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dc.contributor.authorBalmford, Andrew
dc.contributor.authorAmano, Tatsuya
dc.contributor.authorBartlett, Harriet
dc.contributor.authorChadwick, Dave
dc.contributor.authorCollins, Adrian
dc.contributor.authorEdwards, David
dc.contributor.authorField, Rob
dc.contributor.authorGarnsworthy, Philip
dc.contributor.authorGreen, Rhys
dc.contributor.authorSmith, Pete
dc.contributor.authorWaters, Helen
dc.contributor.authorWhitmore, Andrew
dc.contributor.authorBroom, Donald
dc.contributor.authorChara, Julian
dc.contributor.authorFinch, Tom
dc.contributor.authorGarnett, Emma
dc.contributor.authorGathorne-Hardy, Alfred
dc.contributor.authorHernandez-Medrano, Juan
dc.contributor.authorHerrero, Mario
dc.contributor.authorHua, Fangyuan
dc.contributor.authorLatawiec, Agnieszka
dc.contributor.authorMisselbrook, Tom
dc.contributor.authorPhalan, Benjamin
dc.contributor.authorSimmons, Benno
dc.contributor.authorTakahashi, Taro
dc.contributor.authorVause, James
dc.contributor.authorzu Ermgassen, Erasmus
dc.contributor.authorEisner, Rowan
dc.date.accessioned2018-09-05T12:51:34Z
dc.date.available2018-09-05T12:51:34Z
dc.date.issued2018-09-14
dc.identifier.issn2398-9629
dc.identifier.urihttps://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/279652
dc.description.abstractHow we manage farming and food systems to meet rising demand is pivotal to the future of biodiversity. Extensive field data suggest impacts on wild populations would be greatly reduced through boosting yields on existing farmland so as to spare remaining natural habitats. High-yield farming raises other concerns because expressed per unit area it can generate high levels of externalities such as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and nutrient losses. However, such metrics underestimate the overall impacts of lower-yield systems, so here we develop a framework that instead compares externality and land costs per unit production. Applying this to diverse datasets describing the externalities of four major farm sectors reveals that, rather than involving trade-offs, the externality and land costs of alternative production systems can co-vary positively: per unit production, land-efficient systems often produce lower externalities. For GHG emissions these associations become more strongly positive once forgone sequestration is included. Our conclusions are limited: remarkably few studies report externalities alongside yields; many important externalities and farming systems are inadequately measured; and realising the environmental benefits of high-yield systems typically requires additional measures to limit farmland expansion. Yet our results nevertheless suggest that trade-offs among key cost metrics are not as ubiquitous as sometimes perceived. There is an author correction to this article. See: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-018-0138-5
dc.description.sponsorshipWe are grateful for funding from the Cambridge Conservation Initiative Collaborative Fund and Arcadia, the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment, the Kenneth Miller Trust the UK-China Virtual Joint Centre for Agricultural Nitrogen (CINAg, 780 BB/N013468/1, financed by the Newton Fund via BBSRC and NERC), BBSRC (BBS/E/C/000I0330), DEVIL (NE/M021327/1), U-GRASS (NE/M016900/1), Soils-R-GRREAT (NE/P019455/1), N-Circle (BB/N013484/1), BBSRC Soil to Nutrition (S2N) strategic programme (BBS/E/C/000I0330), UNAM-PAPIIT (IV200715), the Belmont Forum/FACEE-JPI (NE/M021327/1 ‘DEVIL’), and the Cambridge Earth System Science NERC DTP (NE/L002507/1); AB is supported by a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit award.
dc.publisherSpringer Nature
dc.titleThe environmental costs and benefits of high-yield farming
dc.typeArticle
prism.endingPage485
prism.publicationNameNature Sustainability
prism.startingPage477
prism.volume1
dc.identifier.doi10.17863/CAM.27020
dcterms.dateAccepted2018-08-10
rioxxterms.versionofrecord10.1038/s41893-018-0138-5
rioxxterms.licenseref.urihttp://www.rioxx.net/licenses/all-rights-reserved
rioxxterms.licenseref.startdate2018-08-10
dc.contributor.orcidBalmford, Andrew [0000-0002-0144-3589]
dc.contributor.orcidAmano, Tatsuya [0000-0001-6576-3410]
dc.contributor.orcidBartlett, Harriet [0000-0002-7389-8785]
dc.contributor.orcidGreen, Rhys [0000-0001-8690-8914]
dc.contributor.orcidWaters, Helen [0000-0003-2218-929X]
dc.contributor.orcidBroom, Donald [0000-0002-1573-7182]
dc.contributor.orcidGarnett, Emma [0000-0002-1664-9029]
dc.contributor.orcidPhalan, Benjamin [0000-0001-7876-7226]
dc.contributor.orcidSimmons, Benno [0000-0002-2751-9430]
dc.contributor.orcidzu Ermgassen, Erasmus [0000-0002-9168-6057]
dc.identifier.eissn2398-9629
rioxxterms.typeJournal Article/Review
pubs.funder-project-idGrantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment
pubs.funder-project-idKenneth Miller Trust (unknown)
pubs.funder-project-idNERC (1653183)
pubs.funder-project-idBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/N013484/1)
pubs.funder-project-idNERC (NE/L002507/1)
pubs.funder-project-idNERC (1653183)
cam.issuedOnline2018-09-14
rioxxterms.freetoread.startdate2019-03-14


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