Predicting and enhancing the Resilience of European Agro-ecosystems to environmental change using crop Rotations – PREAR

Submission summary

Arable farming in Europe mostly comprises of crop rotations, in which a series of crops, planted each year, is repeated over time. Crop
rotations have a range of economic and environmental impacts, including temporal spill-over effects from one year to another. The choice of
crops used in a rotation is flexible, and managers can adapt this in the light of evidence and predictions of future economic and
environmental conditions. The aim of PREAR is to devise validated, practical and stakeholder-acceptable rotational cropping systems that
assure stable agro-ecosystem service provision and are resilient in the face of climate change. The PREAR project builds upon existing
data-sets and expertise to assess current and novel rotations; their impact on weeds and the resulting disservices (loss of yield) and
cascading ecological benefits (weeds supporting predators of pests, pollinators and biodiversity indicators). We then use these scenarios of
crop rotations to assess and predict ecosystem function and resilience in current and potential crop rotations, and to conduct an
ecological-economic analysis to optimize provisioning and regulating ecosystem services and biodiversity, and stakeholders (farmers) will
collaborate on the design of potential rotations. This project is innovative because it considers the series of crops in a rotation and trades-off
the environmental and economic outcomes; previous projects considered only single crops. It has clear practical impacts because changing
arable crop rotations is a feasible, low risk way for farmers to change management and policy-makers can support this evidence-based best

Project coordination

David BOHAN (UMR Agroécologie)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


NERC Natural Environment Research Council
Aarhus University Aarhus University
UMR Agroécologie UMR Agroécologie

Help of the ANR 182,000 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: March 2016 - 36 Months

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