Organic Farming Manual

Miracle Farm Blueprint

This guide teaches you how to make the best worm farm that money can buy; and you don't have to spend much money to get a really good quality worm farm! While worms may not seem very impressive, you'd be amazed at what these worms can do. If you want to grow your own food, the best soil that you will ever get is soil that worms have thoroughly turned over. No matter what the soil in your area looks like, you will always be able to get the highest quality soil to grow plants in. You will have the most protein-rich, nutritious, and potent soil that you've ever seen. The all-natural soil that is worm-tended is far better than what you will get from organic growers; all that it takes is the process that nature invented. That's really all you need to get the best organic vegetables! More here...

Miracle Farm Blueprint Summary


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Ecotoxicological Case Study II Contamination of Agricultural Products by Cadmium and Lead

Agricultural products are contaminated with lead and cadmium originating from air pollution, the application of sludge from municipal waste water plants as a soil conditioner, and from the use of fertilizers. The basis for the model is the lead and cadmium balance for average agricultural land in Denmark. Figures 8.18 and 8.19 give the balances, modified from Andreasen (1985), and Knudsen and Kristensen (1987) to account for the changes of the mass

Agricultural Lands

Agricultural lands consist of three main types (1) arable land (including cropland and fallows), (2) land under permanent crops, and (3) pastures and hayfields. The total area of agricultural lands in the world is 4973.4 million ha. They cover 33.3 of terrestrial surface (2003), including 10.3 of arable land and land under permanent crops and 23 of pastures and hayfields. The largest areas of agricultural lands are found in Asia (33.8 of the world value) and in Africa (23.0 ) in Europe, the Americas, and Oceania, they occupy 9-12 of the world value (Table 2). In the aggregate structure of agricultural lands, pastures and hayfields comprise 69.0 of the total agricultural area arable lands, 28.2 and lands under permanent crops, only 2.8 . But this structure is different in different regions Oceania, Africa, and South America have the maximum portion of pastures and hayfields (80-88 ) and minimum portion of arable land (10-18 ). In Europe and North America, the portion of pastures and...

Modern Agriculture

In agricultural practices to restore ecosystem function are necessary to create sustainable growth, especially as the world population is expected to increase 50 in the next 50 years to 9 billion. In response to these social, economic, and marketing pressures, agriculture is being forced to discontinue the use of some agro chemicals (e.g., organochlorine insecticides) or they are to be phased out over time (e.g., methyl bromide). This has raised attention in the research community to find sustainable alternatives to 'substitution agriculture'. One area of focus has been biological control, especially conservation biological control and biopesticides. The early stages of these disciplines were rudimentary but current research is now showing great potential to play an important part in sustainable pest management in sustainable agriculture. However, there are several restrictions that impede a faster expansion of the dis cipline and its transfer to the agricultural community. These...

Organic Agriculture

Organic agriculture strives to integrate human, environmental, and economically sustainable production systems. The term organic does not necessarily refer to the types of inputs to the system but more to the holistic interaction of the plants, soil, animals, and humans in the system. Organic agriculture management promotes maintaining SOM levels for soil fertility, providing plant nutrients through micro-bial decomposition of organic materials, and control of pests, disease, and weeds with crop rotations, natural control agents, and pest-resistant plant varieties (Oelhaf, 1978 Lampkin and Measures, 2001). Organic agriculture is practiced in almost all countries and has been applied to all agricultural products including livestock and milk. In the 1990s, the land area under organic agriculture production and the number of agricultural products produced organically exploded worldwide. At the present time, there are 24 Mha worldwide in organic production, including grazing lands for...

Functiona Plant Ecoloqy

Soil and Plant Analysis in Sustainable Agriculture and Environment, edited by Teresa Hood and J. Benton Jones, Jr. Sustainable Agriculture and the International Rice-Wheat System, edited by Rattan Lal, Peter R. Hobbs, Norman Uphoff, and David O. Hansen Plant Toxicology, Fourth Edition, edited by Bertold Hock

Agricultural Production

Asia is the greatest producer of agricultural products it gives about 40-45 of the global agricultural output (Table 9 Figure 4). Two countries with large population - China and India - are the main 'driving forces' of agricultural development in Asia. Only two regions can be compared to Asia Europe (15-20 of the global agricultural output) and North America (10-15 of the global output, except for roots and tubers). Sub-Saharan Africa produces 15 of pulses and 25 of roots and tubers. At present, the world market of agricultural products is the global system. Agricultural products move not only between neighboring countries but from continent to continent. The world market of cereals is the biggest (about 40 billion). The main exporters of cereals are the USA (85 Mt), France (30 Mt), Argentina (20 Mt), and Australia (20 Mt), and the main importers are Japan (26 Mt), Mexico (15 Mt), South Korea (13 Mt), China (10 Mt), and Egypt (10 Mt). All these countries are found in different parts...

Field Research and Modeling Integration

Interactions among several different components and factors (Figure 1). These interactions need interdisciplinary field research and quantification with the help of conceptual and process models. Integration of system models with field research has the potential to significantly enhance efficiency of agricultural research and raise agricultural science and technology to the next higher level. The integration will benefit both field research and models in the following ways A desirable vision for agricultural research and technology transfer is to have close integration between new field research, agroecosystem simulation models, and other components for integrated agroecosystem assessment (Figure 5). After an agricultural system model has undergone thorough evaluation and both modelers and field scientists are satisfied with the results, it should be

Summary and Conclusions

This article describes the potential (and often realized) benefits of developing and implementing agricultural models for solving a broad range of agroecosystem research problems. It provides some examples of agricultural model applications in research and management, presents various technologies surrounding current agricultural model development and use, and also identifies limitations and knowledge gaps in agricultural models where further improvements could be made. A remaining question to be answered is 'what does the future hold ' Certainly there will be continuing (if not greater) attention to aspects of agricultural system models less related to agronomic production. The existing strong demand for agricultural models to address soil and water resource concerns (e.g., limited water issues, nutrient and organic matter cycling, soil salinity) and wider issues of sustainable agriculture in the face of global climate change (e.g.,

Other Ecosystem Services

In other areas of the world, where the agricultural land is not sufficient to properly feed the population, other ecosystem services become relatively less important. However, if agricultural productivity can be increased, some agricultural land can be returned to savanna, forest, or other natural or seminatural states - which would be another type of service from the agroecosystem.

The Status of Rivers Today

There can be little doubt that most streams and rivers will continue to face a daunting array of threats. Foremost is the increase in human population in all of its manifestations urban areas with impervious surfaces and piping, housing sprawl into farmland and increasingly remote areas, and the intensification of agriculture. Often summed up as changing urban and agricultural land use, these trends result in altered supplies of water and sediments and increasing concentrations of nutrients and contaminants. Immediate consequences include habitat fragmentation and degradation, sedimentation, the enrichment of some systems, and the poisoning of others. Tolerant species multiply and spread, and sensitive species decline. Coupled with the invasion of nonnative species, some of which are very adaptable and thrive in disturbed conditions, the stream biota undergoes simplification and homogenization. Dam construction may actually be on the wane globally, due in part to the recognition of...

Establishment Rejuvenation of Botanical Diversity within Grassland Field Margins

Where the botanical composition of a field margin has become severely degraded, rejuvenation may be possible through the alleviation of detrimental farming practices such as those outlined above. This natural regeneration of the habitat preserves the local flora (Baines et al, 1996). However, it can be a slow and unreliable process. The reasons for this are twofold firstly there may be a lack of desirable species and a corresponding abundance of long-lived seeds of many 'undesirable' species within the seedbank (Mortimer et al, 1988 Radosevich and Holt, 1984). Seeds of dicotyledonous weed species generally remain viable in the seed bank for a more prolonged period than do those of grass species (Lewis, 1973). Therefore, the success of this method is partially dependent on the availability of 'desirable' seed sources and a corresponding lack of 'undesirable' seed in the vicinity of the margin habitats (Baines et al, 1996). Secondly, even where a desirable seed bank is in place, the...

Metabolism in Social Geography and Geology

This shift of focus from Marsh (1973 1864 ) to Shaler (1905) reflects the change in society's metabolism from an agrarian mode of production (where scarcity of food promotes the extension of agricultural land at the expense of forests) to an industrial one, where vital 'nutrients' are drawn from subterrestrial sinks that one day will be exhausted.

