how does biodiversity affect agriculture



Greater biodiversity benefits agriculture through such effects as an increase in pollinators, the presence of species that reduce pests, and better soil quality. For example, work in ecology has demonstrated a strong link between biodiversity and the stability and productivity of ecosystems.

How does biodiversity loss affect agriculture?

“Less biodiversity means that plants and animals are more vulnerable to pests and diseases. Compounded by our reliance on fewer and fewer species to feed ourselves, the increasing loss of biodiversity for food and agriculture puts food security and nutrition at risk,” added Graziano da Silva.

Why is biodiversity important for agriculture *?

The biodiversity in agriculture is essential to satisfy human needs for food and security of livelihood. Biodiversity interacts with food and nutrition to deal with several issues. It helps to provide food security, nutrition, and well-being for a variety of animals and plants (both domesticated and wild).

What is meant by diversity of agriculture?

Agricultural biodiversity is defined as “the variety and variability of animals, plants and micro-organisms that are used directly or indirectly for food and agriculture, including crops, livestock, forestry and fisheries.

Why is biodiversity important for agriculture quizlet?

for what 5 reasons is maintaining biodiversity important to agriculture? pollinators, protection against disaster, a source of food, pest control and new varieties.


Why is biodiversification important for agriculture?

In essence, agricultural fields with greater biodiversity are better protected from harmful insect pests, promote wild pollination, and produce higher yields.

Why is biodiversity important?

In summary, our paper shows that biodiversity is essential to ensure the provision of ecosystem services and maintain high and stable crop yields. For example, a farmer can depend less on pesticides to get rid of harmful insects if natural biological control is increased through higher agricultural biodiversity. With ongoing global change, the value of farmland biodiversity ensuring greater resilience against environmental disturbances will become even more important.

How does landscape simplification affect biodiversity?

The ongoing conversion of natural or seminatural land for agriculture and the fusing to larger crop fields – a process called landscape simplification – are threating agricultural biodiversity by killing off insects’ food and resources. With declines of insects, the ecosystems services the insects provided might wane as well. Yet, it remains unclear how these changes affect the number and mix of these species and ultimately how agricultural production might change as a result.

What are the main services of nature?

Nature is a vital service provider for agriculture in many ways. Fruit trees and other pollinator-dependent crops are pollinated by wild insects like bumblebees, solitary bees, or flies. Other insects like predatory ladybugs or ground beetles eat pests that would otherwise damage or even destroy crops. All these organisms play a key role in agroecosystems providing multiple ecosystem functions critical to food production.

How does agriculture affect biodiversity?

Agriculture also affects biodiversity in the actual crops that are being grown. Many pesticides are used to keep insects from eating the crops, but these pesticides reduce a lot of biodiversity and they also go into the creatures that eat the insects, like birds. Some of these pesticides can harm these larger animals and spread throughout the food chain (Impacts). Pesticides and fertilizers can also be washed into rivers and streams because of runoff and can have harmful effects on the aquatic species living there (Impacts). Agriculture is a huge problem for aquatic environments, especially freshwater ecosystems. Sadly, agriculture doesn’t just affect the biodiversity of what it directly impacts, but it spreads to other regions and harms other areas. This also is a big concern because we eat animals that eat these insects with pesticides, and this could potentially damage our own health as well.

How has agriculture changed the world?

Agriculture began up to 12,000 years ago and over time has completely changed the way humans live and how the world is around us (Development). Before agriculture, most people were nomadic and gathered food. Once agriculture and farming became a regular practice, the human race became much more advanced and the population began to grow due to a lot of food being provided in a stable environment. Now, we live almost exclusively off of farming and domesticated animals, and we are able to feed large amounts of people while staying in one place. Agriculture has a lot of benefits towards humans, but the extreme amount of agriculture today has a lot of negative effects on our environment and reduces biodiversity.

Why is agriculture important?

To start positively, agriculture is super important to our lifestyles today and makes it a lot easier to support large, stable populations. It has made it way easier to get food and takes less travelling for hunting and gathering, and has led to our lives are today. Unfortunately, human populations have grown to be too big, and getting enough food (which we still don’t have,) from agriculture requires a lot of land. Not only do humans eat a lot of grasses, they also kill other things that feed on these grasses and also take away from other animals being able to eat these grasses (Human Planet). Also, the high human population requires a lot of land for homes and cities. All this land being plowed and taken takes away a lot of habitats, and decreases biodiversity (Chapter 6). Extinction rates tend to rise more where human population is especially high. According to the LPI, between 1970 and 2008, the global LPI dropped 31% in temperate areas and 61% in tropical areas (Chapter 9). “Agricultural expansion is responsible for 70 percent of global deforestation, and is the single greatest threat to tropical forests” (Rainforest). When rainforests are deforested for agricultural purposes, it is especially harmful to biodiversity. Rainforest house a lot of the world’s species, and a lot of those species require specific environments that the rainforest provides, and that they won’t be able to survive without if it is deforested (Rain).”We do not know the exact rate of extinction, but estimates range from one to 137 species disappearing worldwide per day” (Stork 1996).

