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Agroecosystems

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News and Opinion

Coverage of agroecosystems since October 27, 2020.

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Farm consolidation has negative effect on wild pollinators

"...Pollinators play an essential role when it comes to supporting global food production. However, wild pollinators are on the decline for several reasons, including the loss of floral resources and nesting sites. This loss of biodiversity could have far-reaching consequences for global food production in future..."

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Research enhances understanding of switchgrass, an important bioenergy crop

"...Bioenergy crops are an alternative energy source that, unlike fossil fuels, could positively impact the environment by reducing greenhouse gases, soil erosion, and carbon dioxide levels. They can be produced even more sustainably if they are grown on poor quality land unsuitable for food. To make up for the poor land quality, these crops can rely on soil microbes like bacteria and fungi to help them access nutrients and water and store more carbon..."

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Consumers are willing to pay for ecosystem services

"...Many consumers are willing to pay for improved environmental quality and thus non-market values of impacts of food production on e. g. water quality, C sequestration, biodiversity, pollution, erosion or GHG emissions may even be comparable to the market value of agricultural production..."

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Sustainable cropping systems for the future

"...The land use requirements of agriculture are enormous, and it is crucial for researchers and policymakers to understand how they are affected by external factors and interact with other land uses. Mora and colleagues generated a set of scenarios of how future agricultural land use may be impacted by climate change and a range of socioeconomic factors [13]. These hypothetical scenarios can be used as tools in planning how best to adapt agriculture and food systems to future realities..."

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Nature s contributions to people found to be in decline

"...The authors looked at the many ways in which nature provides benefits, such as the production of material goods (food, wood, medicines, etc) and non-material goods (leisure activities, learning, experience, etc), as well as the ecological processes that regulate environmental conditions (water filtration, carbon sequestration, storm protection, etc). They point out that the well-being of people is already being affected, in particular by declining crop yields and soil productivity, as well as by increased exposure to floods and storms caused by degradation of coastal ecosystems..."

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A mathematical model facilitates inventory management in the food supply chain

"...The model developed is based on the methodology of system dynamics, a recognised way of dealing with problems related to dynamic processes, such as the supply chain. This set of equations, input data and relationships among variables is tested in a frozen products supply chain at national level. This enables to determine the best configuration of parameters to obtain the best decision alternative in terms of costs and inventory levels, optimising the procedure with regard to the costs and stock levels..."

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The Mirage of Industrial Agriculture: Fossil Fuels, Groundwater Irrigation, and Feedlots on the High Plains

"...Farmers understood very well how important groundwater was to their operations. But they took fossil fuel energy for granted—at least until the energy crises of the 1970s. Between 1970 and 1980, the price of natural gas increased by 800 percent..."

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Recommended Reading

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Academic Research

Recent peer-reviewed papers about agroecosystems relevant to the latest news.

Agroforestry trade-offs between biomass provision and aboveground carbon sequestration in the alpine Eisenwurzen region, Austri

"...Mountain agroecosystems deliver essential ecosystem services to society but are prone to climate change as well as socio-economic pressures, making multi-functional land systems increasingly central to sustainable mountain land use policy..."

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Geo-Big Data in Digital Augmentation and Accelerating Sustainable Agroecosystems

"...At the same time, agri-food systems transformation marching towards economically viable and ecologically sustainable options for healthy people and a healthy planet..."

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Evaluating Non-Market Values of Agroecological and Socio-Cultural Benefits of Diversified Cropping Systems

"...Three valuation scenarios were presented to a representative sample of consumers: the first one focused on agroecosystem services on cropland, the second on wider socio-cultural effects and the third was a combination of them..."

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Ethnobotanical knowledge of home garden plant species and its effect on home garden plant diversity in Thies region of Senegal

"...This study expresses home gardens as diversified agroecosystems for sustainable biodiversity conservation of useful plant species..."

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A superweed in the making: adaptations of Parthenium hysterophorus to a changing climate. A review

"...We establish that (1) parthenium weed plants morphologically and physiologically adapt to sustain or promote their growth, fecundity, competitive ability, and allelopathic effect under most climate change scenarios; (2) climate change elements can reduce the relative vigor of neighboring plants, especially C4 grasses, in competition with parthenium weed, providing this invasive species a competitive edge; (3) elevated [CO2] has the most pronounced positive effect on parthenium weed performance compared to other climate change elements; (4) the efficacy of a widely used herbicide, glyphosate, may be reduced on parthenium weed grown under elevated [CO2]; (5) mixed effects have been reported for biological control agents, with some losing ground, while others are maintaining or improving their efficacy; and (6) a greater risk of spread and range expansion under sustained climate change will pose greater challenges for management in natural and managed ecosystems..."

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Outcome-Based Assessment of the Payment for Mountain Agriculture: A Community-Based Approach to Countering Land Abandonment in

"...Agricultural land accounts for 37% of the world?s terrestrial area, and the multiple functions of agroecosystems?providing food, soil and water retention, and various cultural services?are of great importance for sustainable land management..."

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Theory of microbial coexistence in promoting soil?plant ecosystem health

"...A healthy soil plant continuum is critical for maintaining agroecosystem functions and ensuring food security, which is the basis of sustainable agricultural development..."

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Insect Pest Management Under Climate Change

"...Insect responses to climate change are vital for knowing the response of agroecosystems to climate change..."

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Contrasting beta diversity of spiders, carabids, and ants at local and regional scales in a black soil region, northeast China

"...We conclude that biodiversity in this agroecosystem area can be promoted by a mosaic of land uses being encouraged to increase landscape complexity at the regional scale..."

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Evaluation of Agricultural Ecosystem Service Value in Arid and Semiarid Regions of Northwest China Based on the Equivalent Fact

"...Evaluation of the balance and integrity of agricultural ecosystem ecological service functions in arid semi-arid regions will provide recommendations for land use and sustainable development and ecological environment protection in these regions..."

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An index of ecological value for European arable plant communities

"...Human-dependent arable plant assemblages are acknowledged to support biodiversity in agroecosystems and to provide numerous ecosystem services..."

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Switching to nanonutrients for sustaining agroecosystems and environment: the challenges and benefits in moving up from ionic t

"...Deteriorated nutritional quality of food and contribution to impaired ecosystem services are the major limiting factors in the further growth of the fertilizer sector..."

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