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Darwinian Agriculture

Darwinian Agriculture PDF Author: R. Ford Denison
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691173761
Category : Science
Languages : en
Pages : 272

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Book Description
As human populations grow and resources are depleted, agriculture will need to use land, water, and other resources more efficiently and without sacrificing long-term sustainability. Darwinian Agriculture presents an entirely new approach to these challenges, one that draws on the principles of evolution and natural selection. R. Ford Denison shows how both biotechnology and traditional plant breeding can use Darwinian insights to identify promising routes for crop genetic improvement and avoid costly dead ends. Denison explains why plant traits that have been genetically optimized by individual selection--such as photosynthesis and drought tolerance--are bad candidates for genetic improvement. Traits like plant height and leaf angle, which determine the collective performance of plant communities, offer more room for improvement. Agriculturalists can also benefit from more sophisticated comparisons among natural communities and from the study of wild species in the landscapes where they evolved. Darwinian Agriculture reveals why it is sometimes better to slow or even reverse evolutionary trends when they are inconsistent with our present goals, and how we can glean new ideas from natural selection's marvelous innovations in wild species.

Darwinian Agriculture

Darwinian Agriculture PDF Author: R. Ford Denison
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691173761
Category : Science
Languages : en
Pages : 272

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Book Description
As human populations grow and resources are depleted, agriculture will need to use land, water, and other resources more efficiently and without sacrificing long-term sustainability. Darwinian Agriculture presents an entirely new approach to these challenges, one that draws on the principles of evolution and natural selection. R. Ford Denison shows how both biotechnology and traditional plant breeding can use Darwinian insights to identify promising routes for crop genetic improvement and avoid costly dead ends. Denison explains why plant traits that have been genetically optimized by individual selection--such as photosynthesis and drought tolerance--are bad candidates for genetic improvement. Traits like plant height and leaf angle, which determine the collective performance of plant communities, offer more room for improvement. Agriculturalists can also benefit from more sophisticated comparisons among natural communities and from the study of wild species in the landscapes where they evolved. Darwinian Agriculture reveals why it is sometimes better to slow or even reverse evolutionary trends when they are inconsistent with our present goals, and how we can glean new ideas from natural selection's marvelous innovations in wild species.

The Convergent Evolution of Agriculture in Humans and Insects

The Convergent Evolution of Agriculture in Humans and Insects PDF Author: Ted R Schultz
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262367564
Category : Social Science
Languages : en
Pages : 338

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Book Description
Contributors explore common elements in the evolutionary histories of both human and insect agriculture resulting from convergent evolution. During the past 12,000 years, agriculture originated in humans as many as twenty-three times, and during the past 65 million years, agriculture also originated in nonhuman animals at least twenty times and in insects at least fifteen times. It is much more likely that these independent origins represent similar solutions to the challenge of growing food than that they are due purely to chance. This volume seeks to identify common elements in the evolutionary histories of both human and insect agriculture that are the results of convergent evolution. The goal is to create a new, synthetic field that characterizes, quantifies, and empirically documents the evolutionary and ecological mechanisms that drive both human and nonhuman agriculture. The contributors report on the results of quantitative analyses comparing human and nonhuman agriculture; discuss evolutionary conflicts of interest between and among farmers and cultivars and how they interfere with efficiencies of agricultural symbiosis; describe in detail agriculture in termites, ambrosia beetles, and ants; and consider patterns of evolutionary convergence in different aspects of agriculture, comparing fungal parasites of ant agriculture with fungal parasites of human agriculture, analyzing the effects of agriculture on human anatomy, and tracing the similarities and differences between the evolution of agriculture in humans and in a single, relatively well-studied insect group, fungus-farming ants.

Ecological Networks in an Agricultural World

Ecological Networks in an Agricultural World PDF Author:
Publisher: Academic Press
ISBN: 0124200079
Category : Nature
Languages : en
Pages : 524

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Book Description
The theme of this volume is to discuss the Ecological Networks in an Agricultural World. The volume covers important topics such Networking Agroecology, Construction and Validation of Food-webs using Logic-based Machine Learning and Text-mining and Eco-evolutionary dynamics in agricultural networks. Updates and informs the reader on the latest research findings Written by leading experts in the field Highlights areas for future investigation

The Root Systems in Sustainable Agricultural Intensification

The Root Systems in Sustainable Agricultural Intensification PDF Author: Zed Rengel
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1119525438
Category : Science
Languages : en
Pages : 464

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Book Description
Explore an in-depth and insightful collection of resources discussing various aspects of root structure and function in intensive agricultural systems The Root Systems in Sustainable Agricultural Intensification delivers a comprehensive treatment of state-of-the-art concepts in the theoretical and practical aspects of agricultural management to enhance root system architecture and function. The book emphasizes the agricultural measures that enhance root capacity to develop and function under a range of water and nutrient regimes to maximize food, feed, and fibre production, as well as minimize undesirable water and nutrient losses to the environment. This reference includes resources that discuss a variety of soil, plant, agronomy, farming system, breeding, molecular and modelling aspects to the subject. It also discusses strategies and mechanisms that underpin increased water- and nutrient-use efficiency and combines consideration of natural and agricultural systems to show the continuity of traits and mechanisms. Finally, the book explores issues related to the global economy as well as widespread social issues that arise from, or are underpinned by, agricultural intensification. Readers will also benefit from the inclusion of: A thorough introduction to sustainable intensification, including its meaning, the need for the technology, components, and the role of root systems Exploration of the dynamics of root systems in crop and pasture genotypes over the last 100 years Discussion of the interplay between root structure and function with soil microbiome in enhancing efficiency of nitrogen and phosphorus acquisition Evaluation of water uptake in drying soil, including balancing supply and demand Perfect for agronomists, horticulturalists, plant and soil scientists, breeders, and soil microbiologists, The Root Systems in Sustainable Agricultural Intensification will also earn a place in the libraries of advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students in this field who seek a one-stop reference in the area of root structure and function.

