The ecological role of biodiversity in agroecosystems

Abstract : Increasingly research suggests that the level of internal regulation of function in agroecosystems is largely dependent on the level of plant and animal biodiversity present. In agroecosystems, biodiversity performs a variety of ecological services beyond the production of food, including recycling of nutrients, regulation of microclimate and local hydrological processes, suppression of undesirable organisms and detoxification of noxious chemicals. In this paper the role of biodiversity in securing crop protection and soil fertility is explored in detail. It is argued that because biodiversity mediated renewal processes and ecological services are largely biological, their persistence depends upon the maintenance of biological integrity and diversity in agroecosystems. Various options of agroecosystem management and design that enhance functional biodiversity in crop fields are described.
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Miguel A. Altieri. The ecological role of biodiversity in agroecosystems. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, Elsevier Masson, 1999, 74 (1-3), pp.19-31. ⟨10.1016/S0167-8809(99)00028-6⟩. ⟨cirad-00772224⟩

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