Landscape scale coordination to promote functional biodiversity for pest regulation in Belgium

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The SOLABIO project brought together 27 stakeholders from Flemish and Dutch provinces to prevent loss of biodiveristy and the degradation of valuable landscapes, through a wide range of activities. These included: targeting crop and non-crop habitats, including the establishment of field margins; planting of annual flower strips to attract natural enemies and pollinators, and grassy […]

Agrobiodiversity of maize landraces in cultural landscapes

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Landraces of major food plants, such as maize, provide agroecological and consumption resources within cultural landscapes that can support social-ecological resilience, in situ conservation, and ecosystem services. Locally This study addressed the major agroecological functions and food-related services of agrobiodiversity in Andean maize landraces, and their relationship to cultural landscapes and associated knowledge systems. Results […]

Mycorrhizal enhancement in Peruvian potato production

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The influence of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) [two Peruvian mixed isolates, a pure isolate of Glomus intraradices] and the flavonoid, formononetin, were tested on growth, yield, and leaf elemental concentration of the Peruvian potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) ‘Yungay’. Non-AMF plants at low P had the poorest growth, while high P plants had the greatest overall […]

Intercropping benefits depend upon proximity

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There are numerous examples of crops that, when planted closely in intercropped systems, make better use of soil ntrients. In China, Wheat intercropped with maize showed a 74% increase in yields; Wheat intercropped with soybean showed a 53% increase (Zhang and Li 2003).  This is partially attributable to ‘competitive recovery’, the amelioration of abiotic stresses both […]

Diversity in grasslands promotes temporal stability

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Seven years of data across 82 large plots in a grassland biodiversity experiment was conducted to test the degree to whihc species richness translates into temporal stability measured across different trophic levels, from population to ecosystem. Various ecological functions at different organizational levels were stabilized with increasing plant species richness; many of these functions are […]

Diversity and productivity in hay fields

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Species rich fields of 11 grasses and 28 forb species, and species poor hay meadows with only 7 species of grass were compared after 8 years. The Higher diversity meadows yielded 43% more hay than less diverse fields, and the effect of diversity was significant event after controlling for other factors like fertilization effect of […]

Bottom up and top down effects impact herbivore abundance

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In a replicated oilseed rape field, trophic cascades governing herbivore abundance are correlated with both top down and bottom up affects. This study investigates whether a basic invertebrate classification, formed of broad trophic groups, can be used to describe interactions between invertebrates and their resource plants and evaluate management impacts for genetically modified, herbicide-tolerant (GMHT) […]

Shifting cultivation and agrobiodiversity in Vanuatu

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In Vanuatu, farmers prefer to work numerous small fields in different locations and as a mechanism to cope with hurricane and pest damage. Shifting cultivation, a widespread cultivation system in the tropics, is also practiced and helps to maintain a high diversity of primary and subsidiary crops. 297 fields in 6 villages were measured and […]

Sustainable rice-wheat production

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In the 1990’s, the Rice-Wheat Consortium was launched to address a plateau in crop productivity, loss of soil organic matter and receding groundwater tables. Rice-wheat farming systems were developed, planting wheat after rice using a tractor-drawn seed drill to seed directly into unploughed fields with a single pass. Zero tillage wheat permits earlier planting, helps […]

Reducing Soil Erosion through Agroecology: Plan Sierra

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In the central cordillera of the Dominican Republic, Plan Sierra was implemented in order to improve yields and reduce erosion to ensure the self-sufficiency of small scale farmers and sustainability and development of production systems. The system consisted of several farming methods, including soil and water conservation practicing like terracing, alley cropping, and mulching, use […]