Sustainable Agriculture Reviews 28

Sustainable Agriculture Reviews 28 PDF Author: Sabrina Gaba
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319903098
Category : Technology & Engineering
Languages : en
Pages : 362

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Book Description
This book presents ecological principles and applications of managing biodiversity in agriculture to decrease pesticide use and produce safe food. Major topics include ecosystem services biological pest control, conservation agriculture, drought stress, and soil biodiversity, carbon and fertilisation.

Agricultural Resilience

Agricultural Resilience PDF Author: Sarah M. Gardner
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107067626
Category : Business & Economics
Languages : en
Pages : 428

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Book Description
Offers an interdisciplinary exploration of resilience in agriculture, and implications for producers seeking to adapt to change and uncertainty.

Principles of Agronomy for Sustainable Agriculture

Principles of Agronomy for Sustainable Agriculture PDF Author: Francisco J. Villalobos
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319461168
Category : Technology & Engineering
Languages : en
Pages : 555

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Book Description
This textbook explains the various aspects of sustainable agricultures to undergraduate and graduate students. The book first quantifies the components of the crop energy balance, i.e. the partitioning of net radiation, and their effect on the thermal environment of the canopy. The soil water balance and the quantification of its main component (evapotranspiration) are studied to determine the availability of water to rain fed crops and to calculate crop water requirements. Then it sets the limitations of crop production in relation to crop phenology, radiation interception and resource availability (e.g. nutrients). With that in mind the different agricultural techniques (sowing, tillage, irrigation, fertilization, harvest, application of pesticides, etc.) are analyzed with special emphasis in quantifying the inputs (sowing rates, fertilizer amounts, irrigation schedules, tillage plans) required for a given target yield under specific environmental conditions (soil & climate). For all techniques strategies are provided for improving the ratio productivity/resource use while ensuring sustainability. The book comes with online practical focusing on the key aspects of management in a crop rotation (collecting weather data, calculating productivity, sowing rates, irrigation programs, fertilizers rates etc).

Agricultural Ethics - An Invitation

Agricultural Ethics - An Invitation PDF Author: Robert L. Zimdahl
Publisher: Springer Nature
ISBN: 3030489353
Category : Technology & Engineering
Languages : en
Pages : 173

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Book Description
I write because I am concerned that I and my agricultural colleagues have avoided addressing the moral dimension of the environmental and social problems we have contributed to. I hope for an exchange of ideas about agriculture's moral dilemmas. I encourage my readers to engage in a collective conversation about the dilemmas and avoid remaining in what Merton calls "the collective arrogance and despair of his own herd." If those engaged in agriculture continue to ignore and fail to realize our common difficulties they will be addressed and resolved by societal pressure and political action, which may not yield the resolution we favor. The book's goal is not to resolve the moral dilemmas raised. It is to raise them and encourage thought and discussion. It will ask but not answer why nearly all involved in agriculture have not addressed the moral concerns voiced by the general public. The agricultural enterprise is committed to the benefits and future success of the present, very productive, chemical, capital, and energy intensive system, which is, in the minds of many, not sustainable. The internal justification invokes the moral claim that they feed the world's population. The question remains whether or not the prevailing moral justification of feeding the world is adequate given all the issues modern, developed country agriculture faces: pesticides in soil, water, and food, cruelty to animals, Biotech/GMO's, corporate agriculture, pollution by animal factory waste, exploitation of and cruelty to migrant labor.

Food Security, Agricultural Policies and Economic Growth

Food Security, Agricultural Policies and Economic Growth PDF Author: Niek Koning
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 131762257X
Category : Business & Economics
Languages : en
Pages : 274

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Book Description
Using a political-economic approach supplemented with insights from human ecology, this volume analyzes the long-term dynamics of food security and economic growth. The book begins by discussing the nature of preindustrial food crises and the changes that have occurred since the 19th century with the ascent of technical science and the fossil fuel revolution. It explains how these changes improved living standards but that the realization of this improvement was usually dependent on government support for smallholder modernization. The author sets out how the evolution of food security in different regions has been influenced by farm policy choices and how these choices were shaped by local societal characteristics, international relations and changing configurations in metropolitan countries. Separate chapters are devoted to the interaction of this evolution with debates on food security and economic growth and with international economic policies. The final chapters highlight the new challenges for global food security that will arise as traditional sources of biomass production and the more easily extractable reserves of fossil biomass become depleted or can no longer be used. Overall, the book emphasizes the inadequacy of current explanations with regard to these challenges. It explores what is needed to ensure a sustainable future and calls for a rethinking of these issues; a necessary reflection in today's unstable global political situation.

The Emergence of Agriculture

The Emergence of Agriculture PDF Author: Peter White
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1000115518
Category : Social Science
Languages : en
Pages : 288

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Book Description
This volume, the first in the One World Archaeology series, is a compendium of key papers by leaders in the field of the emergence of agriculture in different parts of the world. Each is supplemented by a review of developments in the field since its publication. Contributions cover the better known regions of early and independent agricultural development, such as Southwest Asia and the Americas, as well as lesser known locales, such as Africa and New Guinea. Other contributions examine the dispersal of agricultural practices into a region, such as India and Japan, and how introduced crops became incorporated into pre-existing forms of food production. This reader is intended for students of the archaeology of agriculture, and will also prove a valuable and handy resource for scholars and researchers in the area.