Work Package Structure
The relationships between the work packages (WPs) are presented below. In WP2 a farmer survey will be conducted to identify the most abundant types of semi-natural habitats including cropped areas (e.g. cover crops and species mixtures) and the farmer’s ecological service priorities for a range of different management systems. A standard approach to quantify the ecological services provided by semi-natural habitats and cropped fields based upon vegetation traits and literature reviews will be then developed. Existing methodologies to measure ecological services will be reviewed and tested during the first year so that the most appropriate can be selected for use in the case studies (WP3). The methodologies will be developed alongside the modelling, synthesis and upscaling work package, WP4, to ensure data is appropriate for parameterising the models.
In WP3 case studies will be conducted in the main cropping systems (arable, orchard, vegetable and vines) across four European agro-climatic zones (see map, Bouma, 2005). In WP4, spatially explicit models will be developed that incorporated the functional traits as derived from the vegetation traits with the dispersal capabilities of the mobile agents that are responsible for ES delivery, such as insects and spiders. These models will be combined with a suite of modules in an integrative modelling framework (Landscape IMAGES; Groot et al., 2007; 2010) to integrate semi-natural habitats, field and landscape management effects on various salient ecological services identified in WP2. These will allow policy makers to explore how management and landscape configuration impact on ecosystem service provision and investigate across a range of scales. The algorithms derived in the modelling process will be used in a web-based tool for use by farmers and their advisors. The tool will generate “heat maps” that indicate the ecological service provision, “hot” equals high and “cold” equals poor provision. By inputting their semi-natural habitat areas and management, they will be able to evaluate their current level of ecological service provision and explore options for improvement. Research data will be collated for long-term storage in a centralised database (WP4) and made publically available via the project website.
There will be two levels of stakeholder involvement operating throughout the project. The Stakeholder Advisory Board will be primarily concerned with implications for policy and the local stakeholder groups which will accompany the case studies and have input on the more practical implications and aspects. They will contribute at key stages:
during the project kick-off meeting where they will state and prioritise their ecological service requirements;
they will comment on the findings of WP2 vegetation traits and audit the proposed ecological service investigations planned for WP3;
they will advise on the dissemination of results, the model outcomes, web-based tools and final recommendations based upon the upscaling (WP5)
The working objectives have been translated into five work packages one of which is project management (Table 1).
Table 1. Relationship between working objectives and work packages
Relationships between the work packages (WPs) in QUESSA project. (SNH=semi-natural habitats, ES=Ecosystem Services)
QUESSA case studies in four agro-climatic zones (Bouma, 2005).