David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 6 (1):1-19 (1993)
In the final analysis, sustainable agriculture must derive from applied ecology, especially the principle of the regulation of the abundance and distribution of species (and, secondarily, their activities) in space and time. Interspecific competition in natural ecosystems has its counterparts in agriculture, designed to divert greater amounts of energy, nutrients, and water into crops. Whereas natural ecosystems select for a diversity of species in communities, recent agriculture has minimized diversity in favour of vulnerable monocultures. Such systems show intrinsically less stability and resilience to perturbations. Some kinds of crop rotation resemble ecological succession in that one crop prepares the land for successive crop production. Such rotations enhance soil organic processes such as decomposition and material cycling, build a nutrient capital to sustain later crop growth, and reduce the intensity of pest buildup. Species in natural communities occur at discrete points along the r-K continuum of reproductive maturity. Clearing forested land for agriculture, rotational burning practices, and replacing perennial grassland communities by cereal monocultures moves the agricultural community towards the r extreme. Plant breeders select for varieties which yield at an earlier age and lower plant biomass, effectively moving a variety towards the r type. Features of more natural landscapes, such as hedgerows, may act as physical and biological adjuncts to agricultural production. They should exist as networks in agricultural lands to be most effective. Soil is of major importance in agroecosystems, and maintaining, deliberately, its vitality and resilience to agricultural perturbations is the very basis of sustainable land use.
|Keywords||agroecosystems agriculture ecology sustainability biodiversity competition succession culture|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
David Pimentel, Ulrich Stachow, David A. Takacs, Hans W. Brubaker, Amy R. Dumas, John J. Meaney, Douglas E. Onsi & David B. Corzilius (1992). Conserving Biological Diversity in Agricultural/Forestry Systems. BioScience 42 (5):354-362.
Citations of this work BETA
George Boody & Brian Devore (2006). Redesigning Agriculture. BioScience 56 (10):839-845.
Similar books and articles
Holger Kirchmann (1994). Biological Dynamic Farming — an Occult Form of Alternative Agriculture? Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 7 (2):173-187.
R. Lal, F. P. Miller & T. J. Logan (1988). Are Intensive Agricultural Practices Environmentally and Ethically Sound? Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 1 (3):193-210.
J. Baird Callicott (1990). The Metaphysical Transition in Farming: From the Newtonian-Mechanical to the Eltonian Ecological. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 3 (1):36-49.
Vonne Lund & I. Anna S. Olsson (2006). Animal Agriculture: Symbiosis, Culture, or Ethical Conflict? [REVIEW] Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 19 (1):47-56.
Michael C. Appleby (2005). Sustainable Agriculture is Humane, Humane Agriculture is Sustainable. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 18 (3):293-303.
Jeffrey Burkhardt (1989). The Morality Behind Sustainability. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 2 (2):113-128.
E. Ann Clark & B. R. Christie (1988). A Forage-Based Vision of Ontario Agriculture. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 1 (2):109-121.
J. Baird Callicott (1988). Agroecology in Context. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 1 (1):3-9.
Coutellec Léo & Bernard Pintureau (2013). Crop Protection Between Sciences, Ethics and Societies: From Quick-Fix Ideal to Multiple Partial Solutions. [REVIEW] Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 26 (1):207-230.
Donald N. Duvick (1995). Biotechnology is Compatible with Sustainable Agriculture. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 8 (2):112-125.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads8 ( #170,077 of 1,101,159 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #290,630 of 1,101,159 )
How can I increase my downloads?