7 June 2017
Intercropping field day

Does intercropping provide an untapped opportunity for enhancing arable farming systems?

22 June 2017
Agroforestry 2017

Improving productivity for farmers and foresters



23 May 2017
In-conversion land area on the rise

Defra organic farming stats for 2016 released

15 May 2017
TP Organics: 2017 Call for Organic Innovations

Check out this year's themes & apply!



1 February 2017
The future of UK organic support

Defra minister announces continued support post-Brexit

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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