How does biodiversity help agriculture


Healthy agricultural biodiversity results in many benefits like:

  • Clean and safe water supply
  • Protection of soil
  • Recovery of nutrient
  • Provision of food
  • Provision of medicine
  • Availability of wood products
  • Much more diverse wildlife
  • Future resources and their protection
  • Maintenance of climate

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.Oct 16, 2017


How does biodiversity affect agriculture?

With bees responsible for pollinating more than 70 percent of food crops around the world, caring for bees and their wellbeing is an important part of the global food chain.

What are the 5 factors that affect biodiversity?

What are the factors that lead to loss of biodiversity?

  • Habitat destruction. Habitat destruction is a major cause of biodiversity loss. …
  • Invasive Species. …
  • Over-exploitation of Species. …
  • Global Warming and Climate Change. …
  • Pollution. …
  • Human Overpopulation. …
  • Natural Calamities. …
  • Genetic Pollution.

What does agricultural biodiversity mean?

Agricultural biodiversity is a broad term that includes all components of biological diversity of relevance to food and agriculture, and all components of biological diversity that constitute the agricultural ecosystems, also named agro-ecosystems: the variety and variability of animals, plants and micro-organisms, at the genetic, species and ecosystem levels, which are necessary to sustain …

Why is diversity in agriculture important?

In agriculture, biodiversity is also useful for humans: genetic diversity in crops and livestock helps guard our food supply against disease and other threats. Unfortunately, industrial agriculture prioritizes consistency and productivity over biodiversity, and relies on only a few varieties of plants and animals.


What is the relationship between agriculture and 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 biodiversity benefit medicine and agriculture?

Biodiversity Underpins Economic Activity Food production relies on biodiversity for a variety of food plants, pollination, pest control, nutrient provision, genetic diversity, and disease prevention and control. Both medicinal plants and manufactured pharmaceuticals rely on biodiversity.

How does biodiversity promote sustainable agriculture?

Fields containing a variety of crops are often rich in above- and below-ground beneficial organisms that naturally control insects, inhibit growth of disease organisms, boost a crop’s natural defenses and suppress some weeds.

What is meant by diversity in agriculture?

It can be defined as “the variety and variability of animals, plants and micro-organisms at the genetic, species and ecosystem levels that sustain the ecosystem structures, functions and processes in and around production systems, and that provide food and non-food agricultural products.” It is managed by farmers, …

What are the 5 benefits of biodiversity?

5 Reasons Why Biodiversity Matters – to Human Health, the Economy and Your WellbeingBiodiversity Ensures Health and Food Security. Biodiversity underpins global nutrition and food security. … Biodiversity Helps Fight Disease. … Biodiversity Benefits Business. … Biodiversity Provides Livelihoods. … Biodiversity Protects Us.

Why is biodiversity important?

Biodiversity is essential for the processes that support all life on Earth, including humans. Without a wide range of animals, plants and microorganisms, we cannot have the healthy ecosystems that we rely on to provide us with the air we breathe and the food we eat. And people also value nature of itself.

How does loss of biodiversity affect agriculture?

We have seen what happens when biodiversity is reduced. The consequences are most apparent with increased pest problems as crop monocultures expand, replacing the diversity of natural vegetation. The natural predators of these pests decline as local habitats decrease.

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.

How does biodiversity help humans?

Agricultural biodiversity helps to provide humans with foods, raw materials for goods like cotton, wool, wood, fuel, and the roots of wild plants are used for medicines. They also help to become a source of biofuel. The process of agricultural biodiversity also helps to provide valuable services to ecosystems.

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.

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.

Soil compaction, massive use of chemicals, excessive crop yields: The intensive cultivation of agricultural land and the overexploitation of the oceans occur at the expense of biodiversity and thus of people’s livelihoods

The ” Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture ” report by the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) asserts the enormous contribution of biodiversity to protecting ecosystems from external shocks, such as extreme weather caused by climate change. This goes hand in hand with securing food production.

