Biodiversity In Agricultural Production Systems

Front Cover
Gero Benckiser, Sylvia Schnell
CRC Press, Jul 19, 2006 - Technology & Engineering - 429 pages
While modern science has always recognized the central role that biodiversity plays in the ecological processes that maintain the Earth's equilibrium, our increasing knowledge of nature has deepened our appreciation of this principle. Consequently, those involved with implementing and maintaining sustainable agriculture systems have begun to take a far more sophisticated approach to understanding and making use of the components and mechanics of biodiversity.

Providing a comprehensive and highly practical exploration of the subject, Biodiversity in Agricultural Production Systems examines abiotic ecosystem diversity and biological complexity at every relevant level. Leading researchers detail subspecies diversity, covering ecotypes, lifecycles, genes, physiology, and behavior. They also discuss species richness and supraspecies diversity, which includes foodweb interactions and non-trophic relationships, as well as above- and belowground relationships.

Exploring various facets of agricultural crops and cultivation practices, this inter-disciplinary volume-
  • Gives an overview of the pore space dynamic in agroecosystems where most soil microorganisms reside, including bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, and Tardigrada
  • Examines the highly diverse and prominent role played by earthworms
  • Looks at the metabolic processes occurring in soils that result in the release of greenhouse gases
  • Outlines principles and strategies of order between interacting molecules, cells, species and communities
  • Looks at mechanisms of competition, exploring growth regulation, transformation, and feeding strategies, as well as toxin production, mutation, and biofilm formation
  • Discusses matter recycling and the diversity of microbial metabolism in soils
  • Shows how long-term observation plots are used to assess soil quality

    Biodiversity in Agricultural Production Systems provides important information for those involved with researching and implementing sustainable agricultural systems, as well as those addressing specific challenges related to soil degradation, water management, and climatic impacts. It also provides recent research and fresh perspectives to enhance the approaches of those working in horticulture, biology, and the environmental sciences.

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    In comparison with plant species distributed in the wild flora the diversity of agricultural crops

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