An official website of the United States government.

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

ENHANCING ECOSYSTEM SERVICES FROM COVER CROPS IN ORCHARD SYSTEMS

Investigators
Gaudin, A.; Hanson, Br, D.; Hodson, Am.; Williams, N.; Wilson, Barry
Institutions
University of California - Davis
Start date
2021
End date
2025
Objective

Growing winter cover crops is a key diversification practice to ecologically intensify orchards understories in Mediterranean climates and reconcile environmental and economic goals of agriculture. To our knowledge, no comprehensive economic and ecological cost-benefits assessments of cover crops have been conducted in irrigated semi-arid large-scale orchard systems.Our goalis to investigate the potential of various cover crop species to improve the sustainability of almond production systems and economic outcomes for growers. We will test the multivariate performance of functionally redundant and functionally diverse seed mixes to better understand how ecological interactions as a function of cover crop traits can be used to predict impacts and help design best management practices targeted to growers' objectives.More specifically,our proposed research project hasfour main objectivesbased on simple yet key indicators of ecosystem services:1) In field experiments, quantify impacts of cover crop traits on provision of ten ecosystem services of potential benefit to growers and the environment.2) Determine the input, labor and economic costs-benefits of different cover crop management scenarios.3) Conduct an integrated assessment to quantify multifunctional outcomes of cover cropping and benefits/tradeoffs for almond production systems.4) Engage with stakeholders including growers, Cooperative Extension, conservation agencies, and commodity groups, to share knowledge of how cover crops affect ecosystem services, help develop best management practices and incorporate stakeholder perspectives into our research.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
CA-D-PLS-2652-CG
Accession number
1025212
Categories
Education and Training
Commodities
Nuts, Seeds