Biotic Diversity in Agroecosystems

Edited By

  • M.G. Paoletti, Department of Biology, Padova University, Via Trieste, 75, 35121 Padova, Italy
  • D. Pimentel, Department of Entomology, Comstock Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-0999, USA

The preservation of biodiversity is a high priority among biologists, ecologists and environmentalists. The impact that human activities have on biodiversity is clear; however, few studies have focused on the importance of biodiversity to natural and agricultural ecosystems. In fact, many natural species are essential to sustainable agricultural programs. A new school of thought is appreciating the ecological principles and benefits that diversity of natural biota have for humans and the environment. Landscape ecology and agroecology can play a major role in protecting the environment and conserving biological diversity. The practical opportunities for improving the sustainability of agriculture and making it more environmentally sound were discussed at the Symposium on Agroecology and Conservation Issues, from which 22 papers were collected for this volume. Strategies for increasing biodiversity in agricultural landscapes are provided alongside discussion that agriculture will continue to spread into forests, to meet the growing need for food. Although humans recognize the value of crop and livestock species, few really appreciate the fact that agriculture and forestry cannot function in a productive sustainable way when significant numbers of species in natural biota are lost.
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Book information

  • Published: June 1992
  • Imprint: ELSEVIER
  • ISBN: 978-0-444-89390-1

Table of Contents

Agroecosystem biodiversity: Matching production and conservation biology (M.G. Paoletti, et al.). A review: Long term effects of agricultural systems on soil biochemical and microbial parameters (R. Dick). Biodiversity of microarthropods in agricultural soils: relation to processes (D.A. Crossley, B.R. Mueller, J.C. Perdue). Macrochelid mites occurring in animal droppings in the pasture ecosystem in central Italy (B. Cicolani). Modifying traditional and high-output agroecosystems for optimization of microbial symbioses: A case study of dry beans in Costa Rica (M.E. Rosemeyer, S.R. Gliessman). Are grassy field margins essential for arthropod diversity in arable sites? A case study on ground beetles and spiders in Eastern Austria (Coleoptera: Carabidae; Arachnida: Aranei, Opiliones) (B. Kromp). Field margins: Can they enhance natural enemy densities and general arthropod diversity of farmland? (P. Dennis, G. Fry). Margins of agricultural fields as habitats for pollinating insects (J. Lagerlof, J. Stark, B. Svensson). Farming systems and insect predators (K. Booij). Conservation of insects in the temperate and tropical landscape (M.J. Samways). Effects of headland management on invertebrates of cereal fields (M. Hassall, et al.). Strategy for conservation of wild bees in an agricultural landscape (J. Banaszak). Use of mesofauna data for judgement of anthropogenic impact on ecosystems (H. Koehler). Comparative studies on the soil life in ecofarmed and conventionally farmed fields and grasslands of Austria (W. Foissner). Conserving the species-rich hay meadows of Europe (A. Garcia). Forage legumes and cultural sustainability: lessons from history (D.H. Stinner, I. Glick, B.R. Stinner). Subterranean clover living mulch: An alternative method of weed control (R.D. Ilnicki, A.J. Enache). Alternative crops for sustainable agricultural systems (R. Becker, et al). Rain forest colonization and agricultural transformation (E.E. de Miranda, C. Mattos). Conserving biodiversity in agricultural forestry and natural ecosystems in Australia (P. Greenslade). Tanzania's vanishing rain forests - assessment of nature conservation values, biodiversity and importance for water catchment (J.E. Bjorndalen). Diversity of mammals and traditional hunting in Central African rain forest (G.M. Carpaneto, F.P. Germi).