Publisher: American Institute of Biological Sciences
Incorporating both ecosystem services and disservices into land-use decisions is essential for meeting conservation and livelihood goals. We discuss the merits and challenges of this concept, termed net effects, for birds in agroecosystems. Although birds have widely documented impacts on agriculture (e.g., pest control, crop damage), the net effects of such activities are rarely quantified. This could be attributed to the complexity of measuring direct and indirect trophic interactions, and the necessity of cross-disciplinary collaboration to value biophysical outcomes in economic and other relevant terms. We suggest that the direction and magnitude of net effects is driven by biotic, farm-level and landscape factors. These factors, some within and others beyond farmer control, interact in potentially predictable ways. We propose a framework for making policy decisions about farming practices and land-use planning informed by net effects to help farmers and society achieve positive outcomes for biodiversity and agricultural production.