Measures to protect biodiversity are weak

The 91 country reports analyzed for the FAO report highlight the relevance of biodiversity for sustainable livelihoods.

A focus on knowledge transfer for farmers

In East Africa, Biovision’s projects have already helped thousands of smallholders increase their yields, improve their livelihoods and, at the same time, preserve or even enhance their natural livelihoods through basic training in organic farming practices.
The Push-Pull method has proven particularly useful.

What are the benefits of biodiversity?

A healthy biodiversity provides a number of natural services for everyone: – Ecosystem services, such as. Protection of water resources. Soils formation and protection. Nutrient storage and recycling. Pollution breakdown and absorption. Contribution to climate stability. Maintenance of ecosystems. Recovery from unpredictable events.

How would industrial farming destroy biodiversity?

Industrial-farming techniques would deprive these diverse species of food sources and instead assault them with chemicals, destroying the rich biodiversity in the soil and with it the basis for the renewal of the soil fertility.

Why is genetic diversity important?

A report from Nature magazine also explains that genetic diversity helps to prevent the chances of extinction in the wild (and claims to have shown proof of this).

What is the importance of species diversity?

For example, – A larger number of plant species means a greater variety of crops. – Greater species diversity ensures natural sustainability for all life forms. – Healthy ecosystems can better withstand and recover from a variety of disasters.

How do species depend on each other?

While there might be survival of the fittest within a given species, each species depends on the services provided by other species to ensure survival. It is a type of cooperation based on mutual survival and is often what a balanced ecosystem refers to.

What is the relationship between soil, plants, bacteria and other life?

The relationship between soil, plants, bacteria and other life is also referred to as the nitrogen cycle. As an example, consider all the species of animals and organisms involved in a simple field used in agriculture. As summarized from Vandana Shiva, Stolen Harvest (South End Press, 2000), pp 61–62:

What do bacteria feed on?

Bacteria feed on the cellulose fibers of straw that farmers return to the soil. Amoebas feed on bacteria making lignite fibers available for uptake by plants. Algae provide organic matter and serve as natural nitrogen fixers. Rodents that bore under the fields aerate the soil and improve its water-holding capacity.

How does agriculture benefit biodiversity?

Benefits to Biodiversity. DELIVERY OF ECOSYSTEM SERVICES: Agriculture occupies more than one-third of the land in most countries of the world. Agricultural lands and coasts managed sustainably as ecosystems contribute to wider ecosystem functions such as maintenance of water quality, soil moisture retention with reduction of runoff,

What are the benefits of agriculture?

PRODUCTIVITY: Conservation and management of broad-based genetic diversity within domesticated species have been improving agricultural production for 10 000 years. A wide range of species provides many thousands of products through agriculture.

What are the essential functions of an ecosystem?

MAINTENANCE OF ECOSYSTEM FUNCTIONS: Essential functions such as nutrient cycling, decomposition of organic matter, crusted or degraded soil rehabilitation, pest and disease regulation, and pollination are maintained by a wide range of populations in and near agricultural ecosystems.

What is ecological knowledge?

ECOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE: A large part of the human legacy of knowledge of biodiversity, its importance and functions has been gained and will continue to be gained across cultures through agriculture practice and reflection.

What is biodiversity in agriculture?

Biodiversity for food and agriculture is defined as: “…the variety and variability of animals, plants and micro-organisms at the genetic, species and ecosystem levels that sustain the ecosystem structures, functions and processes in and around production systems, and that provide food and nonfood agricultural products.”.

How does biodiversity help the economy?

Biodiversity increases resilience to shocks and stresses, provides opportunities to adapt production systems to emerging challenges and is a key resource in efforts to increase output in a sustainable way. Resilience is sometimes thought of as the capacity of a system to withstand or recover from shocks.

Why is biodiversity important?

