LIBERATION - LInking farmland Biodiversity to Ecosystem seRvices for effective ecofunctional intensificATION

LIBERATION identifies general relationships between semi-natural habitats, on-farm management and biodiversity, link farmland biodiversity to ecosystem services, examine different strategies to mitigate ecosystem services, quantify the impact of ecosystem services on crop yield, quantify the socio-economic implications of eco-functional intensification, evaluate the contribution of ecosystem services at different land-use scenario’s and demonstrate our findings and disseminate them to a wide range of stakeholders.


The next few decades will witness a rapidly increasing demand for agricultural products. This growing demand needs to be met largely through intensification (produce more from the same land surface) because there is little scope for an increase in agricultural area. Eco-functional intensification has been proposed as a promising solution. Eco-functional intensification is the optimization of all provisioning, regulating and supporting ecosystem services in the agricultural production process.

Aim and objectives

The LIBERATION project aims to provide the evidence-base for the potential of ecological intensification to sustainably enhance food security with minimal negative impacts on the environment. This requires a basic insight in how biodiversity contributes to various ecosystem services and subsequently how ecosystem services contribute to yield and farm income.

Key questions that will be addressed are:

  • How landscape structure and land-use interact in the provisioning of ecosystem services;
  • How farmland biodiversity is related to multiple ecosystem services;
  • Whether there are trade-offs between different ecosystem services;
  • How ecosystem services are related to farm income;
  • How ecosystem services may be influenced by policy measures at the local, national or EU scale.

LIBERATION will focus on the ecosystem services pollination, pest control, nutrient cycling and soil fertility, thus examining both above- and below-ground ecosystem services as well as possible trade-offs and synergies. Implications for greenhouse gas emissions will be explored throughout all activities in the project. Ecosystem service delivery will be expressed in terms of (their contribution to) agricultural yield and in terms of farm income.