The Ecology of Agricultural Landscapes: Long-Term Research on the Path to Sustainability

Hardcover | March 9, 2015

EditorStephen K. Hamilton, Julie E. Doll, G. Philip Robertson

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Evidence has been mounting for some time that intensive row-crop agriculture as practiced in developed countries may not be environmentally sustainable, with concerns increasingly being raised about climate change, implications for water quantity and quality, and soil degradation. This volumesynthesizes two decades of research on the sustainability of temperate, row-crop ecosystems of the Midwestern United States. The overarching hypothesis guiding this work has been that more biologically based management practices could greatly reduce negative impacts while maintaining sufficientproductivity to meet demands for food, fiber and fuel, but that roadblocks to their adoption persist because we lack a comprehensive understanding of their benefits and drawbacks. The research behind this book, based at the Kellogg Biological Station (Michigan State University) and conducted under the aegis of the Long-term Ecological Research network, is structured on a foundation of large-scale field experiments that explore alternatives to conventional, chemical-intensiveagriculture. Studies have explored the biophysical underpinnings of crop productivity, the interactions of crop ecosystems with the hydrology and biodiversity of the broader landscapes in which they lie, farmers' views about alternative practices, economic valuation of ecosystem services, and globalimpacts such as greenhouse gas exchanges with the atmosphere. In contrast to most research projects, the long-term design of this research enables identification of slow or delayed processes of change in response to management regimes, and allows examination of responses across a broader range ofclimatic variability. This volume synthesizes this comprehensive inquiry into the ecology of alternative cropping systems, identifying future steps needed on the path to sustainability.

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Evidence has been mounting for some time that intensive row-crop agriculture as practiced in developed countries may not be environmentally sustainable, with concerns increasingly being raised about climate change, implications for water quantity and quality, and soil degradation. This volumesynthesizes two decades of research on the s...

Stephen K. Hamilton, Julie E. Doll, and G. Philip Robertson are affiliated with the Kellogg Biological Station at Michigan State University.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:448 pages, 9.29 × 6.3 × 1.18 inPublished:March 9, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199773351

ISBN - 13:9780199773350

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Table of Contents

1. G. Philip Robertson and Stephen K. Hamilton: Conceptual and Experimental Approaches to Long-term Ecological Research at the Kellogg Biological Station2. G. Philip Robertson, Katherine L. Gross, Stephen K. Hamilton, Douglas A. Landis, Thomas M. Schmidt, Sieglinde S. Snapp, and Scott M. Swinton: Farming for Ecosystem Services: An Ecological Approach to Production Agriculture3. Scott M. Swinton, Christina B. Jolejole-Foreman, Frank Lupi, Shan Ma, Wei Zhang and Huilan Chen: Economic Value of Ecosystem Services from Agriculture4. Stuart H. Gage, Julie E. Doll, and Gene R. Safir: A Crop Stress Index to Predict Climatic Effects on Row-crop Agriculture in the U.S. North Central Region5. Eldor A. Paul, Alexandra Kravchenko, A. Stuart Grandy, and Sherri Morris: Soil Organic Matter Dynamics: Controls and Management for Sustainable Ecosystem Functioning6. Thomas M. Schmidt and Clive Waldron: Microbial Diversity in Soils of Agricultural Landscapes and its Relation to Ecosystem Functio7. Katherine L. Gross, Sarah Emery, Adam S. Davis, Richard G. Smith, and Todd M.P. Robinson: Plant Community Dynamics in Agricultural and Successional Field8. Douglas A. Landis and Stuart H. Gage: Arthropod Diversity and Pest Suppression in Agricultural Landscapes9. Neville Millar and G. Philip Robertson: Nitrogen Transfers and Transformations in Row-crop Ecosystems10. Bruno Basso and Joe T. Ritchie: Simulating Crop Growth and Biogeochemical Fluxes in Response to Land Management using the SALUS Model11. Stephen K. Hamilton: Water Quality and Movement in Agricultural Landscapes12. Ilya Gelfand and G. Philip Robertson: Mitigation of Greenhouse Gases in Agricultural Ecosystems13. Scott M. Swinton, Natalie Rector, G. Philip Robertson, Christina B. Jolejole-Foreman, and Frank Lupi: Farmer Decisions about Adopting Environmentally Beneficial Practices14. Stuart H. Gage, Wooyeong Joo, Eric P. Kasten, Jordan Fox, and Subir Biswas: Acoustic Observations in Agricultural Landscapes15. Sieglinde S. Snapp, Richard G. Smith, and G. Philip Robertson: Designing Cropping Systems for Ecosystem Services