Habitat mapping and management
Each study area (1 km radius) of semi-natural habitat types will be mapped and quantified at landscape level.
Pest control by natural enemies will be assessed at plot level, using existing standardised procedures and published protocols or adapted if necessary. Methods may include cages to exclude predation and parasitism of specific key pests in crops. In semi-natural habitats, assessment of natural enemies’ service provision will be performed with known and standardized methods adapted to the natural enemies under investigation, for example using exclusion cages and direct manipulation in enclosures. These measurements will be complemented by sentinel systems that will be implemented in semi-natural habitats and cropping systems, and in all case studies, to assess the general pest control service provided at landscape scale.
Assessment of pollination will be performed to the pre-selected cropping systems at plot level. Existing standardised procedures and published protocols will be used and adapted if necessary as guided by UNEXE. Methods will include:
Pollinator exclusion, hand pollination of the crop under study and use of sentinel plants to assess fruit set.
In semi-natural habitats, pollination potential will be assessed by measuring pollinators (activity and abundance).
Pollination potential by measuring the floral resources, to assess the general pollination service provided at landscape scale.
Other Ecological Services
Other ecological service surveys to possibly include soil services, erosion control and seed predation.
Main farming practices will be recorded in crops as well as in semi-natural habitats such as pest management, soil fertility management, cropping system, frequency of management operations. Effects to on semi-natural habitats and within-crop practices on services will be compared.