DOI:https://doi.org/10.3232/SJSS.2016.V6.N1.02

Health cards for the evaluation of agricultural sustainability

Iker Mijangos Amezaga, Enaitz Muguerza Elustondo, Carlos Garbisu Crespo, Mikel Anza Hortala, Lur Epelde Sierra

Abstract

Agroecosystem Health Cards are handbooks that provide straightforward, practical information on how to assess agroecosystem health through the analysis of a group of aboveground (crop) and, above all, belowground (soil) indicators. In addition, they allow for the assessment of the impact of specific agricultural practices on agroecosystem health. The main objective of these Agroecosystem Health Cards is to provide farmers and other stakeholders related to agroecosystem management (technical staff, scientists and administration staff) with a practical tool that allows them to evaluate the impact of agricultural practices on agroecosystem health by themselves, so that they can choose those management options that prove to be more sustainable. To this purpose, these Agroecosystem Health Cards explain which health indicators can be measured, how to do it properly, the meaning of the different indicators and, finally, the reference values considered “good”, “medium” and “bad”. Indicators are divided into two categories (basic and advanced) in order to carry out a basic and advanced diagnosis of health, respectively, depending on the interests and possibilities of the user.
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With the patronage of
Universia
Avda. de Cantabria, s/n - 28660, Boadilla del Monte
Madrid, España