3 January 2019
Oxford Real Farming Conference

to 4th January 2019

9 January 2019
Growing trees in grazing systems

Promise and practice of silvopasture



6 December 2018
Improving organic crop production

Major new book includes chapter by Susanne Padel

27 November 2018
LIVESEED farmer survey

Farmers experiences and opinions on organic seed needed



22 November 2018
Big opportunity for UK Organic

Development of new UK agricutural policy will be critical

Scientific evidence supports the use of crop diversity

Category: News
24 March 2011

Scientific evidence supports the use of crop diversity to deliver key objectives in agro-ecosystems

A review paper published this month (Mar 2011) in the American Journal of Botany has revealed that scientific evidence published over the past two decades provides “overwhelming support … that … species richness increases the efficiency by which plants … assimilate … resources and convert these into standing biomass”. The ecological benefits of species diversity are particularly pertinent for agro-ecosystems where growing diverse polycultures can increase productivity and enable farmers to reduce their reliance on inorganic agro-chemicals. A diverse polyculture can capture nutrients more efficiently and produce higher biomass yields than monocultures, and by providing a habitat that encourages natural enemies of pests can suffer less from insect pest attacks.

The Organic Research Centre’s Legume LINK project is examining the role that plant species diversity can play in pasture leys, and work in the Wheat Breeding LINK and SOLIBAM projects is researching the effect of crop genetic diversity on agro-ecosystems.

Links to more information -
http://www.amjbot.org/cgi/content/abstract/ajb.1000364v1

Keywords: biodiversity, arable, crops, ecosystem services

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