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Ecosystem service potential of legume inclusive cropping systems

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"Current research on the ecosystem service potential of legume inclusive cropping systems in Europe"

Lenora Ditzler - Wageningen University, The Netherlands

A presentation given during Webinar 2 "Optimising Legume Production" of the 8 Webinar series ‘European Legumes in Transition’ 20 April 2021

Even though legumes are expected to deliver many agroecological benefits, they are not widely grown by farmers in Europe. Recent studies attributed this to several barriers, one being that some farmers feel they lack knowledge about the agroecological impacts of legumes. We wanted to know whether published research is focused to support farmers in overcoming this knowledge barrier. So we conducted a systematic literature review, looking for studies that reported on ecosystem services delivered from cropping systems with legumes included compared to without. We reviewed 163 papers and found that published legume research done in the EU in the last 30 years has concentrated mainly on a narrow range of topics and ignores several agroecosystem impacts farmers show interest in and with broader societal interest. We will present the review findings and suggest ways research agendas could be expanded to better address these topics.

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