Agricultural and Forest Land Area

According to the FAOSTAT database (FAO 2009b), there was 50 million km2 of agricultural land in 2005 of this, nearly 16 million km2 was used as cropland and 34 million km2 as pasture. The largest increase in agricultural area since 1990 occurred in the tropical nations of Africa, Asia, and South America (Figure 2.3). In Europe, North America, and Oceania, agricultural land decreased slightly.2

Decreasing of P emissions

This includes measures such as treatment plants for municipal and industrial sewages plants, extensifying agricultural land use, and recycling P in industrial wastes. The nutrient reduction can be achieved by so called ring canalization that collects sewage and storm water for treatment in a central plant downstream of the protected lake. Land management procedures, generally known as 'best management practice', are the primary method for protecting surface waters from non point loading.

Deposition of Highly Reactive Gases

Measurements in the Netherlands have concluded that rates of ammonia deposition over the heathland are very large with negligible canopy resistance. The opposite is true for agricultural land with the application of urea. The upward fluxes of ammonia from agricultural soils can be

Measurements and Modeling of Atmospheric Deposition in Major International Programs

The US NADP was organized already in 1977 as the US State Agricultural Experiment Stations (SAES) project to measure atmospheric deposition in the US and study the environmental effects of the deposited chemicals. In the 1980s, with the establishment of the National Acid Precipitation program (NAPAP), the network name was change to NADP NTN (National Trends Network). At present, the NADP is SAES National Research Support project 3 with more than 250 stations.

Future Discounting Explanation for the Persistence of a Mixed Foraging Horticulture Strategy among the Mikea of

Are Mikea cultivation decisions irrational As foragers, Mikea are viewed as primitives who have yet to discover the intensive farming techniques of their more advanced Masikoro neighbors. Their horticulture would appear to be a transitional stage between foraging and farming. But such unilinear-evolutionary assertions are contradicted by Mikea ethnohistory and oral history, which indicate that Mikea and Masikoro are historically the same people. Mikea are descended from Masikoro who sought refuge in the forest to escape the slave raids and tribute demands of the Andrevola kings, and during the French colonial era, to avoid mandatory resettlement and taxation (Yount et al. 2001 Tucker 2003). Foraging is not just an occupation it is symbolically significant to Mikea identity as refugees from An-drevola hegemony. Mikea have probably always planted some cultigens in combination with foraging. Fanony (1986, 139) reported Mikea cultivating crops in the late 1970s. Twenty years earlier,...

Agricultural And Industrial Transformation Period

Much of the eastern forests have developed on agricultural land abandoned during the late 1700s in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Piedmont, and Coastal Plain, and later in the Midwest, Lake States, and other interior regions. The regrowth of forest on agricultural lands accelerated during the Great Depression. Often, these forests were dominated by pine and oak (Orwig and Abrams 1994). Oak seedlings and grubs sprouted in pastures and, in the absence of mowing or grazing, grew to maturity. Elsewhere, stands dominated by pine provided ideal conditions for oaks to establish and grow in the understory, setting the stage for oak dominance after the pine was harvested. As agricultural land was abandoned throughout the Midwest, Lake States, and Southeast, the amount of forest land increased.

Groundwater Standards

Vast reserves of water are in the ground in many areas of the world. Little is known about the quality of this groundwater, except in areas where aquifers are being exploited. In Europe and the United States, where groundwater represents a significant source of fresh water, between 5 and 10 percent of all investigated wells have nitrate levels higher than the maximum recommended value of 45 mg L(A). Many organic pollutants find their way into groundwater as seepage from dumps, leakage from sewers and fuel tanks, and runoff from agricultural land or paved surfaces.

New Directions in Ecophysiology

Plant ecophysiology has several new and potentially important contributions to make to biology. The rapidly growing human population requires increasing supplies of food, fiber, and energy, at a time when the best agricultural land is already in production or being lost to urban development and land degradation. It is thus increasingly critical that we identify traits or suites of traits that maximize sustainable food and fiber production on both highly productive and less productive sites. The development of varieties that grow effectively with inadequate supplies of water and nutrients is particularly important in less developed countries that often lack the economic and transportation resources to support high-intensity agriculture. Molecular biology and traditional breeding programs provide the tools to develop new combinations of traits in plants, including GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Ecophysiology is perhaps the field that is best suited to determine the costs,...

Other categories of resource

Two resources are said to be perfectly substitutable when either can wholly replace the other. This will be true for seeds of wheat or barley in the diet of a farmyard chicken, or for zebra and gazelle in the diet of a lion. Note that we do not imply that the two resources are as good as each other. This feature (perfectly sub-stitutable but not necessarily as good as each other) is included in Figure 3.27b by the isoclines having slopes that do not cut both axes at the same distance from the origin. Thus, in Figure 3.27b, in the absence of resource 2, the organism needs relatively little of resource 1, but in the absence of resource 1 it needs a relatively large amount of resource 2.

Forest zonation and site quality

Dog's mercury and hart's tongue fern Phyllitis scolopendrium grow well on chalk soils. Both were present in the sycamore wood on the chalk escarpment at Arundel, Sussex. Stinging nettle Urtica dioica, also found here, will flourish only if the soil has an adequate phosphorus content. While most natural soils have been subjected to extended leaching, excessive fertility is often a problem when former agricultural land is converted to forest. This is particularly the case when the intention is to create a high-quality herb layer beneath the developing tree canopy. A modern solution, widely and successfully used in Denmark and the Netherlands, is top-soil inversion. A huge plough is used to turn over a spit a metre deep, thus burying the nutrient-rich surface soil and bringing poor subsoil to the surface. This method has recently been employed at Wheeldon Copse, near Chester in Cheshire, England. This 7-ha former arable site is being developed by the Woodland Trust and Landlife, an...

Interactions of Diseases Insects And Past Disturbance

The impacts of past disturbance on the present composition and structure of forests is often overlooked as an interacting factor in attempts to understand the effects of pathogens and insects. In many cases, the present composition and structure of North American oak forests bear little resemblance to those under which hosts, native pathogens, and insects co-evolved. Most of the changes have been triggered during the past 150 years, as a result of the increase in the human population, and they reached a peak around 1900. The forces that drove these changes at the turn of the century included wide-scale logging to supply needed fuel, building materials, and other wood-derived products importation, for commerce or by immigrating people, of non-native trees and other plants and thereby, inadvertently, their pathogens and insects conversion of forested land to marginal agricultural land, followed by abandonment and reversion to forest as agricultural production became more efficient and...

Describing landscape pattern

Forest fragmentation refers to the division of large, continuous expanses of forest into smaller discrete patches, which are separated by some other type of land cover (such as agricultural land) commonly referred to as the landscape matrix (Forman and Godron 1986). Fragmentation can be caused by natural forms of disturbance, and some forests are naturally fragmented because they are associated with particular edaphic conditions (such as soil type or climate) that are patchily distributed. However, it is the widespread forest fragmentation caused by human activities that is currently of such concern to conservationists, given that many

Terrestrial habitats along fresh water banks and bogs

Several authors have commented on a striking association between otters and woody vegetation on the banks (e.g. Jenkins and Burrows 1980 Mason and Macdonald 1986), based on observations of spraints. However, the animals that we followed with radio-tracking did not substantiate this they showed no preference for a particular vegetation, nor were they affected by presence of agricultural land use (Durbin 1998). They just happen to spraint near trees and shrubs.

Exergy Efficiency And Waste

Other inputs were from fossil fuels and fuelwood (8.92 EJ), and timber (2.04 EJ), for a total of about 31 EJ. The exergy outputs included mechanical work on farms done by horses and mules, which was about 0.22 EJ in 1920, and 20 per cent lower than that in 1900. In the 1920s, land needed to provide feed for horses and mules amounted to 28 per cent of total agricultural land in the USA (US Census 1975). Assuming this figure applied in 1918, the peak year (when the horse and mule population was 26 723 000), it would appear that gross primary production of the order of 7 EJ was required to feed horses and mules. It has been estimated that these animals required 33 units of food energy to produce one unit of work. On this basis, the net work output of farm animals would have been about 0.22 EJ, with an uncertainty of at least 20 per cent. For comparison, Hayami and Ruttan (1971) estimated that 6 EJ was used by the food system around 1920 for both animal feed and fuelwood. This would imply...

