By Stephen R. Gliessman
With all the environmental and social difficulties confronting our meals structures at the present time, it's obvious that not one of the ideas we have now depended on within the past?higher-yielding types, elevated irrigation, inorganic fertilizers, pest harm reduction?can remember directly to come to the rescue. in truth, those suggestions at the moment are a part of the matter. it truly is turning into fairly transparent that the one option to retain the foodstuff hindrance from escalating is to advertise the conversion strategies that may stream agriculture to sustainability. below the editorial tips of agroecology specialists Martha Rosemeyer and the the world over well known Dr. Stephen R. Gliessman, The Conversion to Sustainable Agriculture: ideas, approaches, and Practices establishes a framework for a way this conversion may be entire and provides case experiences from all over the world that illustrate how the method is already underway. The publication offers a four-stage transition method for attaining sustainability and an in-depth research of the worldwide efforts to make farms extra energy-efficient and environmentally pleasant. a global group of bankruptcy members explores how one can decrease dependency on fossil fuels and insecticides, and examines every one step within the conversion strategy. in addition they describe the method of tracking switch towards sustainable agriculture whereas integrating social and fiscal research inside clinical practices. Serving as either a middle textbook for college kids and a entire reference for agricultural practitioners, this quantity is a precious source for the switch that's wanted in our foodstuff approach now and sooner or later.
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Additional info for The Conversion to Sustainable Agriculture: Principles, Processes, and Practices (Advances in Agroecology)
2006); conversely, problems with disease during the conversion process may be the result of ecological interactions having not been fully reestablished. Crop rotations (a form of plant community change over time) have long been known to suppress disease (Curl, 1963), and organic farming usually involves more complex and lengthy rotations than conventional, particularly when a soil-building phase is included. Benítez et al. (2007) determined that a transition management strategy involving the planting of mixed hay increased levels of bacterial populations associated with disease-suppressive bacteria more than tilled fallowing or open-field vegetable treatments.
Additionally, since there appears to be a redundancy of function in the biological world, the diversity of functional groups (and perhaps diversity within certain trophic groups of nematodes), as opposed to species diversity, appears to be a key indicator of agroecosystem function. The most useful parameters for ecological assessment of the conversion process may be the following: the amount of potentially mineralizable N and the ratio of ammonium to nitrate (as activity measures); the amount of microbial biomass, the extent of mycorrhizal fungus colonization, and counts of macrofauna (as abundance measures); and the taxonomic or trophic diversity of soil organisms (as a proxy for functional diversity).
In laboratory experiments, net N mineralization increased with a higher diversity of nematode life strategy groups. Likewise, the effect of earthworm species on nitrogen mineralization was dependent on their ecological traits (PostmaBlaauw, 2008). In studies postconversion, soil biodiversity has been shown to increase over time in organically managed soil. In the Rodale FST, the long-term history of management (organic versus conventional) had more effect on microbial community composition than did residues applied, as determined by the methods of both fatty acid methyl ester analysis (FAME) and substrate utilization.