Agroecosystems are created by amended as a result of human activity, natural ecosystems (forests, meadows and pastures) that are partially survived and still exist between agricultural areas. In that sense the Agroecosystems represent urbanized ecosystems which in structure and function are more similar to natural ecosystems, compared to urban ecosystems and better than them fit into the landscape.
The connectivity of the Agroecosystems with natural ecosystems defines the landscapes integrity, determines their mutual commitment, and the ability to maintain regional abundance of animal and plant species. Each region has a specific organization of agroecosystem network, formed under the influence of soil-types, climate, geographical areas, socio-economic and cultural factors. The manners of land use determine to what extent the agroecosystems effectively fit into the landscape and maintain their ecological functions.
The traditional farming in the country relies on mono-cultures over large areas of agricultural land. This form of land use turns the agroecosystems into degradation vulnerable ecosystem, whose fertility is maintained by the introduction of increasingly large amounts of energy in the form of fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation water.
Until now the environmental management of agroecosystems in the country is poorly developed and had not yet become a traditional approach.
The purpose of the mapping and assessment of agroecosystems and there services is to establish trends in their development. The obtained results will become the basis of better management practices. The projects activities are carried out in accordance to the MOEW’s methodology for ecosystem services assessment and covers farms cultivating:
- Annual crops (cereals, vegetables and technical plants)
- Perennial crops (fruit gardens, nuts, vineyards etc.)
- Mixed cropland (annual and perennial crops)
The ecosystem services mapping and assessment of agroecosystems will be carried out on indicators that covers: (1) State of the environment (soil and climate conditions, soil and air pollution), (2) land use (number of crops per farm) and yield of agricultural crops, (3) regulatory and support functions (risk of erosion, nutrient content in the soil etc.), (4) cultural, religious and other social functions (celebrations, places of religious rites, scientific interest, educational potential, etc.).
Based on the results it will be determine the status of the agroecosystems and there services, which will provide a scientific basis for the development of new governance principles, taking into account their ecological connectivity and importance for natural ecosystems, and the landscape in general.