Ecosystem services

The negative impacts that weeds can have on crops are well documented. However, much less is known about the benefits of the presence of weeds in agricultural system. To our knowledge, no comprehensive review has been carried out on this topic. The objective is to collect information on the regulatory ecosystem services provided, directly and indirectly, by weeds in arable crops

A systematic map approach will be used to collect relevant documents from the literature. Systematic maps are methodical overviews of the quantity and quality of evidence in relation to a broad (open) question of policy or management relevance. The process and rigour of the mapping exercise is the same as for systematic review except that no evidence synthesis is attempted to seek an answer to the question.
The map will help to:

  • Identify the ecosystem services provided (directly and indirectly) by weeds
  • Identify the weeds (species, families, diversity or abundance) that provide these services.
  • Identify any additional species (e.g. beneficial insects, mycorrhizal fungi, and pollinating insects) involved in the processes providing the identified ecosystem services.
  • Understand the breadth and depth of the evidence.
  • Identify gaps in the available literature for potential further research.

Ecosystem services
Anna-Camilla Moonen

Institute of Life Sciences Land Lab
Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna
Via Santa Cecilia 3
56127 Pisa
Tel: + 39-050.883567
Fax: + 39-050.883526

Weeds and biodiversity working group
Paula Westerman

Wageningen University and Research
Biointeraction and plant health - Field Crops
P.O. box 16, 6700 AA Wageningen
Tel: +31 320 2 91164