How can we bring back biodiversity?

One possible solution to bring back biodiversity is to switch a lot of organic agriculture instead of the way agriculture is normally done in large amounts. “Organic farming operates without pesticides, herbicides and inorganic fertilizers, and usually with a more diverse crop rotation” (Bengtsson).This way, humans could actually positively impact biodiversity. Organic agriculture typically makes biodiversity greater, especially within insects, birds, and plants (Bengtsson). Organic agriculture would benefit our planet in so many important ways. If we stopped using inorganic fertilizers and pesticides alone, the environment would benefit so greatly. Insect biodiversity would immediately soar, which would lead to more bird biodiversity since they would have more food as well. Obviously, this would spread throughout the entire food chain. This would also improve biodiversity in aquatic environments because there would be no pesticides runoff entering the ecosystems. This could also prevent any inorganic pesticides from affecting us and our food. Organic farming sounds like a perfect plan, but unfortunately, has many flaws and drawbacks. Without the use of herbicides, weeds increase greatly (Bengtsson). A lot of the crops would also be eaten by bugs and other animals. Many think these drawbacks would be worth it for a more sustainable future.

How does biodiversity affect food production?

Agriculture is also dependent on a range of ecosystem services like nutrient cycling, soil formation, water purification, atmospheric regulation and pollination. While biodiversity and ecosystem services are essential in supporting primary food production activities , these activities are also major drivers of biodiversity and ecosystem losses. It is estimated that 60% of global terrestrial biodiversity loss is related to food production (TEEB, 2018 ).

What is agricultural biodiversity?

Agricultural biodiversity is defined as “the variety and variability of animals, plants and micro-organisms that are used directly or indirectly for food and agriculture, including crops, livestock, forestry and fisheries. From: Encyclopedia of Food Security and Sustainability, 2019.

What is agrobiodiversity economics?

Agrobiodiversity economics is a field of inquiry that offers explanations about the continued loss of biodiversity in agricultural systems, and demonstrates its value in those systems. It can also help to design policy instruments for in situ agrobiodiversity conservation. Some values of agrobiodiversity can be privately captured by farmers, for example, its value in supporting agricultural productivity and stability or in providing insurance. The global public value of agrobiodiversity cannot be appropriated by farmers, and is a source of market failure and on-farm agrobiodiversity loss. Complementary policy instruments that can curb agrobiodiversity loss include direct voluntary payments and the development of market value chains.

How does functional agrobiodiversity help society?

Functional agrobiodiversity can provide practical solutions to help shape agroecosystems of the future, but needs time to provide evidence through complex studies carried out beyond the disciplinary boundaries that still characterize science. As well as agroecology, functional agrobiodiversity does not provide standardized solutions but rather an approach to the development of these solutions locally. Society needs to understand that the pace of economic systems would need to be reconciled with that of biological systems, otherwise biodiversity-driven solutions, although they might work at a local scale, would never be instrumental in solving global (agri)environmental problems.

What is agrobiodiversity in agriculture?

Agrobiodiversity refers to the variety and variability of living organisms that contribute to food and agriculture in the broadest sense, and that are associated with cultivating crops and rearing animals within ecological complexes. It is further expanded in some contexts to include all the organisms present in an agricultural landscape. Examples consist of crops and animal breeds, their wild relatives, and the species that interact with and support these species, for example, pollinators, symbionts, pests, parasites, predators, decomposers, and competitors. Croplands and fields as well as habitats and species outside of farming systems that affect agriculture and ecosystem functions in agricultural landscape are included. Agrobiodiversity can also refer to the extraction and utilization of products from natural ecosystems such as nonforest timber products, or livestock that pasture in grasslands. Utilization and conservation of biodiversity in agricultural landscapes is strongly influenced by socioeconomic factors at local, regional, and global scales. The concepts of agrobiodiversity are also valid for forestry and fisheries, especially in situations where human activities dominate the ecosystem processes.

What are the functions of agrobiodiversity?

