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Abstract

The main objective of this communication is to review the theoretical ecosystem and agroecosystem services assessment’s methods and to propose a thermoeconomic approach. The logic of thermoeconomic approach consists in analysing the use of natural resources during the production process, interpreting it as a thermodynamic conversion in order to assess the overall specific energy consumption of the systemic components arriving at estimates of fluxes and energy costs. This study analyses comparatively the main thermoeconomic-based approaches to verify the feasibility of the "energy value" as an appraisal criterion of agroecosystem services. In particularly among the reviewed approaches the Emergy synthesis seems the most appropriate tool to be empirically applied on the study of agricultural systems even at the farm level, and this in particular taking into account the new architecture of the database of the Italian FADN, although they are complementary tools to traditional methods of decision analysis.

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