Development Of Functional Plant Ecology

The examination of plant functions in modern science has largely followed a reduction-istic path aimed at the explanation of plant functions in terms of the principles of physics and chemistry (Salisbury and Ross 1992). This reductionistic path is linked to the parallel transformation of traditional agricultural science into plant science and the technical developments needed to evolve from the examination of the coarser, integrative functions to those occurring at the molecular level. While this reductionistic path has led us toward a thorough catalog and understanding of plant functions, its limited usefulness to explain and predict the distribution of plants in nature has been a source of frustration. This is largely because of the multiple interactions that are expected to be involved in the responses of plants to a changing environment (Chapin et al. 1987). Yet, the need to achieve this predictive power has now transcended the academic arena to be a critical component of our...

Efficiency Gains in Production

Crop production in some of the most intensely cultivated regions involves a trade-off between maximizing yields and degradation of the environment. As fertilizer application increases, crop yield has diminishing returns, but nitrate leaching increases exponentially (Figure 5.7). An increase in nitrogen from the Mississippi Basin has led to eutrophication in the Gulf of Mexico (Goolsby et al. 2001). This implies that by reducing fertilizer use slightly in some of the most heavily fertilized regions, one could see major gains in terms of nitrate pollution, and compensate this by increasing fertilizer use in some of the less fertilized regions to increase production without big consequences for eutrophication. Moreover, some measurements indicate that in the U.S. a few farms contribute to a majority of the high fertilizer application rates, so one could target these farms without major losses in production to avoid nitrate leaching into the Mississippi River. Such trade-offs could be...

Metabolism An Ecological Model of Society

Natural cycles can be overwhelmed by harvesting renewably generated resources, such as trees or fish, faster than they can be replenished. Direct physical interference, such as the paving over of green surfaces or farming practices that cause soil erosion, can also damage the underlying capital that creates these resources, further reducing the Earth's total regenerative capacity.

Fundamental Assumptions

The annual amounts of resources consumed and wastes generated by countries are tracked by national and international organizations. Most countries have extensive annual statistics documenting their resource use, particularly in the areas of energy, forest products and agricultural products. United Nations agencies, like the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), compile many of these national statistics in a consistent format.

Tradeoffs in Managing the Flows of Ecosystem Services

Making informed decisions about how to use ecosystem goods and services hinges on understanding these tradeoffs knowing the joint products - the suite and level of services - that ecosystems can provide. For example, an ecosystem managed exclusively for agriculture may yield a greater return on agricultural products than one managed for multiple services, but understanding that diversified management may produce greater overall returns could influence management decisions (Figure 1).

Cultivating and harvesting

Most cultivated plant products used in construction are by-products from the production of grain. Production of grain is often based on the extensive use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Plants that have a high resistance to moulds and insect attack include hemp, elephant grass and linseed. Nevertheless, in linseed cultivation it is common to use 0.7 kg of pesticides per hectare - of which about 20 is lost to the atmosphere (Lippiatt, 2007). Alternative methods are possible, including the various types of organic farming, though in general they give lower yields. Ripe grain is usually harvested in late summer. Cutting of wheat and rye to be used for roof covering must be carried out without breaking or splitting the stalks.

Greater Treatment Capacity in Wastewater Treatment Plant

Regulate the content of hazardous organic compounds in sewage sludge being spread on agricultural land. The legislation was brought into effect after an extensive survey which demonstrated that hazardous organic compounds such as linear alkylbenzene sulfonates (LASs) and nonylphenolethoxylates (NPEs) may be detrimental to the environment if spread in inappropriately large concentrations. In 2002, stricter legislation was passed, reducing the permissible concentrations for LAS and NPE to 1300 and 10mgkg_1 dry matter, respectively (Table 1).

Summary Us Physical Goods Material Use Patterns

During the 20th century the flow of processed physical goods to support the industrial economy of the USA increased exponentially. This trend continued after a slight pause around 1970-80. From 1975 onward, the data show that while hidden flows decreased, processed flows for fuels, physical goods and agricultural products increased at the same rate as population. With the exception of physical goods obtained from agricultural resources, the per capita use of material for this purpose continues to increase. The end of the century saw a resurgence in the use of construction materials, primary metals and wood, a consequence of a robust economy and, probably, urban sprawl. During that same period, the increased use of synthetic polymeric material affected both metals and natural fibers, and even though Americans are using increased amounts of paper, packaging applications have likely also been affected. Of major significance is the fact that they are becoming increasingly dependent on...

Landuse Changes as Drivers of Invasion

Comparison of current and historical aerial photographs of the 20 study areas in Germany indicated that landscapes with H. mantegazzianum have undergone considerable changes during the last 50 years (1950s to approx. 2000). The area covered by agricultural land (arable fields, managed grasslands) decreased dramatically over this period, while that covered by forests increased (Fig. 8.6). Therefore, the predominant trend of land-cover changes in the study areas has been abandonment of agricultural land and development of woodlands, which were partly planted but mostly developed through natural colonization and succession. Succession on former agricultural land determined the dynamics of habitats available for invasion by H. mantegazzianum. A large proportion of optimal habitats of H. mantegazzianum in the 1970s (61 ) and a substantial proportion of sub-optimal habitats (27 ) originated from former agricultural land (Fig. 8.7A, B). From the 1970s to the present, 35 of optimal habitats...

Producing markets the global agrochemical industry

The profitability of the industry expanded during the post-war period, as demographic shifts increased food demands, agricultural land prices rose, farm labour became increasingly scarce, and growing affluence meant increased demands for unblemished food products with no signs of damage or disease (Stephens 1982). Inexpensive, easy-to-use farm chemicals continued to grow (Green et al. 1987), especially as the petrochemical industry entered pesticide manufacture as a way to market production byproducts, and academic researchers and extension agents continued to sing their praises (Young et al. 1985). In sum, saturated agricultural markets, rising costs of materials, expense and lengthy time requirements for research and development, extensive and retro-active regulatory requirements, patent expiration, growing problems of pest resistance, together set the competitive conditions of early twenty-first-century agrochemical production. As a result, agrochemical manufacturers are...

Macroalgae and Mariculture

Traditionally, seaweeds were collected from natural stocks or wild populations. However, these resources were being depleted by overharvesting, so cultivation techniques have been developed. Today, seaweed cultivation techni ques are standardized, routine, and economical. Several factors may account for the success of large scale seaweed cultivation including the unravelling of complex life his tories, regenerative capacity of the thalli, prolific spore production, and the understanding of environmental inter actions. Different taxa require different farming methods. Although some seaweeds need one step farming through vegetative propagation, others need multistep farming pro cesses. The latter must be propagated from spores and cannot survive if propagated vegetatively. Eucheuma, Kappaphycus, and Gracilaria are propagated vegetatively (one step), whereas Porphyra, Ulva, Laminaria, and Undaria are started from spores.

Species Introductions

Urban areas represent increasingly large and interconnected patches on regional landscapes and are particularly important ports for the spread of exotic species into surrounding ecosystems. Urban centers are the origin or destination for commercial transport of a wide variety of materials, including forest and agricultural products. Urban areas are characterized by a wide variety of exotic species, especially ornamental plants and their associated exotic insects and pathogens. Exotic or native ornamental species usually are stressed by soil compaction, air and water pollutants, elevated urban temperatures, etc. Arriving exotics often have little difficulty finding suitable hosts and becoming established in urban centers and subsequently spreading into surrounding ecosystems.

Conservation Biology

Principles of metapopulation dynamics may be particularly important for conservation and restoration of populations of entomophagous predators and parasites in landscapes managed for ecosystem commodities (e.g., forestry and agricultural products). Predators and parasitoids are recognized as important natural agents of crop pest regulation but as a group appear to be particularly vulnerable to habitat fragmentation (Kruess and Tscharntke 1994, Schowalter 1995) and pesticide application (Sherratt and Jepson 1993). Hassell et al. (1991) and Sherratt and Jepson (1993) suggested that predator and parasite persistence in agroecosystems depends on the metapopulation dynamics of their prey, as well as on the frequency and distribution of pesticide use, and that connectivity between patches characterized by locally unstable predator-prey interactions could allow their mutual persistence. M. Thomas et al. (1992) found that creation of islands of grassland habitats in agricultural landscapes...

