Biodiversity is key to sustainability
Sustainability of the agricultural sector has everything to do with biodiversity. Biodiversity plays a key role in all farming processes, at all levels - soils, crops, livestock, and the farming environment. Improving on-farm biodiversity leads to better nutrient use efficiency, increased disease resistance, more reliable production, resilient production systems, and varied landscapes. Not surprisingly biodiversity has become a focus of agricultural policy development.
A systems approach to agrobiodiversity
Our researchers are used to dealing with complex ecological systems. Our systems approach enables us to translate complex agrobiodiversity effects into practical strategies for pest and disease prevention. Through developing more resilient production systems we help to reduce financial risks.
Our biodiversity research addresses various questions, such as: What are the effects of soil microbes and soil fauna on ecosystem services such as crop nutrient supply and clean groundwater? Or, what is the contribution of mixed cropping systems - such as maize/grass and mixed species grassland - to nutrient use efficiency, fodder quality and animal welfare? We also work on various projects related to livestock biodiversity.
Providing system-level solutions
To us, promoting agrobiodiversity is not a matter of providing theoretical models. We work on practical strategies to improve functional biodiversity at the landscape, field and farm levels. We provide innovative solutions that improve farming systems as a whole, rather than in part.