Ecosystem service tradeoffs associated with agricultural intensification of grazinglands

TitleEcosystem service tradeoffs associated with agricultural intensification of grazinglands
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsSpiegal S.
Conference NameSociety for Range Management
Date Published02/2020
Conference LocationDenver, CO
ARIS Log Number373735

The Long-Term Agroecosystem Research (LTAR) network is a team of 18 long-term research sites working to sustainably intensify agricultural production in the croplands, grazinglands, and integrated crop-livestock systems of the United States. The LTAR network seeks not only to increase agricultural production, but also to improve the well-being of agricultural producers and the communities where they live, bolster the profitability of agricultural production, and protect the nation’s ecosystems and natural resources. The Common Experiment is LTAR's central method for investigating how the diverse goals of sustainable intensification could be achieved. Through the Common Experiment, each network site is testing a locally-appropriate “aspirational” production system hypothesized to advance sustainable intensification in locally appropriate ways. Sustainable intensification requires action at multiple scales – fields, farms, regions, and national and international supply chains - but the common experiment focuses mainly on the scale of the farm or ranch. Recognizing that achieving all goals of sustainable intensification at the same time in the same place is unlikely, the network is investigating the trade-offs of adopting aspirational approaches over “business as usual” locally and networkwide. To this end, the LTAR Common Experiment Trade-offs Project team is building a framework to monitor a common set of indicators, so that the 18 sites can track the outcomes of the experimental treatments, and ultimately evaluate the pro’s and con’s of adopting the aspirational approaches under investigation nationwide.