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Transformation of agricultural landscapes in the Anthropocene: Nature's contributions to people, agriculture and food security

Adam Vanbergen 1 Marcelo Aizen 2 Stephane Cordeau 1 Lucas Garibaldi 3, 4 Michael P.D. Garratt 5 Anikó Kovács-Hostyánszki 6 Lou Lecuyer 1 Hien Ngo 7 Simon Potts 5 Josef Settele 8, 9, 10 Eirini Skrimizea 1 Juliette Young 1, 11
Abstract : Multiple anthropogenic challenges threaten nature's contributions to human well-being. Agricultural expansion and conventional intensification are degrading biodiversity and ecosystem functions, thereby undermining the natural foundations on which agriculture is itself built. Averting the worst effects of global environmental change and assuring ecosystem benefits, requires a transformation of agriculture. Alternative agricultural systems to conventional intensification exist, ranging from adjustments to efficiency (e.g. sustainable intensification) to a redesign (e.g. ecological intensification, climate-smart agriculture) of the farm management system. These alternatives vary in their reliance on nature or technology, the level of systemic change required to operate, and impacts on biodiversity, landscapes and agricultural production. Different socio-economic, ecological and political settings mean there is no universal solution, instead there are a suite of interoperable practices that can be adapted to different contexts to maximise efficiency, sustainability and resilience. Social, economic, technological and demographic issues will influence the form of sustainable agriculture and effects on landscapes and biodiversity. These include: (1) the socio-technical-ecological architecture of agricultural and food systems and trends such as urbanisation in affecting the mode of production, diets, lifestyles and attitudes; (2) emerging technologies, such as gene editing, synthetic biology and 3D bioprinting of meat; and (3) the scale or state of the existing farm system, especially pertinent for smallholder agriculture. Agricultural transformation will require multifunctional landscape planning with cross-sectoral and participatory management to avoid unintended consequences and ultimately depends on people's capacity to accept new ways of operating in response to the current environmental crisis.
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Adam Vanbergen, Marcelo Aizen, Stephane Cordeau, Lucas Garibaldi, Michael P.D. Garratt, et al.. Transformation of agricultural landscapes in the Anthropocene: Nature's contributions to people, agriculture and food security. Advances in Ecological Research, Special Issue 'The Future of Agricultural Landscapes', 63, pp.193-253, 2020, 0065-2504. ⟨10.1016/bs.aecr.2020.08.002⟩. ⟨hal-03119709⟩

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