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Specialization in agricultural systems can lead to trade-offs between economic gains and ecosystem functions. We suggest and explore a conceptual framework in which economic gains can be maximized when production activities are specialized at increasingly broader scales (from the household to the village, region or above), particularly when markets for outputs and inputs function well. Conversely, more specialization likely reduces biodiversity and significantly limits ecosystem functions. Whendoi:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2016.01.001 fatcat:jbdzzplecvfefd273xqphb6bsa