Definitions and Principles

OF is a farming system that uses environmentally friendly methods of weed, pest, and disease control. It bans the use ofsynthetic pesticides and fertilizers, empha sizes animal welfare in animal breeding, takes care of the overall harmony of agroenvironmental system and of its biological diversity, and gives priority to renewable sources of energy and to recycling of raw materials. OF adheres to globally accepted principles which are implemented in specific social, economic, geoclimatic, and cultural contexts. The principal aims of organic production and processing are outlined in the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) 'Basic Standards'. These set out an international framework for organic production and processing.

Environmental Aspects and Biodiversity

The environmental argument holds that conventional agriculture is rapidly depleting natural resources, Despite criticism of OF, decreased environmental impact through use of organic production methods is mostly beneficial. Sustainable farming systems such as OF are now seen by many as a potential solution to continued worldwide loss of biodiversity of many spe cies associated with farmland. A wide range of taxa (including birds and mammals, invertebrates, and However, it is also necessary to realize other key issues (1) it remains unclear whether a 'holistic' whole farm approach (i.e., organic) provides greater benefits to biodiversity than carefully targeted prescriptions applied to relatively small areas of cropped and or noncropped habitats within conventional agriculture (i.e., agroenvironment schemes) (2) many comparative studies encounter methodological problems, limiting their ability to draw quantitative conclusions (3) our knowledge of the effects of OF in pastoral and upland...

Temperate Impoundments

There are two major sources of nonindustrial organic pollutants, namely human settlements and agriculture. In many developed countries, where the practice of secondary treatment to oxidize and disinfect urban sewage has been widely adopted, organic loadings are normally well contained. However, where intensive agriculture and animal husbandry is practiced, normally requiring supplements of external foods, organic loads are raised. Even mineralized effluents promote ongoing and serious problems associated with eutrophication, where the production of biogenic materials in receiving waters is stimulated by the inorganic nutrients released. Moreover, even where tertiary treatment is applied to remove a substantial part of the phosphate content of treated sewage, the contribution of diffuse, nonpoint sources from agricultural land is often sufficient to support aquatic uptake demands and eutrophication problems persist.

Integrated Crop Pest Models

InfoCrop mechanistically assesses crop loss using a three-step approach evaluating pest incidence, pest damage mechanisms, and crop yield. The model does not simulate pest population dynamics therefore, pest incidence has to be provided as an input as described above. Specific damage mechanisms considered by InfoCrop include reduction in germination and plant stand, competition for resources such as radiation and nutrients, reduction in assimilation rate, assimilate and tissue reduction, and impeded plant water and nutrient uptake. As described above, these damage mechanisms are coupled at the specific process level to the crop growth model in order to quantify losses due to pests. InfoCrop was used to simulate the effect of Russian wheat aphid (Diuraphis noxia Mordvilko) damage on winter wheat at Fort Collins and Akron, Colorado. Observed and simulated yield reductions in four experiments over a period of 2 years were found to be closely related (r 0.85). InfoCrop was...

Informal And Unrecorded Mining Activity

Convenient place and it is inconceivable that these activities are accurately recorded. In Vietnam, for example, at headlands along the coast, individual entrepreneurs quarry granite, while around towns and cities small brick clay pits leave a series of derelict hollows and degraded soils. In inland China, villagers operate small crushers making aggregates from rock quarried from tiny rock outcrops near their fields. Many hundreds of thousands of tonnes of material are worked in this way and in clay pits (Edmonds 1994) and inefficient unauthorized mines (Qu and Li 1994), thereby degrading potential agricultural land. Road construction in remote areas, such as logging roads in Borneo,

General Considerations

Water resource management is of paramount importance in agricultural development. Sustained socioeconomic development in countries with irrigated agriculture could be limited by water availability and deterioration in water quality. Indeed, irrigation, which constitutes approximately 84 of the total water demand, has become increasingly important due to its high use and generally low efficiency. Consequently, any effort made to improve water use in irrigation practices will have a marked effect on sustainable agriculture (see Ecological Economics 2).

The Beginnings Of Agriculture In Eastern Spain

In Europe, the origin of food production is usually explained by the introduction of farming techniques to a region via colonization by farmers or through indigenous adoption of farming practices, and subsequent processes of dispersion such as acculturation and or migration (Bernabeu et al. 1993 Bernabeu et al. 2001 Price 2000b). The archaeological record in different parts of Europe suggests that this transition was highly varied. Agriculture became established quickly and apparently exclusively in some regions, whereas others show long-term survival of distinct foraging and farming populations in close proximity, with varying degrees of interaction (e.g., Barnett 1995, 2000 Binder 2000 Bogucki 2000 Clark 1990 Dennell 1985 Hal-stead 1996 Jochim 2000 Keeley 1996 Price 1996, 2000b Thomas 1996 Tringham 2000 Whittle 1996 Zilhao 1993 Zvelebil 1986a, 1996 Zvelebil and Lillie 2000). For example, in central Europe the transition to agriculture is marked by the rapid appearance of...

Farming Strategies In The Valencian Neolithic

During the Neolithic II a new farming strategy emerged. Much more extensive areas of less fertile upland soils were cleared and planted, facilitated by the possible introduction of the oxen-pulled plow. This is more similar to the traditional Mediterranean farming system known as secano, or dry land farming (Bernabeu 1995), in which larger plots are rotated between winter and spring cereals, lying fallow over a longer three-year rotation. Due to the geographically extensive nature of this system, the distance between the villages and plots were larger (Bernabeu 1995). With more area in cultivation, herds had to be grazed in fallow fields or at greater distances from settlements. Herd management also shifted to a more diversified focus that emphasized secondary products, such as milk products, wool, and labor, in addition to meat.

Synthetic Nitrogen Fertilizers

According to Liebig's principle, N supply of soils required leguminous crop species which not only supplied crops directly required for men but a substantial part of leguminous crops was required for animal forage. Hence men and animals competed for fertile soils. This situation changed drastically when the chemical production of N fertilizers was invented (Haber-Bosch technique). Now farming was possible without animals, which was the preposition for the separation of crop farming from animal farming. This had an enormous impact on the economics of farming and a disastrous one on ecology. In many animal farming systems land is overdressed with farmyard manure or slurry. In the Netherlands, the average surplus of mineral N, mainly nitrate, for all dairy farms is in the range of 200-400 kgNha . This quantity of plant-available N would suffice to produce 6000-12 000 kg wheat grain per ha per year. This surplus of N leads to an enormous nitrate leaching with a risk for the groundwater...

History of Environmental Management

One of the earliest New World developments of commerce and industry focused squarely on technical improvements in transportation, which has historically been one of the most important uses of the Hudson River proper and the land along its banks. Under the able leadership of Governor DeWitt Clinton, the construction of the Erie Canal (1817-25) was among the most ambitious public works programs ever undertaken and completed. The canal opened the primary trade route to the Great Lakes and Midwest and led to the rapid development of New York City as the nation's center of commerce and finance. Along with the Delaware and Hudson Canal, constructed from 1825-29 to the south, the Erie Canal provided coastal access to the coal fields in Pennsylvania and Ohio to the fur trade of Canada and Upstate New York to vast lumber resources for building and fuel for tannins used to cure leather to sand, gravel, and stone used in the construction industry and to the rich agricultural resources in the...

Ecological Engineering for Eutrophication Management in Coastal Zones

Farming practices after the breakup of the Soviet Union was one example of how a change in agriculture can relieve the pressures on coastal ecosystems, in this case the Black Sea. However, changes in life styles in European countries as a result of admission to the European Union have resulted in an increase in the per capita consumption of animal pro tein, and this has increased the nitrogen input into the aquatic systems. Similar increases in animal protein con sumption are presently occurring throughout Southeast Asia as a result of booming economies.