A wide range of disciplinary sciences has contributed to understanding the functions of agrobiodiversity, as illustrated by the following examples. The agricultural sciences have shown that crop and animal breeding can select for genes to increase agricultural productivity (e.g., Cooper et al., 2001 ). Crop diversity, in both space and time, can enhance nutrient use efficiency, and a diverse soil community may regulate tighter nutrient cycling, reduce pests and diseases, and improve soil structure (e.g., Brussaard et al., 2007 ). Ecological research has shown that biodiversity can increase the stability of grassland ecosystems ( Loreau et al., 2002 ), which has implications for the management of pastures for livestock production. Additionally, the structure of agricultural landscapes, that is, mosaics of agricultural and nonagricultural ecosystems, is increasingly recognized as an important factor for the utilization and conservation of both on- and off-farm biodiversity. Economics has shown that by investing in biodiversity, environmental and market risks faced by producers can potentially be reduced, especially over the long term ( Perrings, 1998 ). Interdisciplinary approaches in which the agroecological value of biodiversity is combined with the socioeconomic value, especially those focused on how managing biodiversity can be enhanced in agricultural practices, are now viewed as an important new direction of agrobiodiversity research ( Jackson et al., 2005 ). Although the agrobiodiversity literature focuses mainly on farming systems, many of the issues and approaches are also relevant to food, fiber, and timber production in natural ecosystems such as grazed grasslands, managed forests, and fisheries.

What is a facilitative biodiversity?

Facilitative biodiversity: Purely facilitative plants can discourage herbivore insects, slow the spread of a plant disease, smother weeds, improve upon the water and nutrient gathering ability of the primary species. Gardening books list many such species, among which are decorative plants. An example, temperate gardens may accommodate marigolds (pretty flowers and nematode control).

How does agriculture affect biodiversity?

Agriculture is the largest contributor to biodiversity loss with expanding impacts due to changing consumption patterns and growing populations. Agriculture destroys biodiversity by converting natural habitats to intensely managed systems and by releasing pollutants, including greenhouses gases.

How does agriculture affect the environment?

While negative impacts are serious, and can include pollution and degradation of soil, water, and air, agriculture can also positively impact the environment, for instance by trapping greenhouse gases within crops and soils, or mitigating flood risks through the adoption of certain farming practices.

Why is biodiversity important?

Biodiversity is essential to food and agriculture Biodiversity makes production systems and livelihoods more resilient to shocks and stresses, including those caused by climate change. It is a key resource in efforts to increase food production while limiting negative impacts on the environment.

What is the basis of agriculture?

Biodiversity is the basis of agriculture and our food systems. Agricultural biodiversity also performs ecosystem services such as soil and water conservation, maintenance of soil fertility, conservation of biota and pollination of plants, all of which are essential for food production and for human survival.

What are the problems of livestock?

Agricultural livestock are responsible for a large proportion of global greenhouse gas emissions, most notably methane. In addition, overgrazing is a major problem regarding environmental sustainability. Cattle and other large grazing animals can even damage soil by trampling on it.

What are some examples of pollutants that can lead to excess levels of acid in lakes and streams?

For example: pollutants such as sulfur can lead to excess levels of acid in lakes and streams, and damage trees and forest soils; atmospheric nitrogen can reduce the biodiversity of plant communities and harm fish and other aquatic life; ozone damages tree leaves and negatively affects scenic vistas in protected

What are the environmental issues associated with agriculture?

Significant environmental and social issues associated with agricultural production include changes in the hydrologic cycle; introduction of toxic chemicals, nutrients, and pathogens; reduction and alteration of wildlife habitats; and invasive species.

How does farming affect biodiversity?

Can farming affect biodiversity? The way that farmers grow crops and raise animals can be either good or bad for biodiversity. On one hand, farmers can support biodiversity through careful farming methods. On the other hand, if farmers are not careful, the environment and organisms on and near the farm can be harmed.

What happens if farmers don’t take care of their trees?

On the other hand, if farmers are not careful, the environment and organisms on and near the farm can be harmed. Trees can act as natural water filters. Their roots absorb rainwater, and minimize the amount of runoff entering rivers and lakes.

What are the organisms that live in soil?

There are millions of organisms that live in soil — microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi, and macroorganisms, such as worms, mites, ants and spiders. These organisms can help farmers to reduce the negative effects of farming.

Is farm dirt rich in biodiversity?

A handful of farm dirt is rich in biodiversity. Soil biodiversity includes animals, bacteria, fungi and even the roots of plants growing above. Soils form complex ecosystems that make farming possible.

Why is biodiversity important?

