Agrosystem services: An additional terminology to better understand ecosystem services delivered by agriculture


  • Hubert Wiggering Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Eberswalder Straße 84, Müncheberg, D-15374, Germany; Institute of Earth and Environmental Science, University of Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 24/25, Potsdam, D-14476, Germany
  • Peter Weißhuhn Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Eberswalder Straße 84, Müncheberg, D-15374, Germany; Institute of Earth and Environmental Science, University of Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 24/25, Potsdam, D-14476, Germany
  • Benjamin Burkhard Institute for Natural Resource Conservation, Kiel University, Olshausenstraße 40, Kiel, D-24098, Germany



Agricultural ecosystem, Agro(eco)system, Agro-ecosystem, Agroecosystem, Agrosystem, Disservices, Services


To discriminate between the contributions of ecosystems and the human subsidies to agricultural systems, we propose using an additional terminology to bring clarification into the controversial discussion about i) ecosystems versus agrosystems and ii) ecosystem services versus agrosystem services. A literature review revealed that with the exception of some very recent publications, this has not yet been sufficiently reflected, neither within the scientific nor in the policy discussion. The question remains whether to spoil the discussion with new terms again and again. We reason that it makes sense to underpin the case-specific share of agricultural inputs to the supply of agroecosystem services and to add "agro" to the terminology. We conclude, that there is a need to promote the new terminology of agrosystem services and to strengthen the use of the already established term agroecosystem services within this context. To emphasise the production patterns behind the multiple benefits agricultural systems provide to humans (commodity and non-commodity outputs) and to guarantee a reasonable weighting of related externalities in policy processes, we suggest to introduce the term agrosystem services into the discussion on ecosystem services. Agrosystem services in this context describe the anthropogenic share of agroecosystem services' generation. Agroecosystem services include multiple provisioning, regulating and cultural services from agricultural ecosystems. The inclusion of agrosystem services might accommodate the ecology-based ecosystem services concept to the specificity of managed agricultural ecosystems and therefore could be better implemented by mostly economy-driven agricultural production systems and agricultural policy.


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How to Cite

Wiggering, H., Weißhuhn, P., & Burkhard, B. (2016). Agrosystem services: An additional terminology to better understand ecosystem services delivered by agriculture. Landscape Online, 49.