Assessment of Ecosystem Services of Lowland Rice Agroecosystems in Echague, Isabela, Philippines

Januel P Floresca, Antonio J Alcantara, Corazon B Lamug, Corazon L Rapera, Candida B Adalla
Vol 12 No 1 (2009), pp. 25-41




Ecosystem services are the benefits people obtain from ecosystems. In lowland rice agroecosystems, these include regulating services on groundwater recharge, nutrient cycling and biological control of insect pests and grain yield provisioning service. These ecosystem services were estimated and analyzed in NIA irrigated and pump irrigated lowland rice farms during wet season 2005 and dry season 2006 in two barangays of Echague, Isabela.

Groundwater recharge, which was estimated based on saturated hydraulic conductivity and growing period with standing irrigation water in the paddy, was 2,421.7 m3 ha-1 cropping-1. Soil nutrient cycling, which was estimated using the rice straw yield and its nutrient content, consisted of 16.9 kg N ha-2, 12.0 kg P2O5 ha-2 and 55.8 kg K2O ha-1 cropping-1. Biological control of insect pests by spiders expressed in terms of predator-prey ratio was 9:61 and 7:24 in the wet season 2005 and dry season 2006, respectively. Rice grain yield was 3,530.7 kg-1 ha-1 cropping1.

The assessment was done using transdisciplinary research methods. Methodologies in agronomy, soil hydrology and insect ecology were used to estimate the amounts of ecosystem services and environmental psychology was used to explain why farmers used different farm management practices based on their knowledge, attitudes, perceptions and resources constraints.  Farm management practices affected the amounts of ecosystem services.


Keywords: transdisciplinary research, lowland rice agroecosystems, ecosystem services

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