Measuring Energy Sustainability

Energy sustainability is not just about energy. It is also about the interrelationships between energy and other factors that affect human well-being. Humans' use of energy affects the environment, the supply of water, agriculture and food production, indeed every facet of society. Measuring the critical interrelationships is also necessary to measuring energy sustainability. In a report on scenarios of sustainable energy futures, the IEA (2003) identified two principal components of energy unsustainability increasing greenhouse gas emissions and the security of energy supply. These are not the only sus-tainability issues linked to energy use. There are important linkages to water resources, agricultural land and natural habitats, as well as to minerals essential for catalysis and other critical uses.

P Merino C Gonzalez Murua A Del Prado S Menndez M Pinto1 and J M Estavillo2

Institute of Agricultural Research and Development NEIKER-Tecnalia. Spain 2Department of Plant Biology and Ecology University of the Basque Country, Spain 3Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research IGER-North Wyke, UK Agricultural activities are significant producers of nitrous oxide (N2O) emission to the atmosphere (Johnson et al., 2007 Ugalde et al., 2007). That is, about 58 of total anthropogenic N2O emissions are caused by agriculture (IPCC, 2007). The main cause of agricultural increases in N2O is the application of N fertilizers and animal manures. Nitrous oxide is a long-lived greenhouse gas in the atmosphere with 296 times the global warming potential of CO2. Denitrification is credited as the primary producer of N2O (Johnson et al., 2005), which is generally favoured in poorly aerated soils with high NO3-concentrations (Van Groeningen et al., 2005). Currently, about 32 of the agricultural land in the EU is used for grassland production (Eurostat, 2005). The response...

Large Scale Impacts of Land Use Change in a Scottish Farming Catchment

Whilst the Ythan catchment has always been prime agricultural land, there have been major changes in land-use over the past 40 years because of market trends and drivers such as the Common Agriculture Policy. This policy encouraged growing of crops through subsidies not previously available for crops such as barley and wheat at the expense of less profitable crops such as oats. The conversion of grassland to cereals, increased application of nitrogen, and increase in animal manures and slurries over the past 40 years have inevitably affected water quality, specifically elevated levels of nitrate. These levels were so high in the 1990s that the Ythan catchment had the distinction of being the first in the UK to be designated a Nitrogen Vulnerable Zone under the European Community Nitrates Directive.

Perspectives For Sustainable Heavymetal Management In Agrosystems

Some practices that aim at lowering crop uptake (such as stimulating competition) may at the same time lead to higher leaching rates or vice versa, thus resulting in a trade-off between leaching and uptake. Moreover, minimizing output rates by management practices will result in the steady-state content being reached later at a higher level. Selecting cultivated crops with pronounced heavy-metal removal (within critical limits) can be very sensible for farming systems with low input. A higher crop uptake rate results in a lower steady-state soil content due to less accumulation. Long-term strategies focus on reducing inputs to soils. This results in the steady state being reached with lower total accumulation and lower output rates. Input reduction can be achieved by reducing the amount of heavy metals in source material (quality) and by reducing the amount of fertilizer or manure added to the soil (quantity). This kind of input reduction could be aimed at by decreasing application...

Land Use Controls to Reduce N Enrichment to Surface Waters

The popular misconception that the nitrate problem is caused by farmers applying too much nitrate fertilizer is too simplistic. Nevertheless, there is now little doubt that the high concentrations of nitrate in freshwaters noted in recent years have mainly resulted from runoff from agricultural land and that the progressive intensification of agricultural practices, with increasing reliance on the use of nitrogenous fertilizer, has contributed significantly to this problem. Since 1945, agriculture in the industrialized world has become much more intensive. Fields are ploughed more frequently more land is devoted to arable crops, most of which demand large amounts of fertilizer grassland too receives large applications of fertilizer to ensure a high-quality silage for winter feed stocking densities in general are higher leading to increased inputs of manure on grassland and problems of disposal of stored slurry cattle often have direct access to water courses resulting in soil and bank...

Labeling OF Logos and Inspection

Required to supervise the inspection bodies, to ensure that they are able to carry out the required inspections guaranteeing that they are effective and objective. Each member state must ensure, either through the authority or through the arrangements for accreditation, that private bodies meet the requirements of specific standards drawn up by the European Committee for Standardisation. All operators, who produce, prepare, or import agricultural products or foodstuffs obtained by organic production methods, are subjected to a special inspection scheme governed by detailed minimum requirements. All farms are inspected annually, and, in addition, random checks are carried out on 25 of the farms in the European Community.

Relevant Websites

Organic, Chermside, Australia. http - Database of the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, Frick, Switzerland. http - EkoConnect - Internationales Zentrum f r den Okologischen Landbau Mittel- und Osteuropas e. V. (Organic Agriculture Moving East), Dresden, Germany. http - Forschungsinstitut fur biologischen Landbau (FiBL) (Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL), Frick, Switzerland. http - International Federation of Organic

Integrated Control Options

The combination of soil cultivation and herbicides has proven efficient, e.g. for the control of H. sosnowskyi spreading into agricultural land in Latvia (see Ravn et al., Chapter 17, this volume). Several different soil cultivation methods are available and can be easily integrated with other control methods such as herbicide application or cutting. The appropriate method of soil cultivation depends on the situation in a given field and the intended subsequent use of the cultivated area. Effective control of H. sosnowskyi by soil cultivation is not possible without substantial disturbance of existing vegetation, and due to the use of heavy machinery the method is restricted to large areas accessible by road. For both years the combined treatment of ploughing and chemical or mechanical control significantly reduced the density of surviving H. sosnowskyi plants. Complete control was not achieved - maybe due to the vigorous regrowth of H. sosnowskyi after soil cultivation in early...

Polychlorinated biphenyl

Water pollution and soil pollution is caused by dissolved chemicals, suspended particulates, and floating substances, such as oil. Such pollutants include substances that are biodegradable, such as sewage effluent and nitrates leached from agricultural land, which if allowed to enter water courses can lead to eutrophication and algal blooms. Nonbiodegradable pollutants, such as certain chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides (e.g. DDT) and heavy metals, such as lead, copper, and zinc in

Mariculture requirements and methods

In the UK, experiments in the rearing of juvenile flatfish in tanks were initiated in the 1950s by the Lowestoft Fisheries Laboratory and the Marine Biological Station in the Isle of Man. This early work was later used as a basis to provide young plaice and Dover sole for further rearing. Fish of marketable size were produced in less than half the time taken in the sea, by keeping them in tanks supplied with warm water from the cooling system of the power station at Hunterston, Ayrshire. Other power stations also supported small farms but they were all uneconomic and none is in production today. However, the use of warm-water effluents is still being pursued in France and the Graveline nuclear power station near Calais supports one of the largest European culture units for bass and turbot.

The sources and availability of nitrogen to phytoplankton

Extreme, temperate shelf waters, especially those influenced by large fluvial outfalls, may have nitrate levels of 60-70 M. In lakes and rivers, especially in the temperate regions, the nitrate availability may reach 50-65 M in late winter (generally the time of minimum biological demand, slowest terrestrial denitrification and maximum leaching George, 2002). In regions subject to intensive modern agriculture and relatively heavy applications of nitrogen fertiliser, leachate may raise the dissolved inorganic nitrogen concentration in receiving river waters to up to 1 mM (14 g N m-3). However, on the ancient continents at lower latitudes and, especially, in arid regions, the amount of nitrate lost from catchment topsoils is usually small and subject to further microbial denitrification. Thus, receiving waters tend to be relatively more deficient in nitrate (1-10 M, 15-150 mg N m-3) than in phosphorus (Reynolds, 1997a). Even at temperate latitudes, however, barren upland catchments may...

Livestock and Animal Wastes

Animal wastes have been applied as organic manure in traditional farming and remain a relative large source of recyclable phosphorus in modern agriculture. According to the latest national survey data from the United States, beef cattle, dairy cattle, swine, and poultry produced 1.7 MMT P contained in animal manures in 1997, of which about one-half was produced by confined animals. The livestock population in the United States accounts for 7 of the world total in 1997 and the proportion has remained fairly constant. On this basis, the global production of animal wastes would be 24.0 MMT P yr- . However, the real figure may be somewhat smaller, because the animals in the United States are exceptionally well-fed. For this reason, the estimate of global production of 16-20 MMT P yr- in animal wastes, applying an average concentration of 0.8-1 of phosphorus for both confined and unconfined animal wastes, is probably more accurate.

