Network science: applications for sustainable agroecosystems and food security

Windsor, Fredric M.; Armenteras, Dolors; Assis, Ana Paula A.; Astegiano, Julia; Santana, Pamela C.; Cagnolo, Luciano; Carvalheiro, Luísa G.; Emary, Clive; Fort, Hugo; Gonzalez, Xavier I.; Kitson, James J.N.; Lacerda, Ana C.F.; Lois, Marcelo; Márquez-Velásquez, Viviana; Miller, Kirsten E.; Monasterolo, Marcos; Omacini, Marina; Maia, Kate P.; Palacios, Tania Paula; Pocock, Michael; Poggio, Santiago L.; Varassin, Isabela G.; Vázquez, Diego P.; Tavella, Julia; Rother, Débora C.; Devoto, Mariano; Guimarães, Paulo R.; Evans, Darren M.. 2022 Network science: applications for sustainable agroecosystems and food security. Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation, 20 (2). 79-90.

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The global challenge of feeding two billion more people by 2050, using more sustainable agricultural practices whilst dealing with uncertainties associated with environmental change, requires a transformation of food systems. We present a new perspective for how advances in network science can provide novel ways to better understand, harness, and restore multiple ecological processes in agricultural environments. We describe: (i) a network-focused framework for managing agro-ecosystems that accounts for the multiple interactions between biodiversity and associated ecosystem services; (ii) guidance for incorporating socio-economic factors into ecological networks; and (iii) the potential to upscale network methods to inform efforts to build resilience, including global food-supply chains. In doing so we aim to facilitate the application of network science as a systems-based way to tackle the challenges of securing an equitable distribution of food.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Biodiversity (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 2530-0644
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: agriculture, biodiversity, ecological networks, social networks, crops, food production, resilience
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
Date made live: 05 Jul 2022 17:00 +0 (UTC)

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