Designing multifunctional agro-landscapes: a multi-objective optimization approach
Abstract: To counteract the pressures of intensive agricultural production systems on the environment there is increasing interest in habitat management to strengthen ecosystem services. By creation of flower strips and management of semi-natural habitats, farmers and other stakeholders in agricultural landscapes try to enhance populations of ecosystem service providers’ habitats, such as natural enemies of pests and pollinators. However, the redesign of landscapes for multiple ecosystem services needs to take the trade-offs and synergies between ecosystem services and agricultural profitability into account. We used the modelling framework Landscape IMAGES to explore options for reconfiguring and managing habitats for multiple ecosystem services in the Hoeksche Waard, The Netherlands. A wide variety of alternative landscape configurations and management practices were evaluated using a Pareto-optimizing algorithm. The analysis shows that there are both trade-offs and synergies between crop production, floral resources for flying natural enemies, water quality, and the management costs allocated to different stakeholders (private and public) in the landscape. These findings can help stakeholders to make informed decisions about their management actions.