Early regional environmental modificationagriculture

Arguably, the most important development in the recent (last 13,000 calendar years) history of our species is the invention of agriculture.64 This has had huge effects on the environment for example, conservation biology is full of examples of the negative impact of modern agriculture on biodiversity. The idea of agriculture appears to have been independently invented in somewhere between five and nine locations around the world. The earliest known agriculture is from the eastern end of the Mediterranean, although it also appears not much later in parts of China.64 Since this chapter's question focuses on the earliest environmental effects of humans, we briefly describe the origin and environmental effects of agriculture in the so-called fertile crescent in modern-day Jordan, Israel, Syria, Turkey, and Iraq and its subsequent spread across Europe. Using the distribution of wild plant species ancestral to modern crops as a guide, Simcha Lev-Yadum and colleagues65 have suggested that...

Chief routes of entry of marine pollutants

Many pollutants reach the sea either through direct drainage from coastal towns and industries or indirectly via rivers. Dilute industrial effluents, treated sewage and cooling water are often discharged into rivers and estuaries. Fertilizers, pesticides and animal wastes may drain into rivers from agricultural land. Huge amounts of silt resulting from rainforest clearance are carried down to the sea by tropical rivers. Rainwater runoff from cities and towns carries oil, heavy metals and other material into rivers. A surprising area of sea-bed around domestic sewage outfall pipes is often contaminated with oil (Dipper, pers. obs.).

Examples of forest change

The arrival of Europeans took this change much further with a rapid and larger-scale conversion of the forest into agricultural land. By the early 1800s more than 60 of the land was in open fields, with the forest remaining as scattered small woodlands. This taming of the landscape was possible (and necessary) due to the small, evenly spread population, having to live off the landscape. So much woodland was removed that by the mid 1850s, wood Beginning in 1830 the industrial revolution arrived, leading to a steady abandonment of the hard-won agricultural land. People moved to the growing urban areas, others migrated westwards to better land or the lure of the gold fields even further west. We have a unique window into this time of abandonment, as Foster (1999) shows, through the prolific journals of Henry Thoreau (1817-1862) who lived in New England as agriculture was on the wane. Land that over two centuries had been made suitable for productive agriculture was now abandoned. This...

Weasels And Wild Birds

In most natural communities and traditional farming areas in the mainland northern hemisphere, these losses were once sustainable over the long term. Since the advent of the intensive agribusiness school of farming, however, the economics of crop growing and livestock rearing have become skewed against wildlife, and changed the equations of life and death for wild birds, to the great alarm of conservationists. The Game Conservancy Trust (Fordingbridge, England) has campaigned against government policies that favor destructive monoculture farming at the expense of wild birds. The Trust also runs extensive education programs to help landowners meet this new emphasis on active protection of wildlife, in addition to their continued interest in game management (Tapper 1999).

Functions of Agroforestry Systems

Agroforestry systems are used in a variety of different ecological and economic conditions. For example, in fertile regions agroforestry systems may be very productive, yielding high quantities of crops such as cacao and rubber (Fig. 6.13). However, their greatest potential to increase productivity and sustainability of production systems is in degraded areas, in regions with soils of low fertility, or in semi-arid regions. Also, agroforestry systems have a potential to increase sustainability of agriculture and income to small farmers who lack adequate infrastructure or technical resources. In contrast to regions with relatively fertile soils, where plantation forestry or intensive agriculture may be a preferred productive system, agroforestry may be a better alternative in regions with more nutrient-poor soils, or with poorer socio-economic conditions. For example, a taungya system may be a more acceptable system to farmers than plantation forestry where there is an immediate need...

A Proximity to the nearest neighbour

Figure 10.7 An ultimate goal of many ethological descriptions is to translate indices of social behavior into evolutionary consequences. In the case of Kerby and Macdonald's (1988) and Macdonald et al's (in press) farm cat study, the spatial arrangement of female cats around the farmyard resource center was correlated with the number of kittens raised annually per female. Figure 10.7 An ultimate goal of many ethological descriptions is to translate indices of social behavior into evolutionary consequences. In the case of Kerby and Macdonald's (1988) and Macdonald et al's (in press) farm cat study, the spatial arrangement of female cats around the farmyard resource center was correlated with the number of kittens raised annually per female.

Architect Arkin Tilt Architects

Hidden Villa is an environmental education foundation sited on a bucolic farm and wilderness preserve in the coastal hills between San Francisco and San Jose. For the past 75 years, the foundation has engaged visitors in innovative, hands-on outdoor education programs, including a demonstration organic farm, a summer camp, and a youth hostel since 1937 (the oldest hostel west of the Mississippi).

Recovery of the Soils Productive Capacity

Tree plantations and tree-crop combinations represent particularly desirable land-use alternatives for deforested lands with poor natural forest regeneration due to long distance to sources of propagules or intense site degradation. Among the latter, low soil fertility, soil compaction after abandonment from cattle grazing, and invasion by grasses and other aggressive vegetation can be serious obstacles to both forest regeneration and conventional agriculture (Lugo 1988 Nepstad et al. 1991). As the area in degraded lands spreads out, emphasis is increasing on the use of tree species that can grow in such conditions and yield economic products (timber, fuelwood, and other) as well as environmental benefits (soil conservation, watershed protection) (Evans 1992, 1999). An example of the impacts of trees on soil properties and their use in land rehabilitation projects in Latin America is presented in Box 6.13.

The Rise Fall and Future Needs for Radioecology

Radioecology was born and had its heyday during the 1950s and early 1960s as a result of societal concerns for health issues following the atmospheric testing or actual use of nuclear weapons during warfare. As travel to outer space began to attract increasing interest, studies of basic ecological processes and the production of agricultural products under levels of high background radiation also became popular. With the emergence of increased environmental concerns following Earth Day in the early 1970s however,

Meso Scale Configuration of deer habitats and rural housing developments Montana USA

Development 1 takes place within a previously isolated small habitat patch, which is neither an effective stepping stone from patch A to B, nor a large enough patch to consider protecting. Development 2, although not adding to further fragmentation of deer habitat, nor inducing any incremental obstacles to deer movement, is located on prime agricultural land. Development 3 not only reduces primary deer habitat, it further isolates this patch from other deer habitat. Reference

Effects Of Grassland Management And Climate Change

Fungi are seldom considered in issues of land use but there is a growing body of evidence that sites with diverse fungal communities do not necessarily host diverse plant communities. This is consistent with the idea that soil nutrient conditions are far more important than sward management. While many sites with diverse grassland fungal communities receive some legal protection (SSSI, etc.), fungal diversity is seldom mentioned in the notification statements (Chapter 8). Since site visits by nature conservation staff generally occur in the summer, there is little information about macrofungal diversity. Recent UK legislation (EIA (Agriculture) Regulations, 2001) controls change of use of agricultural land (e.g. ploughing of pasture), but since biodiversity assessments are generally conducted in the summer, low plant diversity can lead to destruction of valuable fungal sites.

Micro Scale Agricultural drainage management techniques using riparian vegetation North Carolina USA

Jacobs, 1986. Riparian areas as a control of nonpoint pollutants. Journal Series of the N.C. Agricultural Research Service Paper No. 10107, pp. 166-190. Gilliam, J.W., R.W. Skaggs, and C.W. Doty, 1986. Controlled agricultural drainage an alternative to riparian vegetation. N.C. Agricultural Research Service Paper No. 10109, pp. 225-243.

Ecological Resilience

Changes from one set of processes to another are usually triggered either by the action of slowly changing drivers (e.g., climate, agricultural land-use intensification, shifts in human values and policies) that force the system over a threshold, or by relatively discrete shocks to the system (e.g., natural disasters or institutions collapse). Direct and precise measurement of resilience is difficult as it requires to estimate the potential of system drivers and disturbance regimes to move a system across thresholds and boundaries separating alternative domains (Figure 1). As experimental manipulation of a natural system or an SES may be unfeasible because of system dimensions or costs, or impossible as it could lead to irreversible state, or unethical as an undesirable highly resilient domain could be reached, resilience can be addressed by a retrospective description of system evolution once an analysis framework is identified by specifying the set of spatiotemporal scales and types...

Threats to Bonobo Conservation in the Lake Tumba Lake Maindombe Hinterland

The second most important threat facing bonobos of the Lake Tumba - Lake Maindombe hinterland is hunting one of the human activities that represents the greatest threat to the maintenance of the biomes and wildlife species that reside therein (Bennett and Robinson 2000, Bowen-Jones and Pendry 1999). Human impact is essentially of two kinds direct off-take of wildlife species for food or for cultural use. Off-take is for local subsistence or for commerce feeding into large markets in major towns such as Kinshasa, Mbandaka, Bikoro, and Inongo. In colonial times and shortly thereafter, there was trade in agricultural products (coffee, palm oil, rubber), which supported local people. However, after nationalization of the economy in 1972, the market system broke down and seriously affected the transport infrastructure, leading to a severe decline in agricultural activities across the entire region. After several years of economic and political chaos, hunting and fishing have become the...

Transformation and certification mobilise new knowledge that challenges the organisation and functioning of the FT

Cotton is specific to FT as it is one of the few FT agricultural products transformed in the South. This raises concerns about the social conditions of its transformation. Furthermore, in 2005, the arrival of two new actants the FLO together with new standards for Indian FT cotton and its certifying organisation, Max Havelaar also led to new transformations. These new actants create new relationships which lead to an extension of the FT network while reducing the space for negotiation that has allowed the coordination around FT norms between company A and Northern FT actors. It may have an impact on the organisation of company A and its survival within the FT network.

Landuse and climatechange interactions

Since World War II, agricultural land uses have intensified in much of North America and Western Europe (Freemark and Boutin, 1995 Benton et al., 2002). To increase yields, agriculture now relies relatively heavily on massive pesticide and fertilizer use, mechanization, and irrigation, leading to the widespread loss and degradation of field boundary features (Freemark and Boutin, 1995 Longley and Sotherton, 1997). The ecological outcome has been the simplification of agricultural systems, a reduction of natural enemy diversity (Freemark and Boutin, 1995 Wilby and Thomas, 2002), the loss of natural habitat (Burel et al., 1998 Benton et al., 2002), the fragmentation of landscapes, and the degradation of remaining habitats (Burel et al., 1998). The net result of agricultural development is a reduction in the capacity of the environment to support biodiversity (Gaston et al., 2003).

Eutrophication nutrient control and lake restoration

The best method for fighting eutrophication is the prevention of anthropogenic addition of nutrients. As a first step, modern techniques can be used to reduce the impact of sewage. For example, fecal material can be composted instead of flushing it into sewage systems. Large-scale efforts have been made to reduce the phosphorus content of domestic detergents or find phosphorus substitutes. The fertilization of agricultural land still presents serious problems, for much time is needed to change old practices, and, even then, improved techniques may have limited effects on the nutrient loading. Thus much of practical water management focuses on the removal of wastewater and wastewater treatment.

Recommendations for Sustainable Land Management Based on Shortening the Water Cycle

The capacity of farming practices for ressurection of a degraded landscape and influencing local climate was shown in Australia, although only on a small scale. Within 10 years, Peter Andrews succeeded in changing a heavily deteriorated farmland to a place with renewed water cycle and vegetation cover and improved soil quality ('natural sequence farming'). The project was successful enough to eventually convince the Australian government to support the practices. However, these efforts can only be widely succesful when organized on a decentralized basis supported by regional policies using integrated economic measures to ensure an autonomous resource pool that could be developed and managed by the local inhabitants. A systematic effort to spread these means of resourceful control of temperature distribution and water and matter fluxes in the landscape onto greater areas should be the

Biodynamic Agriculture

Biodynamic farming is a system of organic farming that includes crop diversification, use of green manures, and use of compost and manures improved by bio-dynamic preparations. The biodynamic preparations consist of selected plant and animal substances that undergo fermentation for a year and then are used to enhance compost and manure used in the farming operation. These preparations can also be applied directly to soil as a spray to enhance biological activity. The use of biodynamic preparations is the main difference between biodynamic farming and traditional organic agriculture.

Sustaining Old Growth and Old Growth Values

Not much old growth remains in eastern oak forests, and most that exists occurs in small patches (White and Lloyd 1995). In the Northeast, Lake States, and southern mountains, old-growth stands are often embedded in a matrix of second-growth forest. In the Midwest, old-growth stands are usually small and isolated in a matrix of agricultural land (Parker 1989), and opportunities for enhancing old growth are limited. In extensively forested landscapes, managers have unprecedented opportunities for enhancing old growth and managing second growth for old-growth attributes because of the age, history, and extent of forest land. Much of today's eastern oak forest originated in the late 1800s and early 1900s following extensive cutting and the abandonment of agricultural lands. Many stands are now approaching a century in age and have been free from major disturbance for 50 or more years. Within this maturing landscape, primary forests or stands that have never been plowed or converted to...

Socioecological Systems

In the past, the usual way to study complex phenomena was based on simplifying them through analytical reductionism (describing them as simple systems, machines) or by aggregating and averaging through statistical analysis (describing them as unorganized complex systems). But complex systems, such as SESs, exist at a threshold between order and chaos, because they are too complex to be treated as machines and too organized to be assumed random and averaged. An example could be the slow erosion of key controlling processes that can abruptly flip an SES into a different state that might be irreversible (the gradual loss of species important for pollination could cause the slump of an economy based on agricultural products).

Future Directions For Design

One critical fact about the future is that environmental problems will continue to grow and to multiply. These problems include global climate change and sea level rise, along with declining levels of freshwater availability, agricultural land and fossil fuels, and increasing levels of pollution. These pressures may lead society to focus on ecological engineering designs that do more with less, that utilize natural energies and biodiversity, and that convert by-product wastes into resources. Several examples of possible directions are outlined below. These are selected to illustrate various dimensions such as size extremes from molecular to planetary and applications of biodiversity, technology, and social action. Some directions rely on futures

Soil Erosion in Croplands

There are a number of farming practices that can reduce soil erosion in croplands. Where crops are irrigated, careful management of soil water levels and the use of polymers mixed into furrows can nearly eliminate soil lost in the tail water in furrow irrigation. Runoff and erosion from crops that are sprinkler irrigated benefit greatly from careful monitoring of soil water levels, application rates, low-impact sprinkler heads, and maintenance of soil surface cover. Recent advances in remote sensing and sprinkler system control technologies have improved producers' ability to apply water only to areas in fields where the crops need water, thus reducing or eliminating water loss from runoff.

And Integrated Natural Resource Management INRM

Recently, many of these concepts have been embedded in what is called Integrated Natural Resource Management (INRM), a concept that was advanced by personnel working on development projects from centers that are part of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR CGIAR-

Predator Prey Interactions

Habitat structure in Fennoscandia may also influence the population dynamics of voles. Whereas the landscape in northern Scandinavia is characterized by large tracts of homogenous habitat, southern regions are dominated by agricultural land with multiple patches of different habitat types. The variation in habitats in the south allows a greater number of prey and predator species to exist, and favors generalist predators which stabilize the population fluctuations of the prey.

Integrated natural resource management INRM an example from the Himalayas Saxena et al 2003

This study illustrates a case of land rehabilitation in the small isolated village of Khaljhuni, which is on the margin of the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve in the Indian central Himalayas, close to the alpine zone. Vital elements of this project strategy included identifying local perceptions and knowledge and involving the local people in the implementation of the interventions needed to restore the land. Local communities were found to be more concerned with the immediate economic benefit from bamboo and medicinal species than with the long-term benefits of tree planting. The villagers eventually reached a consensus to plant broadleaved multipurpose trees in association with bamboo and medicinal species. Despite assurances that all the economic benefits from rehabilitation would go to the community, the people would not agree to voluntary labor, although they did absorb significant costs by providing social fencing, farmyard manure, and seeds from community forests. Households...

Importance of Scale in Efficiency of Production

One study carried out in Pernambuco, Brazil, examined two communities established as part of the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST) (Movement of Rural Landless Workers) national movement (March 2001). The objective of this program has been for the people to confiscate agricultural land that is unused or underused, form a community, distribute land among community members, and then demand that government recog Another study in the Amazon referred to previously in this chapter showed a similar result (Castellanet and Jordan 2002) in a settlement program for the Amazon, settlers were given 100-ha plots in the region surrounding Alta-mira. Farms on large areas (100 ha) were less successful than small farms (7 ha). At first, most of the settlers lived on their land, because they wanted to validate their claim to the land. However, because of the poor dirt roads, transportation of agricultural commodities (mostly rice and corn) to the market in Altamira was impossible during...

Wintering Yellowhammers and Skylarks and their Seed Food Resources

In our study, skylark densities in Britain were highest on stubble fields where large seed densities were also highest. Skylarks in Britain are known to select stubbles, which have relatively high densities of spilt grain, because the birds are able to feed more efficiently than in areas with low seed densities (Robinson and Sutherland, 1999 Robinson, 2004). Other studies have shown that skylarks in Britain tend to avoid grassland areas during the winter (Gillings and Fuller, 2001 Donald, 2004). The shift toward more intensive farming practices in grassland systems may have reduced seedbanks associated with this habitat, thereby, reducing their value as winter foraging habitats for granivorous farmland bird species (Vick-ery et al., 2001 Robinson et al., 2004). Indeed, numbers of seed-eating bird species in grassland-dominated systems in Britain are positively associated with the area of available arable habitat (Robinson et al., 2001). Furthermore, breeding densities for seed-eating...

Conservation and Restoration

Because grasslands have tremendous economic value as grazing lands and also serve as critical habitat for many plant and animal species, efforts to conserve the remaining grasslands and restore grasslands on agricultural land are underway in many states and around the world. The most obvious conservation practice is the protection and management of existing grasslands. This includes both private and public lands. Probably the largest private holder of grasslands in the world is The Nature Conservancy. The Nature Conservancy is a global organization that works in all 50 states in the United States of America, and in 27 countries, including Canada, Mexico, Australia, and countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region, the Caribbean, and the Latin America.

Corridors And Connectivity

Hedgerows and hedgerow networks as wildlife habitat in agricultural landscapes. In Park, J.R., ed. Environmental Management in Agriculture. European Perspectives. Belhaven Press, London, pp. 111-124. Burel, F. and J. Baudry. 1990. Hedgerow networks as habitats for forest species implications for colonizing abandoned agricultural land. In Bunce, R.G.H. and D.C. Howard, eds. Species Dispersal in Agricultural Habitats. Belhaven Press, London, pp.18-64.

The Relation between the Eco Exergy to Empower Ratio and the Maximum Power and the Maximum Eco Exergy Principles

The third water body was the lake of Caprolace in Latium, at the edge of the Circeo National Park. This is an ancient natural formation fed mostly by rainwater, plus an input rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium that percolates from nearby agricultural land. Human impact is low. A quantity of fish is taken each year, but not in such a way that the fish population decreases.

The nature offorest soils and their influence on the ground flora

Soil Catena Podzol Brown Earth

Traditionally, soils of high quality have been used for agriculture, so those beneath long-established woodlands were usually not only of lower original quality, but have not been limed, fertilized and drained. Such human manipulations have sometimes influenced the soils of modern plantations to such a degree that this causes difficulties when attempts are made to introduce characteristic woodland floras (Section 11.6.2). Conversely, in many parts of the world abandoned agricultural land has reverted to forest and after a century or so it can superficially look like original untouched forest. However, the effects of agricultural practices such as ploughing on the soil can be long-lasting. For example, a study at Harvard Forest in central Massachusetts, USA (Motzkin et al, 1999) found that farm land abandoned a century or more before still had clear evidence of a ploughed surface (Ap) horizon. Moreover, composition of the forest (from trees to bryophytes) was significantly affected by...

Groundcover Or Woodmulch

Pictures Grasslands Root Systems

A number of erosion control practices have evolved including techniques for controlling water flows such as contour planting and terracing and different methods of providing coverage of bare soil such as cover crops, manure from animals, plant mulches, and no-till cropping. These practices must be integrated into the overall farm system and their use is at the discretion of the individual farmer. Organic farming is a comprehensive approach of these and other techniques that has been shown to reduce erosion and improve soil fertility (Mader et al., 2002 Reganold et al., 1987). Ecological engineering may be able to contribute to the development of alternative agricultural systems. Many problems with conventional agriculture have been described, and much work is needed to develop more sustainable alternatives (Keller and Brummer, 2002). For example, as noted by Orr (1992a) FIGURE 3.20 Energy circuit diagram of the role of the riparian forest as a best management practice in an...

Ecology As The Source Of Inspiration In Design

Ecological Engineering

John Todd has developed a unique wastewater treatment system, termed the living machine, which is the product of a long design history (Guterstam and Todd, 1990 Todd, 1988a, 1988b, 1990, 1991 Todd and Todd, 1994). The development of the design started at the New Alchemy Institute on Cape Cod, which Todd helped create in the early 1970s. The New Alchemy Institute was an organization devoted to developing and demonstrating integrated environmental technologies involving energy systems, architecture, and sustainable agriculture (Todd and Todd, 1980, see Chapter 9). One of the principal elements in these integrated systems was aquaculture. Especially with William McLarney and Ronald Zweig, Todd tried many configurations of fish culture tanks (McLarney and Todd, 1977 Zweig, 1986 Zweig et al., 1981). He settled on a large cylindrical tank (up to 1000 gal or 3790 l capacity)

Radioactive Contaminants in Human Food Chains

Studies such as those described above are particularly important in the case of plants and or animals which may enter the human food chain. An initial and still primary concern has been for agricultural systems such as the classic case of radioactive fallout being taken up and concentrated through the grass-cow-milk pathway leading to human intake of radioactive elements such as strontium-90 which, as a chemical analog of calcium, tends to be taken up and concentrated in bone where it shows long biological and ecological half-lives. More recently, however, additional concern has come to focus on the uptake and concentration of radioactive contaminants by free-living fish and wildlife species which may also be eaten by humans. Although generally not as common in human food chains as agricultural products, there are many cases of sportsmen and individuals in rural areas of developed countries, as well as entire societies in underdeveloped parts of the world, for whom fish and wildlife...

Classification of Ecotechnology

Land Classification Based Nutrient

The use of ecosystems for the benefit of humanity without destroying the ecological balance (i.e., the utilization of ecosystems on an ecologically sound basis). Typical examples are the use of integrated agriculture and development of organic agriculture this type of ecotechnology finds wide application in the ecological management of renewable resources. imply that ecological engineering can replace environmental engineering. On the contrary, the two technologies should work hand-in-hand to solve environmental management problems, better than they could do if applied individually. This is illustrated in type 1 ecological engineering (application of ecosystems to reduce or solve pollution problems) by wetlands utilized to reduce diffuse nutrient loads to lakes. This problem cannot be solved by environmental technology. Sludge treatment can be solved by environmental technology, namely by incineration. However, the ecological engineering solution (i.e., sludge disposal on agricultural...

Legacy Effects of Landscape Change

The ghosts of landscapes past have been found to haunt the biota of both terrestrial and aquatic systems. Land-use legacies on vegetation communities are especially prevalent and well documented. In central Massachusetts (USA), for example, the legacy of past agricultural land-use from the 18th century is still reflected in the vegetation of today's forests. This landscape has undergone a complete transformation during the past three centuries from a primarily forested region that was largely cleared for timber and agriculture by the mid-1800s following European settlement, to a now mostly forested region once again as industrialization during the latter half of the 19th century led to farm abandonment and migration to urban centers, thus allowing for natural reforestation over the past 100-150 years in spite of a steadily increasing human population (Foster et al., 1998). Despite the return to forest, the structure and composition of these forests have been dramatically and perhaps...

Protection For Weasels

After centuries of killing predators to protect human interests, concern for predatory animals as individuals and for their own sake is a very recent idea in Europe (Reynolds & Tapper 1996). European settlers carried their cultural attitudes to North America, including the selective destruction of predators to favor game, although that policy was on its way out in the national parks of the United States by the 1930s (Dunlap 1999). Weasels are small and subject to little rancorous debate compared with large predators, such as wolves, coyotes, and pumas. People wishing the demise of predators and those wishing their protection seldom address weasels, for several reasons. Weasels may kill chickens and other small farm animals, but they do not have the potential to cause large-scale, high-profile damage as do big predators. In addition, weasels are not considered charismatic by most people and, consequently, have few high-profile defenders. Finally, weasels are widespread and generally...

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