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News and Opinion

Coverage of agroecosystems since October 27, 2020.

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..."


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..."


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..."


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..."


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..."


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..."


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..."


Recommended Reading

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Jobs in agroecosystems

Recent employment opportunities from across Canada.

Research Officer, Agroecosystems Bioinformatics

"...Agroecosystems Bioinformatics to support our Aquatic Crop and Resource Development Research Center..."

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Ecological Research Assistant

"...pollinator health and ecological field techniques to monitor bee diversity and pollination in agroecosystems in Alberta..."

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Recent episodes that mention agroecosystems.

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Soybean School: How climate could impact Canadian production in 2030 and beyond

Duration: 9:39

"...How might a changing climate affect soybean production across Canada? On this episode of RealAgricultures Soybean School, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scientist Ward Smith shares how he and his colleagues have been studying agroecosystem models to predict the impact changing climates have on soybean production..."


Academic Research

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

Biochar application in agroecosystems: a review of potential benefits and limitations

"...Biochar (BC), a carbon-rich material produced by pyrolysis, has recently demonstrated promising results for the sustainable management of agroecosystems..."


Defining cost-effective ways to improve ecosystem services provision in agroecosystems

"...Mitigating climate change through the adoption of environmental-friendly agricultural practices also affects biodiversity and the provision of other non-marketed ecosystem services (hereafter, ES)..."


Co-benefits of climate change mitigation from innovative agricultural water management: a case study of corn agroecosystem in e

"...Beneficial water management practices (BWMPs) have been identified to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in eastern Canada by retrofitting conventional tile drainage with controlled drainage and sub-irrigation..."


Assessing the energy trap of industrial agriculture in North America and Europe: 82 balances from 1830 to 2012

"...However, most of these agricultural energy studies have focused only on external inputs at the crop level, concealing the important role of internal biomass flows that livestock and forestry recirculate within agroecosystems..."


The multi-year effect of different agroecological practices on soil nematodes and soil respiration

"...However, we still lack understanding of how soil biodiversity responds to agroecology practices and to what extent such practices, alone or combined, can be beneficial for soil functioning and ecosystem services..."


Explorations into the Physiology and Ecology of Grassland Plants and Ecosystems: One Agronomist?s Academic Journey

"...The topics span across multiple spatial and temporal scales, from the cellular basis of leaf growth in grasses, to functional components of CO2 exchange at leaf to ecosystem scale, the role of carbohydrate (fructan) stores in recycling of sucrose and supporting respiration and vegetative and reproductive growth in benign and stressful conditions, the multi-seasonal 18O-ecohydrology of a pasture, last-century climate change effects on intrinsic water-use efficiency and canopy-integrated stomatal conductance of a range of grassland communities with contrasting nutrient status and plant functional group composition, regional scale changes of the C4/C3 abundance ratio in Inner Mongolia grassland, to ecological fingerprints of cattle based agroecosystems derived from the stable isotope composition of animal tissues, such as hair and milk..."


Functional redundant soil fauna and microbial groups and processes were fairly resistant to drought in an agroecosystem

"...We found that over a 1-year time period, decomposition was rather driven by plant residue availability than water limitation of microorganisms in the investigated agroecosystem..."


Diversity, structure, and application of self organizing map on plant species in homegardens

"...Lower-income households and worked in agriculture sectors that rely on homegrown food and medicinal plants are increasing the diversity of plant species in homegardens, highlighting the importance of these agroecosystems as a food security approach..."


Conservation Agriculture Impacts on Economic Profitability and Environmental Performance of Agroecosystems

"...At the same time, it is profoundly impacted by climate change and concurrently holds potential as a solution through the sequestration of soil organic carbon (SOC) facilitated by Conservation Agriculture (CA)..."


Plant Nanonutrients for Sustainable Agriculture

"...As the world?s population is increasing day by day, there is clear demand to increase crop productivity immensely for global food security..."