29 June 2018
Future regulation for organic farming

Producer meeting in Cirencester

3 July 2018
National Organic Combinable Crops 2018

Booking now open!



18 June 2018
Martin Wolfe receives lifetime achievement award

For services to plant breeding, diversity, the environment and sustainable food production.

11 June 2018
Impacts of conversion to 100% organic management

New research reveals the production impact of a large-scale conversion to organic management in England and Wales



18 June 2018
Government support needed for agroforestry

Parliamentary wake up call for putting trees at the heart of agriculture

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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