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Title: Widening the analysis of Energy Return on Investment (EROI) in agro-ecosystems: Socio-ecological transitions to industrialized farm systems (the Vallès County, Catalonia, c.1860 and 1999)
Author: Galán del Castillo, Elena
Padró i Caminal, Roc
Marco Lafuente, Inés
Tello, Enric
Cunfer, Geoff
Guzmán Casado, Gloria I.
González de Molina, Manuel
Krausmann, Fridolin
Gingrich, Simone
Sacristán Adinolfi, Vera
Moreno-Delgado, David
Keywords: Sistemes agrícoles
Ecologia del paisatge
Ús del sòl
Agricultural systems
Landscape ecology
Land use
Issue Date: Oct-2016
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Abstract: Energy balances of farm systems have overlooked the role of energy flows that remain within agro-ecosystems. Yet, such internal flows fulfil important socio-ecological functions, including maintenance of farmers themselves and agro-ecosystem structures. Farming can either give rise to complex landscapes that favour associated biodiversity, or the opposite. This variability can be understood by assessing several types of Energy Returns on Investment (EROI). Applying these measures to a farm system in Catalonia, Spain in 1860 and in 1999, reveals the expected decrease in the ratio of final energy output to total and external inputs. The transition from solar-based to a fossil fuel based agro-ecosystem was further accompanied by an increase in the ratio of final energy output to biomass reused, as well as an absolute increase of Unharvested Phytomass grown in derelict forestland. The study reveals an apparent link between reuse of biomass and the decrease of landscape heterogeneity along with its associated biodiversity.
Note: Versió postprint del document publicat a:
It is part of: Ecological Modelling, 2016, vol. 336, p. 13-25
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ISSN: 0304-3800
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Història Econòmica, Institucions, Política i Economia Mundial)

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