricultural management, landscape characteristics and the delivery of ecosystem services, and provide tools for upscaling and evaluating management strategies
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