Permanent grasslands (PG) contribute to a wide variety of essential ecosystem services. Many former PG have been converted into arable land or intensively used as temporary grasslands in many European countries. With this loss, many of the ecosystem services typical for PG have also been lost. Currently, PG are mainly situated in areas where the soil, slope or climate are less suitable for arable cropping. In this study, we present a multidisciplinary systematic literature review that assesses the ecosystem services of PG across Europe, taking into account land use, environment and management. We addressed two central research questions. First, what is the effect of PG on the delivery of ecosystem services, compared to other (competing) land uses such as arable land and forest? Second, what is the effect of management, especially of management intensification, on the delivery of ecosystem services by PG?
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