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Title: Modeling agroecosystem services under simulated climate and land-use changes

item Jaradat, Abdullah
item BOODY, GEORGE - Land Stewardship Project

Submitted to: International Scholarly Research Network (ISRN)
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/31/2011
Publication Date: 4/3/2012
Citation: Jaradat, A.A., Boody, G. 2012. Modeling agroecosystem services under simulated climate and land-use changes. International Scholarly Research Network (ISRN) Ecology, 2011:Article 568723. Available:

Interpretive Summary: The corn-soybean cropping system in the Chippewa River Watershed in south-central Minnesota provides food and feed production, water quality and soil health. However, several man-made and climatic factors threaten this traditional approach. One solution is to introduce more crops and perennials in the crop rotation. We used soil and crop information and projected weather data to simulate the value and effect of this strategy. The results suggested that this management strategy minimizes the negative impacts of climate change. Farmers will benefit from decreased nutrient leaching, runoff and soil erosion while maintaining acceptable yields.

Technical Abstract: Ecological functioning of the intensive, homogeneous agro-ecosystems in the Chippewa River Watershed (CRW), Minnesota, USA, can be improved by reducing soil erosion, runoff, and nutrient leaching. These ecosystem services can be achieved through increased perennials in crop rotations to diversify land use and sustain carbon sequestration. We calibrated, validated, and used APSIM software to simulate the impact of 100-yrs each of historical and future climate change scenarios (IPCC-A2) on biophysical processes in representative soil types of the predominant farming systems in the CRW. The interrelationships between crop rotations, soil types, climate variables and ecosystem services indicated that not all objectives of sustainable agro-ecosystems are compatible; therefore, trade-offs among them are necessary. Site-specific and diversified crop rotations that comply with the environmental constraints of climate and soils could lead to more efficient implementation of strategies to improve ecosystem services in the watershed if current management practices of high external inputs and tillage persisted.