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Østergård, H., M.R. Finckh, L. Fontaine, I. Goldringer, S.P. Hoad, K. Kristensen, E.T. Lammerts van Bueren, F. Mascher, L. Munk and M.S. Wolfe. 2009. Time for a shift in crop production: embracing complexity through diversity at all levels. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. , p. 1439-1445.

Number of pages: 7

Type of document: Journal Article

More information on authors/freelancers connected to LBI :
Prof. dr. Edith T. Lammerts van Bueren Ph.D.


Language of document: English

Title in English: Time for a shift in crop production: embracing complexity through diversity at all levels.

Abstract / summary in English:

A radical shift in our approach to crop production is needed to ensure food security and to address the problems of soil degradation, loss of biodiversity, polluted and restricted water supplies, coupled with a future of fossil fuel limitations and increasingly variable climatic conditions. An interdisciplinary network of European scientists put forward visions for future crop production embracing the complexity of our socio-ecological system by applying the principle of diversity at all levels from soil microorganisms to plant varieties and cropping systems. Integrated with careful deployment of our finite global resources and implementation of appropriate sustainable technology, this appears to be the only way to ensure the scale of system resilience needed to cope with many of our concerns. We discuss some of the most important tools such as i) building soil fertility by re-cycling of nutrients and sustainable use of other natural and physical resources, ii) enhancing biological diversity by breeding of crops resilient to climate change and iii) reconnecting all stakeholders in crop production. Finally, we emphasise some of the changes in agricultural and environmental regulation and policy needed in order to implement the visions.


Keywords in English: biodiversity