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When restoration benefits for coffee yield exceed restoration costs?

Grant number: 19/21802-4
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): January 20, 2020
Effective date (End): January 19, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Applied Ecology
Principal Investigator:Jean Paul Walter Metzger
Grantee:Francisco d'Albertas Gomes de Carvalho
Supervisor abroad: Andrew Balmford
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : University of Cambridge, England  
Associated to the scholarship:18/22881-2 - Paths to ecological intensification trough restoration and agricultural certification, BP.DR

Abstract

The expansion and intensification of agriculture promoted by the green revolution allowed a two-fold increase in yield. Nevertheless, conventional agriculture is projected to be responsible for 70% of terrestrial biodiversity losses in the future. In that context, the ecological intensification of agriculture, based on favoring organisms providing vital ecosystem services for crops, such as pollination and natural pest control, is a viable option to more sustainable agriculture. Restoration of natural vegetation near crops can be used to achieve this goal. Our work aims to contribute to understanding paths for an ecological intensification through a cost-benefit analysis of different restoration scenarios in Brazilian coffee farms to comply with the environmental legislation, known as the Forest Code. Coffee is a very relevant commodity globally, being Brazil the largest producer. The environmental law requires all rural properties in the country to have set aside areas. Landowners with vegetation deficit will have to restore or compensate it. Here we will infer forest restoration benefit to coffee yield through spatial explicit pollination and pest control models, which consider landscape structural effect on ecosystem service provision. We expect that restoration scenarios within coffee landscapes with intermediate vegetation cover (~20-30%) and higher interfaces between forest and coffee crops will have a higher cost-benefit. We expect that restoration actions can be optimized and will contribute with ecological intensification if spatial planning is adopted, favoring thus agricultural yield and the maintenance of biological diversity in agricultural landscapes.