Ecosystem concepts for sustainable food systems
Sustainable food production systems incorporate various aspects of C, water, and nutrient management activities which need to be considered across a set of multiple criteria. These criteria are represented across an array of scales to capture the variety of biophysical and societal characteristics representing social-ecological systems around the globe. Social-ecological systems provide a number of key services to society which are linked to carbon cycle processes controlling food production, energy sources, and soil water holding capacity, to name a few.
Human societies have developed a number of land use practices to enhance ecosystem service delivery, but have also led to unintended degradation of land systems in ways that have reduced the natural capacity of ecosystems to maintain these services. How we can use our knowledge of ecosystem processes with a context of social-ecological systems and managing for enhanced development of slow variables of the system is the focus of this research effort. This effort reflects on long-term implications of land use strategies leading to enhanced resilience and strategies of land use decision making process at multiple scales.