Protecting biodiversity in the ecosystems that support our food production and fresh water , and preserving genetic diversity in our crops, are both very critical to ensuring our ability to produce food with ever-shrinking terrestrial and aquatic resources. Another thing that is not appreciated is that modern crops and livestock vitally depend on thousands of other species, including insects and birds that pollinate crops and feed on pests, and numerous microbial species that live on and in plants and animals, and that are especially critical to both their and our survival.

What are the laws that apply to agriculture?

The main pieces of legislation that apply to agriculture are the Water Pollution Act (1977 & 1990), The Nitrates Directive and Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters Regulation (2006) . If you fail to comply with the legislation that is in place, it may result in fines, disruption to your farming operations and cost of rehabilitation for all damage done.

What are the effects of agriculture on wild animals?

Agricultural activities such as tillage, drainage, intercropping, rotation, grazing and extensive usage of pesticides and fertilizers have significant implications for wild species of flora and fauna. Species capable of adapting to the agricultural landscape may be limited directly by the disturbance regimes of grazing, planting and harvesting, and indirectly by the abundance of plant and insect foods available. Some management techniques, such as drainage, create such fundamental habitat changes that there are significant shifts in species composition. This paper considers the relative merits of conventional tillage versus reduced, or no-till farming, and reviews the benefits of rest-rotation grazing, crop rotation and intercropping in terms of maintaining wild species populations.

How does pest control affect biodiversity?

Pest control, a process that maintains nuisance organisms below economic thresholds, is a complex ecological process often mediated by biodiversity. Agricultural intensification results in widespread losses of biodiversity, with important implications for pest control. This article reviews how biological diversity at several levels of biological organization (e.g., crop genetic, trait, and species diversity, predator diversity, and multitrophic interactions including ecological network interactions) and distinct spatial scales (e.g., crop field, noncrop habitats, and landscape heterogeneity) affects biological pest control. Increases in biodiversity resulting from ecological or organic farming techniques can promote pest control within agricultural landscapes, but the effects of increased diversity are highly variable.

Why are grain crops important?

Grain crops are an important part of the human diet, accounting for a third of the consumed calories. Throughout human history, annual grain crops with high yields have been obtained through domestication. However, the “annual” characteristic brings associated a series of economic and environmental disadvantages, such as soil erosion or low soil resources use, that can be solved if the agriculture of annual varieties evolves towards perenniality. For this reason, there are numerous research groups dedicated to study and obtain perennial varieties of the most cultivated grain crops. In this review article, we have summarized the most important advances related to the subject, focusing on the domestication and hybridization of the most productive grains globally: wheat, rice, maize, rye and sorghum. We highlight their benefits for sustainable agriculture worldwide due to perennial grains may contribute to reducing erosion, acting avoiding carbon losses, reducing nutrient losses to waters or capturing nutrients deeper in soil when they are scarce, reducing farm costs and thus, increasing the effectiveness of agricultural grain crops. Despite perennial grain crops having disadvantages, they possess outstanding characteristics which make them resilient crops to deal with the imminent climate change. However, maintaining the perenniality trait without reducing genetic biodiversity is a great challenge of current scientific importance that must be deeply considered.

What are the processes that occur in soil?

Soil enzymatic processes that involve the decomposition of organic matter, geochemical nutrient cycling, and removal of contaminants are essential for the functioning of the soil environment. These activities help to maintain the fertility, health, and ecology of the soil necessary for sustainable agriculture. These enzymes promote the growth and production of agriculturally valuable crops by providing an interrelation between plant–soil environments for nutrient supply. From the production of various phytohormones and the acquisition of nutrients to biocontrol of pests and plant pathogens for crop protection, a diverse group of these enzymes is present in the soil environment playing a pivotal role in crop production. They can also act as an indicator of changes in soil quality as a measure of the level of pollution while some enzymes facilitate degradation of the hazardous aromatic compounds and pesticides. Microorganisms are the major source of soil enzymes. The enzymes are produced at either intracellular or extracellular locations. The soil characteristics such as the quantity and structure of organic matter along with the inhabitant organisms influence the enzyme levels and activities. Understanding of these microbial enzymes for their biotechnological application to increase production in the agriculture sector is necessary to provide sufficient food and fodder while giving a boost to the economy.

How does climatic change affect agriculture?

