Organic beef and other ecosystem services produced at semi-natural pasture and forest mosaics

Research project
Active research
Project size
7 500 000 SEK
Project owner
Department of Biological and Environmental Science

Formas Organic Agriculture Programme 221-2014-217 (6.4 MSek 2015-2020), MERGE (ModElling the Regional and Global Earth system (577 kSek), The Sabbatical programme of the Faculty of Science, University of Gothenburg (539 kSek)

Short description

Semi-natural pastures in Sweden have nearly vanished and with them, many ecosystem services are diminished. We studied the interplay between organic beef production, wood production, biodiversity, and climate regulation. We conduct field studies at farms along a climatic gradient from South to North Sweden, literature surveys, and use participatory methods and national inventories. The possible synergies and trade-offs between the ecosystem services are assessed by comparing different scenarios, optimizing one service at a time at each of the studied farms. Based on the results, we design the optimized multi-functional land use. In co-operation with the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, a GIS-tool was developed to identify suitable areas for organic meat production.
Two affiliated Climate Regulation projects are described below.

Within two affiliated projects where we explored more in depth the climate regulation:

One is the MERGE-funded project ’Towards improved understanding of albedo-climate interaction of common land uses across Sweden’. At high lattidues, such as northern Europé and Canada, reflection of solar radiation by vegetation is an important climate driver. The aim of our project is to improve understanding of vegetation albedo and its climate forcing capacity of common land uses mosaics across Sweden. We used both a bottom-up (field observations, weather data) and top-down approach (remote sensing, GIS-Geographical Information System) to estimate the albedo of mosaic landscapes. This project has resulted into two completed and one ongoing MSc-thesis (see among documents).

Furthermore I continued the Climate Regulation study in the mosaic landscapes during my Sabbatical at the Soil Biology Group, Wageningen University in the Netherlands. the Sabbatical was funded by the Faculty of Science, University of Gothenburg.  

Partner at GU

Annemieke Gärdenäs
Heater Reese
Deliang Chen
Tinghai Ou

Partners at SLU

Urban Emanuelsson
Anna Hessle
Karl-Ivar Kumm
Frida Dahlström
Mats Olsson

Partner at Swedish Environmental Protection Agency

Göran Blom

Title: a GIS-tool to identify more viable semi-natural pastures. In Swedish only: Mer naturbetesmarker och ekonomiskt bärkraftiga företag – ett samverkansprojekt inom miljömålsrådets gemensamma åtgärdslista 2019. Swedish Environmental Protection Agency 2021.

Title: Klara Hugosson (2022) Evaluation of the variation in albedo over snow-covered forest in Northern Sweden and Finland. MSc-thesis

Title: Tayebeh Kheirkhah (2020) – Spatial and seasonal variation of albedo exhibited by different land cover across Sweden. MSc-thesis