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Now showing 1 - 5 of 17
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    Fallow priority areas for spatial trade-offs between cost and efficiency in China
    (Springer Nature, 2023-05-26) Zeng, Siyan; Chen, Fu; Liu, Gang-Jun; Raveloaritiana, Estelle; Wanger, Thomas Cherico
    Fallow pilot policies exist in China but fallow priority areas have yet to be identified based on eco-environmental stressors and spatial cost-benefit analyses. Here we use a multi-criteria optimization algorithm to determine fallow priority areas based on soil pollution, groundwater overexploitation, land quality, and ecological protection redlines delineation data and with high-cost effectiveness. By considering five spatial scenarios on three objective functions, we find most notably that fallowing the top 20% of priority areas, the benefit of pollution control and environmental protection can be achieved by up to 98.7% and 64.7%, respectively. Our results show that effective fallow prioritization on cultivated land may reduce implementation costs by up to 509.3 billion USD, corresponding to 13.6% of China’s budget in 2021. Thus, effective fallow prioritization will promote sustainable land use by pursuing goals between benefits and cost synergistically and allow budget allocation to other sustainable agricultural targets based on agricultural diversification.
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    Tailored pathways toward revived farmland biodiversity can inspire agroecological action and policy to transform agriculture
    (Springer Nature, 2022-09-16) Sietz, Diana; Klimek, Sebastian; Dauber, Jens
    Advances in agrochemistry in the 19th century, along with increased specialisation and intensification of food production, transformed agriculture triggering a farmland biodiversity crisis. Present economic incentives reinforce this crisis to an unprecedented scale. As the loss of farmland biodiversity undermines the basis of agroecosystems’ productivity and, hence, the sustainability of food systems, another transformation is urgently needed. Here, we advocate a concept of future pathways tailored to the characteristics of agricultural land systems and relate these to targeted farming approaches using agroecological principles. The concept depicts a transformative vision to effectively re-establish farmland biodiversity, a cornerstone of sustainable agriculture. It has the potential to support a systematic refinement of existing biodiversity and agricultural policies to enhance their impact and benefit for people and nature.
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    An increase in food production in Europe could dramatically affect farmland biodiversity
    (Springer Nature, 2021-09-02) Jeanneret, Philippe; Lüscher, Gisela; Schneider, Manuel K.; Pointereau, Philippe; Arndorfer, Michaela; Bailey, Debra; Balázs, Katalin; Báldi, András; Choisis, Jean-Philippe; Dennis, Peter; Diaz, Mario; Eiter, Sebastian; Elek, Zoltán; Fjellstad, Wendy; Frank, Thomas; Friedel, Jürgen K.; Geijzendorffer, Ilse R.; Gillingham, Pippa; Gomiero, Tiziano; Jerkovich, Gergely; Jongman, Rob H. G.; Kainz, Max; Kovács-Hostyánszki, Anikó; Moreno, Gerardo; Nascimbene, Juri; Oschatz, Marie-Louise; Paoletti, Maurizio G.; Sarthou, Jean-Pierre; Siebrecht, Norman; Sommaggio, Daniele; Wolfrum, Sebastian; Herzog, Felix
    Conversion of semi-natural habitats, such as field margins, fallows, hedgerows, grassland, woodlots and forests, to agricultural land could increase agricultural production and help meet rising global food demand. Yet, the extent to which such habitat loss would impact biodiversity and wild species is unknown. Here we survey species richness for four taxa (vascular plants, earthworms, spiders, wild bees) and agricultural yield across a range of arable, grassland, mixed, horticulture, permanent crop, for organic and non-organic agricultural land on 169 farms across 10 European regions. We find that semi-natural habitats currently constitute 23% of land area with 49% of species unique to these habitats. We estimate that conversion of semi-natural land that achieves a 10% increase in agricultural production will have the greatest impact on biodiversity in arable systems and the least impact in grassland systems, with organic practices having better species retention than non-organic practices. Our findings will help inform sustainable agricultural development.
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    Strategic deployment of riparian buffers and windbreaks in Europe can co-deliver biomass and environmental benefits
    (Springer Nature, 2021-08-27) Englund, Oskar; Börjesson, Pål; Mola-Yudego, Blas; Göran, Berndes; Dimitriou, Ioannis; Cederberg, Christel; Scarlat, Nicolae
    Within the scope of the new Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union, in coherence with other EU policies, new incentives are developed for farmers to deploy practices that are beneficial for climate, water, soil, air, and biodiversity. Such practices include establishment of multifunctional biomass production systems, designed to reduce environmental impacts while providing biomass for food, feed, bioenergy, and other biobased products. Here, we model three scenarios of large-scale deployment for two such systems, riparian buffers and windbreaks, across over 81,000 landscapes in Europe, and quantify the corresponding areas, biomass output, and environmental benefits. The results show that these systems can effectively reduce nitrogen emissions to water and soil loss by wind erosion, while simultaneously providing substantial environmental co-benefits, having limited negative effects on current agricultural production. This kind of beneficial land-use change using strategic perennialization is important for meeting environmental objectives while advancing towards a sustainable bioeconomy.
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    Conservation agriculture increases the soil resilience and cotton yield stability in climate extremes of the southeast US
    (Springer Nature, 2021-08-06) Nouri, Amin; Yoder, Daniel C.; Raji, Mohammad; Ceylan, Safak; Jagadamma, Sindhu; Lee, Jaehoon; Walker, Forbes R.; Yin, Xinhua; Fitzpatrick, Judith; Trexler, Brady; Arelli, Prakash; Saxton, Arnold M.
    Climate extremes pose a global threat to crop security. Conservation agriculture is expected to offer substantial climate adaptation benefits. However, synergistic effects of conservation practices on yield during normal versus extreme climates and underlying regulatory mechanisms remain elusive. Here, we analyze 29-years of climate data, cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) yield, and soil data under 32 management practices in Tennessee, USA. We find that long-term no-tillage enhanced agroecosystem resilience and yield stability under climate extremes and maximized yield under favorable climate. We demonstrate that no-tillage benefits are tied with enhanced soil structural stability and organic carbon. No-tillage enhanced the effectiveness of legume cover crop in stabilizing cotton yield during relatively dry or wet, and dry years, while nitrogen fertilizer rate and precipitation timing, controlled yield stability in wetter years. Our findings provide evidence-based insights into how management strategies can enhance agroecosystem resilience and production stability in climate extremes.