Agricultural production is an important factor, and climatic changes play a vital role in organic and traditional practices. The climatic change that affects agriculture then the important change on research has motivated during the last period. Organic Agriculture has been changed on climate flexibility farming system that encourages the proper administration of local knowledge, soil, biodiversity, and water. They adapt to the change of climate as a good option. The negative offset impacts of climatic condition change positively contribute to organic agriculture, to substantiate this statistic by inadequate data. Climatic change is one of the biggest threats for both traditional and organic agriculture. The production crop needs to adapt themselves to the environment; the farmer needs to take some work to avoid the disaster from climatic change. When compared with traditional agriculture, organic agriculture got a higher potential to mitigate the change of climate. This paper reveals the comparison of the effect due to the climatic change on both traditional and organic agriculture are presented and discussed.

What is the most important crop in India?

Cotton is the most important commercial crop across rainfed growing regions in India. It produces kapas which has wide variety of uses in industry. Besides, it leaves lot of residues which include stalks, locules, leaves and roots in the field after picking kapas. A huge quantity of residue is being generated across different cotton growing states in India and a large portion of it is being burnt on-farm primarily to clear the field for sowing succeeding crops and for clean cultivation. But, it is leading to environmental pollution and emission of green houses gases. Further, valuable plant material is being lost which otherwise can be used for productive purposes. Many researchers found that insitu incorporation of crop residue would enrich soil fertility, enhances crop productivity and conserves the environment. This paper discussed various machinery with main emphasis on multi crop shredder and also different options for managing the cotton residues effectively.

How does agriculture reduce biodiversity?

of farmland use Livestock farming is a major source of surplus nitrogen and phosphorous pollution15. These chemicals can cause excess vegetation and algae growth in lakes and rivers, depriving them of oxygen. This process, known as eutrophication, further harms biodiversity 16.

How does agriculture negatively affect biodiversity?

In addition to agricultural biodiversity, modern agricultural practices can also impact biodiversity in other ecosystems through several ways such as unsustainable demands on water (for irrigation for example), overgrazing, as well as excessive use of nutrients and chemical inputs to control weeds, pests and diseases

How does farming reduce biodiversity GCSE?

This also reduces biodiversity. Crops are often sown, treated and harvested by machines which create pollution, and fertilisers are added to fields in larger amounts which can cause eutrophication. Intensive farming can also mean keeping livestock in smaller pens with regulated temperatures.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of intensive farming?

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What is the importance of biodiversity to society?

Ecological life support— biodiversity provides functioning ecosystems that supply oxygen, clean air and water, pollination of plants, pest control, wastewater treatment and many ecosystem services. Recreation—many recreational pursuits rely on our unique biodiversity, such as birdwatching, hiking, camping and fishing.

What are the problems of biodiversity?

Researchers have identified five important drivers of biodiversity loss: Habitat loss and degradation—which is any thinning, fragmentation, or destruction of an existing natural habitat—reduces or eliminates the food resources and living space for most species.

What is the greatest threat to biodiversity today?

Habitat loss is the single greatest threat to biodiversity on Earth today and in fact it is the second largest threat to our existence on this planet next to Climate Change.

What is biodiversity in agriculture?

Biodiversity in agriculture includes all components involved in promoting diversity of food products and agriculture. It includes genetic resources of crops, wild plants harvested and managed for foods, trees on farms, rangeland species, pastures, and lastly medicinal plants. SEE ALSO 21 Examples of Renewable and Non-renewable Energy Resources.

What happens if farmers consider biodiversity into the equation of agriculture?

If farmers choose to consider biodiversity into the equation of agriculture they may go onto make crops with better yields, as well as save the environment from taking damage.

How does conservation tillage help the soil?

This practice allows crop residue to remain on the surface, reducing the opportunity for soil erosion. The practice of conservation tillage has started to increase on farms. The main objective is to build organic matter in the soil that will help to promote biodiversity. 2. Planting Cover Crops.

How does biodiversity affect food?

Biodiversity interacts with food and nutrition to deal with several issues. It helps to provide food security, nutrition, and well-being for a variety of animals and plants (both domesticated and wild).

Why is biodiversity important?

Biodiversity is the scale on which we measure the variety in ecosystems, genetic, and species levels. It helps us to determine the variability on Earth. This variability is important, as it allows us to keep ecosystems, environment and their relationship in check.

Why are domesticated crops and animals important?

All domesticated crops and animals are a result of proper management of biodiversity. It is constantly responding to various new challenges to maintain and increase productivity under the increased pressure of growing population and varying conditions.

What are some ways to improve biodiversity?

Agricultural Practices to Improve Biodiversity. 1. Conservation Tillage. Conservation tillage aims to minimize the disturbance of soil, by employing tools that can turn over the soil lightly or hardly at all in many cases.

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