Section 7: Conclusion

Canada’s ecological infrastructure—its land, soil, water and climate—provide the foundation for agricultural activity in Canada. Ecosystem functions, such as biomass production and nutrient cycling, are necessary inputs into agriculture and together along with human efforts and ingenuity contribute to producing a wide array of food and other products benefitting Canadians and others worldwide.

Agriculture is at the interface of ecosystems and economic activity. Farmers manage ecosystems to produce agricultural goods including crops and livestock. This output benefits Canadians and consumers around the world. Some farm activities can have negative environmental impacts, but various management practices can be used to mitigate problems and restore ecological infrastructure, which influence the flow of ecosystems goods and services from agricultural landscapes.

This report helps develop understanding of the linkages between each of these different components of Canada’s agricultural sector and its reliance on ecosystems. It also brings us back to the start of our discussion, where we introduced the Ecosystem Goods and Services conceptual framework (Figure 1.1). Further work is needed in order to better quantify the inputs required to produce agricultural goods, other ecosystem services generated by agricultural ecosystems and the impacts of agricultural activities on land use and changes in environmental condition.

Previous section

Date modified: