Agroecological Economics

Sustainability and Biodiversity


  • Paul Wojtkowski

Agroecology is the science of applying ecological concepts and principles to the design, development, and management of sustainable agricultural systems. Agroecological economics, a subsection of agricultural economics, evaluates the ecological consequences of agricultural methods on the economic scale. Agroecological economics considers green engineering as a means of measurement.As the environmental movement unfolds, the importance of biodiversity and long-term sustainability are indisputable. Progress depends on determining the economic viability of terrestrial agroecosystems. What is lacking is the analysis needed to bring biodiverse and sustainable systems to fruition. Agroecological Economics analyzes the current topics that must be addressed in order to provide sustainable agricultural systems. It explains the economics of land-use ecology with emphasis on changing over from a conventional model of agriculture to environmentally- and ecologically-friendly models and the financial incentives that are important to these practices.
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agricultural and environmental engineers; ecologists; economists; agribusiness professionals; nature organizations; academics


Book information

  • Published: December 2007
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-374117-2

Table of Contents

PrefaceChapter 1 - IntroductionEcology and agroecologyTraditional subdivisionsAgroecological directionsThe philosophical dilemmaEconomic directionsThe economic optionsMeasurementIntangiblesIntuitivenessChapter 2 ? Lead-up AgrobiomonicsEssential resourcesThe limiting resourceNutrient profilesAgroecological nichesGovernance Plant-plant EcosystemAnalytical ratios Output Costs RiskChapter 3 - Vector TheoryVectors The base Agroecological vectors Genetic improvement Varietal Microbial Agrobiodiversity Biodiversity (facilitative associations) Rotational Cross or inter-plot Location Physical land modifications Ex-farm inputs Environmental setting Allying vectorsDesignDesign variablesAgrotechnologies Principal mode Auxiliary Add-onsObjectivesOptimizationChapter 4 - AgrobiodiversityApplicationsUnderlying biodynamics Yield gains Interception Conversion Cost reductions Risk abatement Climate Insect and plant diseases Relevant guidelinesEconomic measures Revenue-enhanced LER Production possibilities curve Ratio lines The PPCDesign variables Species Planting density Spatial pattern Temporal adjustments Density, diversity, disarray, duration The non-harvest optionAssociated agrotechnologies Monocultural Pure Varietal/ genus Productive intercropping Simple mixes Strip cropping(seasonal) Barrier or boundary Complex agroecosystems (without trees) Productive agroforestry Isolated tree Alley cropping (treerow) Strip cropping(mixed tree) Agroforestry intercropping Shade systems (light) AgroforestsChapter 5 - BiodiversityApplicationsUnderlying biodynamics Yields Cost reductions Substitutable inputs DPCs Cut-and-carry Risk abatement Rain impact Climate Insects and diseases Relevant guidelinesEconomic measures CER LER and RVT-adjusted CER Illustrated Adjusted CER curves Economic orientation ratioDesign variables Specific interaction zones Spatial Patterns Timing PruningAssociated agrotechnologies Perceived monocultures Facilitative intercropping Simple mixes Strip cropping Boundary Covercrops Facilitative agroforestry Parkland Protective barrier Alley cropping (hedgerow) Strip cropping (woody) Crop over tree Physical support systems Shade systems (heavy)Chapter 6 ? RotationsApplicationsUnderlying biodynamics Yield gains Temporal DPCs Fallows Cost reductions Risk abatement Climate Insects and diseases Relevant guidelinesEconomic measures Sustainability OrderingDesign variables Delayed sowing PlantingAssociated agrotechnolgies Single rotations Series rotations Overlapping cycles Taungyas Simple Extended Multi-stage End stage ContinualChapter 7 ? Genetic, Varietal and LocationalApplicationsUnderlying Biodynamics Varietal selection Locational selection Relevant guidelines Economic measuresDesign Variables Micro-location Macro-locationAssociated agrotechnologies Elevation ScatteringChapter 8 ? Land ModificationsApplicationsUnderlying Biodynamics Water dynamics Runoff Drought Flooding Temperatures Relevant guidelinesEconomic measuresDesign variablesAssociated agrotechnologies Absorption zones/ micro-catchments Infiltration contours Terraces Stone Earthen Progressive Paddies Ponds Gabons Waterbreaks Cajetes Water channels Mounds and beds Stone clustersChapter 9 - Cross-Plot InfluencesApplicationsUnderlying biodynamics Yield gains Agroecosystem properties Interface and spillover theory Cost control Relevant guidelinesEconomic measuresDesign variables Interfaces Buffer speciesAssociated agrotechnologies Windbreaks Anti-insect barriers Habitats/ corridors Riparian buffers Firebreaks Living fencesChapter 10 ? Ex-farm InputsApplicationsUnderlying biodynamics Yield gains Cost reductions Weed control Risk abatement Climate Insects and diseasesEconomic measures Marginal Gains Substitutions Truant inputsDesign variables Nutrients Spot applications (row placement) Timing Insects Irrigation Flood Spray DripAssociated agrotechnologiesChapter 11 - Microbial and Environmental SettingApplicationsUnderlying biodynamics Yield gains Cost reductions Risk abatement Water dynamics Insects and plant diseases Temperatures Relevant guidelinesEconomic measures Design variablesAssociated agrotechnologies Composting Tillage Traps Bird and batsChapter 12 - Single-Plot DesignDAPsTask ordering or layering Essential nutrients Water Insects Weeds Temperatures ErosionMulti-taskingDesign economics Principal-mode agrotechnologies Ratios Guidelines Add-ons Cross-harmony Economic orientation Input efficiency Post-design screening Cultural Environment Profit and lossChapter 13 - Multi-Plot AnalysisInter-plot coordination Revenue and cost orientation PitfallsEconomic measures LLER LEOR RiskEnvironmental objectives Indices MimicryAesthetic objectivesCultural agroecologyFarm landscape patterns Blocks Strips Groups Pivot Circular ScatteredChapter 14 - Agrotechnological ExpansionsFeed systems Silvopastoral Pastures Pastures with trees Forage trees with pasture Forage trees alone Aqua-agriculture Entomo-agriculture Avian-agriculture Semi-husbandrySupport systems Seasonal support Perennial support Vine over tree Tree over vine Vine within a canopy Supplementary vine additions Root support systemsRiparian BuffersComplex agroecosystems Natural compatibility Variations Homegardens Shrub gardens Forest gardens Management EconomicsCase studies The green revolution Medieval agriculture Hillside maize A vector searchChapter 15 - Analytical RefinementsLER variations Row-based Temporal Event-enumeratedContinuumsThe PPCEssential resource economics Resource hypotheses The counter viewSpatial patterns Spatial theory Disarray Patterned disarrayTemporal economicsMulti-participant agroecosystemsIntuitive and intangibleDiagnosisBioeconomic modelingChapter 16 ? SummaryThe paradigmVectorsThe agrotechnologiesOutcomes vs. agrotechnologiesPolicyAgroecological economicsConclusionAuthor IndexReferences