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      Utilizing and conserving agrobiodiversity in agricultural landscapes

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      Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment
      Elsevier BV

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          Diversity and productivity in a long-term grassland experiment.

          Plant diversity and niche complementarity had progressively stronger effects on ecosystem functioning during a 7-year experiment, with 16-species plots attaining 2.7 times greater biomass than monocultures. Diversity effects were neither transients nor explained solely by a few productive or unviable species. Rather, many higher-diversity plots outperformed the best monoculture. These results help resolve debate over biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, show effects at higher than expected diversity levels, and demonstrate, for these ecosystems, that even the best-chosen monocultures cannot achieve greater productivity or carbon stores than higher-diversity sites.
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            Farming and the fate of wild nature.

            World food demand is expected to more than double by 2050. Decisions about how to meet this challenge will have profound effects on wild species and habitats. We show that farming is already the greatest extinction threat to birds (the best known taxon), and its adverse impacts look set to increase, especially in developing countries. Two competing solutions have been proposed: wildlife-friendly farming (which boosts densities of wild populations on farmland but may decrease agricultural yields) and land sparing (which minimizes demand for farmland by increasing yield). We present a model that identifies how to resolve the trade-off between these approaches. This shows that the best type of farming for species persistence depends on the demand for agricultural products and on how the population densities of different species on farmland change with agricultural yield. Empirical data on such density-yield functions are sparse, but evidence from a range of taxa in developing countries suggests that high-yield farming may allow more species to persist.
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              Soil fertility and biodiversity in organic farming.

              An understanding of agroecosystems is key to determining effective farming systems. Here we report results from a 21-year study of agronomic and ecological performance of biodynamic, bioorganic, and conventional farming systems in Central Europe. We found crop yields to be 20% lower in the organic systems, although input of fertilizer and energy was reduced by 34 to 53% and pesticide input by 97%. Enhanced soil fertility and higher biodiversity found in organic plots may render these systems less dependent on external inputs.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment
                Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment
                Elsevier BV
                01678809
                July 2007
                July 2007
                : 121
                : 3
                : 196-210
                Article
                10.1016/j.agee.2006.12.017
                5f388412-4e78-4c27-a83f-6b3dbc41ddfc
                © 2007

                http://www.elsevier.com/tdm/userlicense/1.0/

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