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Effects of landscape complexity on crop productivity: An assessment from space
Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment  (IF5.567),  Pub Date : 2022-01-17, DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2021.107849
Lan H. Nguyen, Samuel V.J. Robinson, Paul Galpern

Agricultural producers have many incentives to clear small natural areas from their fields, as this can expand their cultivated land base. However, natural areas can play a role in delivering ecosystem services that improve crop productivity (e.g., by providing habitat for beneficial arthropods, that deliver pollination or pest control). We assessed the impact of landscape complexity on adjacent canola (Brassica napus) yield at both the field- and subfield-level using remotely sensed products. Fields with higher landscape complexity generally had higher mean yields. However, fields surrounded mostly by either crop or non-crop covers had lower yields, possibly due to a lack of ecosystem services or a strong yield-reducing edge effect. At the subfield-level, we found evidence of a boost in yield between 30 and 100 m from the field edge towards its center, as well as a potential yield-stabilizing effect at the same range.