Biodiversity and other ecosystem services

Biodiversity and ecosystem services are the main drivers of ecological restoration receiving a lot of attention from international initiatives and the diversification of cropping techniques have been proposed as one of the main ways to move towards sustainable cropping systems. Ley pastures provide multiple ecosystem services, such as nutrient input, biological control of pests and weeds, might act positively on regeneration of arable soil structure, on soil microbial communities etc. Leys is also considered for regenerating soil functions, increasing soil carbon sequestration and offer higher production and other efficient ecosystem services, when combined with various species of functional plants. The range of the levels of ecosystem services and disservices provided by ley pastures depend mainly on the relative durations of ley pastures within crop sequences in cropping systems. Living mulch, plant-based fertilizers are the new forms and ways of inclusion ley pastures into cropping systems, thereby enhancing the ecosystem services and reliance on leys in crop rotations. Integrated assessment of ecosystem services, covering as many services as possible at the same time, is important in comparing different cropping systems using leys with systems-based crop-only in different circumstances (e.g., soil, climatic conditions, species sown etc.).

Therefore, it is pertinent that questions and discussions regarding the biodiversity for ecological restoration and agricultural production, implementation of practices for increasing carbon uptake and other ecological services of ley-pastures are raised at the symposium session.