Contribution of High Nature Value farming systems to sustainable livestock production : A case from Finland

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Torres-Miralles , M , Särkelä , K , Koppelmaki , K , Lamminen , M , Tuomisto , H & Herzon , I 2022 , ' Contribution of High Nature Value farming systems to sustainable livestock production : A case from Finland ' , Science of the Total Environment , vol. 839 , 156267 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.156267

Title: Contribution of High Nature Value farming systems to sustainable livestock production : A case from Finland
Author: Torres-Miralles, Miriam; Särkelä, K.; Koppelmaki, K.; Lamminen, Marjukka; Tuomisto, Hanna; Herzon, Iryna
Contributor organization: Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS)
Plant Production Sciences
Department of Agricultural Sciences
Ruralia Institute, Mikkeli
The Academic Outreach Network
Department of Food and Nutrition
Animal Science Research
Helsinki Institute of Urban and Regional Studies (Urbaria)
Date: 2022-09-15
Language: eng
Number of pages: 10
Belongs to series: Science of the Total Environment
ISSN: 0048-9697
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.156267
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/345810
Abstract: Sustainability of livestock production is a highly contested issue in agricultural sustainability discourse. This study aimed to assess the environmental impact of farms using semi-natural grasslands in Finland, or so-called High Nature Value (HNV) farms. We estimated the environmental impact of 11 such farms, including greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), nitrogen (N) balance, land occupation, and carbon storage. We also accounted for unique biodiversity, defined in this study as communities that are dependent on semi-natural grasslands. We compared these to the alternative states of the farms, specifically a hypothetical farm with the same production output but without access to semi natural grasslands. GHG emissions at the farm level (tCO(2eq)/ha) in HNV farms were 64% lower than on the alternative farms; GHG emissions at the product level (tCO(2eq)/t LW) and N balance (N kg/ha) were 31% and 235% lower, respectively. The carbon stocks were 163% higher at farm level. Biodiversity values, indicated by the share of semi-natural grassland in management, ranged from 23% to 83% on HNV farms. Six out of eleven farms would need to increase their arable land occupation by an average of 39% of arable land to fulfil their needs for animal feed if they did not utilize semi-natural grassland. This study contributes to growing evidence that HNV farming systems can support sustainable production by minimising arable land occupation, reducing nutrient loses, and increasing carbon storage while maintaining unique biodiversity.
Subject: Semi-natural grasslands
Environmental impact
Carbon footprint
Biodiversity
Nitrogen balance
Carbon storage
GREENHOUSE-GAS EMISSIONS
PLANT-SPECIES RICHNESS
CARBON STOCK CHANGES
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS
BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION
HERBAGE PRODUCTION
LAND-USE
MANAGEMENT
GRASSLANDS
EUROPE
4111 Agronomy
1172 Environmental sciences
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion


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