Managing grassland diversity for multiple ecosystem services

Defra

The overall aim of this Defra funded project is to assess the potential for UK grasslands to deliver multifunctional objectives of carbon sequestration, nutrient retention, pollination and biodiversity conservation, while maintaining economically viable levels of production. The main focus of the project is soil carbon sequestration, and specifically to assess the carbon storage potential of UK grasslands and the sensitivity of this carbon to management and climate change, and to experimentally test the potential to manage grassland vegetation diversity to optimise soil carbon storage. However, an additional and complementary aim is to test how variations in vegetation diversity and composition in agricultural grasslands influences the provision of other ecosystem services, including nutrient and pollination, thereby contributing the overall multi-functionality of grasslands systems. The ultimate goal is to provide policy relevant tools for managing grassland soil carbon and offsetting greenhouse gas emissions, with potential benefits for other ecosystem services. The project, which is led by Professor Bardgett, involves collaborations at Rothamsted Research, and the Universities of Lancaster, Reading and Newcastle.

Managing grassland diversity for multiple ecosystem services