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Abstract

We assess the tradeoffs and synergies involved in reducing agriculture-generated nutrient loads with different levels of resilience. We optimize the selection of least-cost patterns of agricultural conservation practices for both the expected performance of the conservation actions and its variance. Securing nutrient loads with a higher level of resilience is costly, with marginal costs of resilience generally declining with lower loads. We find that the main tradeoff dimension is between cost of conservation investments and ecosystem service objectives, as opposed to pronounced mean-variance or between- nutrient objectives tradeoffs. We find relative synergies in agricultural conservation investments aimed at nutrient reductions.

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