Examines the challenges for developing integrated approaches to the management of agricultural ecosystems. Providing historical background of attempts to bridge the ecological and agricultural sciences, this book highlights recent efforts to integrate natural and social science perspectives. Through various case studies with global applications, the text explores practical innovative strategies, policies, and research needs for emphasizing whole system productivity, diversification of agricultural operations, and management of agricultural systems that sustain multiple functions including ecological integrity.
... a fascinating overview of how Utopia might be achieved and the scholarship continues to be impressive: Moses, Aristotle and VIrgil are all name-checked ... . Further chapters offer a rich mix of case studies and conceptual ideas. The book is true to its title and despite some inevitable overlaps, forms a satisfying whole. --S.J. Ramsden, in Experimental Agriculture, (2010), Volume 46 (3) This timely work shows us how the early concept of an agricultural ecosystem has evolved into a focus on the complexity of sustainable agroecosystem management. Concepts, principles, ecological foundations, and multifunctionality provide food for thought and action. This book takes agroecology to the next level. --Stephen Gliessman, Alfred and Ruth Heller Professor of Agroecology, University of California, Santa Cruz Today, agriculture contributes to climate change and loss of biodiversity while placing the world's food system in peril by its dependence on depleting fossil fuels. Agriculture could sequester atmospheric carbon, produce energy sustainably, and restore habitat--but only through a profound transformation of farming practices. This book represents the leading edge of thinking and research on the main issues in this urgently needed transition. It is required reading for anyone involved in agriculture at any level. --Richard Heinberg, Author, Senior Fellow, Post Carbon Institute A superb compendium of the latest thinking on ecologically sound food production written for scholars, growers, and serious laypersons alike. In the world of agroecology, growing food sustainably is something in which all of us can and should be involved. This book helps prepare us for that involvement." --Kurt Cobb, Energy and Environmental Writer, Resource Insights, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA
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