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Networking agroecology: integrating the diversity of agroecosystem interactions

Bohan, David A.; Raybould, Alan; Mulder, Christian; Woodward, Guy; Tamaddoni-Nezhad, Alireza; Bluthgen, Nico; Pocock, Michael J.O.; Muggleton, Stephen; Evans, Darren M.; Astegiano, Julia; Massol, François; Loeuille, Nicolas; Petit, Sandrine; Macfadyen, Sarina. 2013 Networking agroecology: integrating the diversity of agroecosystem interactions. Advances in Ecological Research, 49. 1-67. 10.1016/b978-0-12-420002-9.00001-9

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Abstract/Summary

Worldwide demand for food will increase dramatically in the future as global human population grows. Increasing efficiency of crop production is unlikely to be sufficient to meet the demand, presenting a long-term threat to humanity’s ‘well-being’. Knowledge of the system-level behaviour of agroecosystems, however, remains surprisingly limited, reflecting the agricultural focus on particular species. This is starting to change towards an ecosystem and network-based approach, following the recent revolution in thinking about resource use and sustainability in our other global food production industry: commercial fisheries. Agroecosystems appear to retain plasticity of ecological processes that might be manipulated for productivity and sustainability. Network structure and dynamics have substantial impacts on ecosystem performance, but evidence from agroecosystems lags behind network theory. Here, we provide an introduction to network theory and application in agroecosystems, identify network metrics for management and environmental change, and, finally, we highlight gaps in our current knowledge and key research themes. These themes include: is the structure of agroecological networks affected by sampling; how do ecosystem services ‘emerge’ empirically from ecological organization, function and network properties; how do spatial and temporal scale and resolution influence system performance; and, can network agroecology be used to design systems that maximize ecosystem services?

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/b978-0-12-420002-9.00001-9
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity > BD Topic 2 - Ecological Processes in the Environment > BD - 2.1 - Interactions ... structure ecosystems and their functioning
CEH Sections: Pywell
ISBN: 9780124200029
ISSN: 0065-2504
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 10 Mar 2014 15:27 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/504617

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