Knowledge for better food systems

The biology of agroecosystems

This book, by Nicola Randall and Barbara Smith, provides a summary of agricultural ecosystems around the world and uses case studies to illustrate the biological issues and solutions associated with several types of farming system.

Publisher’s summary

Since the advent of agriculture approximately 12,000 years ago, human activity has created a unique set of ecosystems. However, the recent development of world markets, rapid technological advances, and other changes to farming practices have led to hugely increased pressures on farm habitats and organisms. Global human populations are rising and diets are becoming ever more complicated, leading to unrelenting requirements for increased levels of food production. Natural biotopes are becoming increasingly fragmented as agricultural activities expand around them.

The Biology of Agroecosystems is for both senior undergraduate and graduate students taking courses in agroecology, farmland ecology, conservation, and agriculture as well as the many professional ecologists, conservation biologists, and land managers requiring a concise overview of agroecology.

 

Reference

Randall, N. and Smith, B. (2019). The Biology of Agroecosystems, Biology of Habitats Series. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Read more here. See also the Foodsource resource How do food systems affect land-use and biodiversity?

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While some of the food system challenges facing humanity are local, in an interconnected world, adopting a global perspective is essential. Many environmental issues, such as climate change, need supranational commitments and action to be addressed effectively. Due to ever increasing global trade flows, prices of commodities are connected through space; a drought in Romania may thus increase the price of wheat in Zimbabwe.

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