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Università Politecnica delle Marche (2016)

Soil CO2 emissions and C stock as Ecosystem Services : a comparison between transhumant and conventional farming systems

FRANCIONI, Matteo

Titre : Soil CO2 emissions and C stock as Ecosystem Services : a comparison between transhumant and conventional farming systems

Auteur : FRANCIONI, Matteo

Université de soutenance : Università Politecnica delle Marche

Grade : Ph.D. IN AGRICULTURAL, FOOD AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES 2016

Résumé
Ecosystem Services are defined as the benefits that human being receive from ecosystems. Sheep transhumant systems are still of major importance in Mediterranean countries and have the potential to deliver a wide array of Ecosystem services. On the other hand, the main difficulty on this research topic is to take in consideration trade-offs and the relation between the Ecosystem services and biodiversity. This thesis aims to provide new insights on the Ecosystem Services provided by sheep transhumant systems in Central Italy. The body of the thesis includes three chapters : a literature review on Ecosystem Services provided by livestock grazing systems and two chapters focused on the comparison of Soil C dynamics of transhumant and conventional farming system along a transect (from the coastal area to the mountain area of Central Italy) following the seasonal movements of transhumant flocks. From the researches emerge the need to preserve sheep transhumant system in order preserve the regulating ecosystem services of soil carbon sink. That is the presence of transhumant allows the presence of long-lasting alfalfa fields in areas where otherwise conventional cropping systems (e.g. wheat) would take place. Despite this, trade-offs between services are likely to occur within especially in such complex systems. However, in accordance with the main results of the review, the inclusion of cultural Ecosystem Services seems to be paramount. Therefore, future research should go in this direction with the development of indicators based not only on bio-physical parameters but that take in consideration also the aesthetic value of ecosystems. nce of transhumant allows the presence of alfalfa fields in areas where otherwise conventional cropping systems (e.g. wheat) would take place. Despite this, trade-offs between services are likely to occur within especially in such complex systems. However, in accordance with the main results of the review, the inclusion of cultural Ecosystem Services seems to be paramount. Future research should go in this direction and the development of indicators based not only on bio-physical parameters but that take in consideration also the aesthetic value of ecosystems must be developed.

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