Biodiversity is the variety of life at genetic, species and ecosystem levels, it is essential for the resilience of ecosystems. A part of this essential biodiversity contributes in one way or another to agriculture and food production. It includes all the species that are used directly in food production: the domesticated plants …

Why is it important to preserve biodiversity?

Sustainable use and conservation of the ecosystems and of the species and genetic diversity that compose it , require a better knowledge of the roles of biodiversity in the ecological processes that underpin food and agricultural production. This better knowledge should be considered when developing management strategies that protect, restore and enhance these processes across a range of scales.

Why is it important to establish more effective policy and outreach measures?

Establishing more effective policy and outreach measures is needed to support the uptake of management practices that sustainably use biodiversity to promote food and livelihood security and resilience. Improving the management of biodiversity for food and agriculture and enhancing its contributions to ecosystem services call for effective actions via better multi- stakeholder, cross-sectoral and international cooperation across the sectors of food and agriculture and between the food and agriculture sector and the environment/nature-conservation sector, including producers and their organizations, consumers, suppliers and marketers, policy-makers, and national and international governmental and non-governmental organizations.

How can biodiversity contribute to food production?

There are many ways in which increasing the diversity of the biological components within production systems can contribute to sustainable intensification of food production. For example, potential biodiversity -based approaches to sustainable intensification in aquaculture include polyculture, i.e. raising multiple species or taxonomic groups (including the use of bioremediation species), shifting to vegetable-based feed, and improving interactions with other production-system components such as crops and livestock.

How does biodiversity change?

Some of the other factors that drive the change in biodiversity operate at a global level, like changes in climate or in the international markets, while some others operate at a more local level, like changes in land use or proliferation of invasive species. Interactions between these drivers of change can exacerbate their effects on biodiversity for food and agriculture partially caused by inappropriate agricultural practices: overexploitation, overharvesting, pollution, overuse of external inputs, and changes in land and water management. It is interesting to note that global forest area continues to decline, although the rate of loss decreased by 50 % between the periods 1990–2000 and 2010–2015.

Why is biodiversity important in agriculture?

Biodiversity in our agricultural land therefore is very important – and here are twelve reasons why. 1. The origin of all species. Biodiversity is the basis of agriculture. It has enabled farming systems to evolve ever since agriculture was first developed some 10,000 years ago. Biodiversity is the origin of all species …

How does agriculture affect biodiversity?

Agricultural land is often seen as having only one purpose: that of producing the highest yield of crop or also produce to generate revenue for the farmer or land owner. With our agriculture occupying almost half of the Earth’s land mass [1], it is clear that agriculture can have a critical impact on biodiversity.

How does biodiversity affect soil?

Soil health. Beyond pollination, agricultural biodiversity minimises soil erosion. This is critical as, worldwide, soil is being lost at a rate 13 to 80 times faster than it is being formed. It takes about 500 years to form 25 mm of soil under agricultural conditions, and about 1000 years to form the same amount in forest habitats.

What is the origin of all species of crops and domesticated livestock and the variety within them?

Biodiversity is the origin of all species of crops and domesticated livestock and the variety within them. 2. The ability to adapt. Genetic diversity of agricultural biodiversity provides species with the ability to adapt to changing environment and evolve, by increasing their tolerance to frost, high temperature, drought and water-logging, …

Why are fertilizers and pesticides used on land that has a high biodiversity?

The use of fertilizers and pesticides can also be minimized on land that has a high biodiversity. The reason is that a lot of organisms can help combat the spread of diseases while they also help provide soil that is more high in nutrients. 9.

Why is biodiversity important?

Given the essential role of biodiversity for the provision of food, biodiversity is the key to ensuring food security but also a more nutritious and healthy diet.

What is the evolution of biodiversity?

The evolution of biodiversity, and therefore both its and our survival, mainly depends on genetic diversity. 3. Provision of food and goods. Agricultural biodiversity provides humans with food and raw materials for goods – such as cotton for clothing, wood for shelter and fuel, plants and roots for medicines, and materials for biofuels – …


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