Change in ecosystem service provision within a lowland dairy landscape under different riparian margin scenarios
Riparian margins can provide a range of environmental, social, and production benefits both on-farm and off-farm. However, our understanding of the relative advantage between various riparian-margin management options is limited. We aim to advance this knowledge by modelling change in food provision, water quality regulation, contact recreation, and amenity ecosystem services in response to riparian-margin management. Estimations in performance were made under grazed; fenced 1 m-wide
... 1 m-wide grass-strips; and fenced 5 m-wide multi-tier planted riparian margin scenarios within a lowland dairy farming landscape as typical in the North Island, New Zealand. Our study allows for simultaneous analysis across the range of ecosystem services (provisioning, regulating, and cultural) and across spatial scales (farm, river network, catchment) as relevant to current policy focus for riparian management. We show both grass-strips and multi-tier planted margins can maintain or increase production values, while also making important contributions to environmental stewardship and community values. Under a multi-tier planted margin scenario, provision of amenity values also increases. Importantly, we also show that riparian management alone is not adequate to address detrimental outcomes of land use on receiving environments, and should be part of wider farm management practices used to maximise opportunities for sustained ecosystem service provision. This is an important consideration for land management policies.