what is biodiversity in agriculture



What is Agricultural Biodiversity?

  • Plant genetic resources, including crops, wild plants harvested and managed for food, trees on farms, pasture and rangeland species,
  • Animal genetic resources, including domesticated animals, wild animals hunted for food, wild and farmed fish and other aquatic organisms,
  • Microbial and fungal genetic resources.


How does biodiversity affect agriculture?

What is agricultural biodiversity? Well, biodiversity in agriculture encompasses different living creatures/organisms contributing to agriculture and food. These creatures are associated with, in some way, the cultivation of crops and the nurture of animals. In a broader sense, all the organisms in an agricultural environment fall under biodiversity.

What are the 5 factors that affect biodiversity?

 · 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 …

What does agricultural biodiversity mean?

 · Biodiversity and Agriculture Biodiversity is the immense variety we see in all life on earth. As living things adapt to their environment and evolve over time, more and …

Why is diversity in agriculture important?

Agricultural biodiversity encompasses all aspects of biological biodiversity that are important to the production of food and the maintenance of the agro-core ecosystem’s functions. Agricultural biodiversity thus encompasses the genetic, species, and ecosystem diversity of mammals, plants, and microorganisms as well as biotic, socioeconomic, and cultural influences ( Hoffmann, 2011 ).


What does biodiversity mean in agriculture?

Agricultural biodiversity includes all components of biological diversity of relevance to food and agriculture. It includes plants’ genetic resources: crops, wild plants harvested and managed for food, trees on farms, pastures and rangeland species, medicinal plants and ornamental plants of aesthetic value.

What is biodiversity in simple words?

Biodiversity is all the different kinds of life you’ll find in one area—the variety of animals, plants, fungi, and even microorganisms like bacteria that make up our natural world. Each of these species and organisms work together in ecosystems, like an intricate web, to maintain balance and support life.

Why is biodiversity important in agriculture?

Biodiversity in domesticated crops and livestock is important because it ensures there is a large gene pool for traits like disease resistance; growing only a few varieties of plants makes our food supply vulnerable to threats like climate change and disease.

How is biodiversity related to agriculture?

Biodiversity for food and agriculture is all the plants and animals – wild and domesticated – that provide food, feed, fuel and fibre. It is also the myriad of organisms that support food production through ecosystem services – called “associated biodiversity”.

What is biodiversity and examples?

Ecosystem biodiversity refers to the variety of ecosystems, by their nature and number, where living species interact with their environment and with each other. For example, on Earth, there are different ecosystems, each with their specificities like deserts, oceans, lakes, plains or forests.

What is biodiversity and why it is 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.

What are the benefits of biodiversity?

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.

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.

How does agriculture reduce biodiversity?

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 is biodiversity and agriculture?

Biodiversity and Agriculture. Biodiversity is the immense variety we see in all life on earth. As living things adapt to their environment and evolve over time, more and more variation emerges. Scientists estimate that at least 8.7 million unique species of animals, plants, fungi, and other organisms exist on Earth, …

Why is biodiversity important in agriculture?

Long ago, humans harnessed and steered genetic diversity by domesticating edible plants and animals. Even without understanding genetics, the earliest farmers did this simply by choosing to raise plants that produced large, edible seeds. As these domesticated plants spread across the world, they evolved their own variations. Like their wild counterparts, crops also depend on genetic diversity for traits that help them resist disease and stay productive under stress. Genetic variation within crops also brings us the huge variety of foods we enjoy. Biodiversity within livestock is important for the same reasons, and there are thousands of heritage breeds of pigs, cattle, poultry and other animals that are beautiful, unique and specially adapted to their environments.

How does agriculture affect biodiversity?

On a global scale, industrial agriculture threatens biodiversity, by being a major contributor to climate change. Agriculture-related emissions, mainly from chemical fertilizers and factory-farmed livestock, make up more than 20 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions annually. 22 Climate change is one of the most serious threats to biodiversity, and affects even remote areas scarcely touched by humans. Warming temperatures already have a demonstrated impact on the way migratory birds and other animals reproduce, and extreme weather cycles can completely change the makeup of plant and soil communities. 23 Overall, the pressures of a warming climate favor adaptable invasive species that could overtake millions of highly specialized plants, animals, and microorganisms. Scientists modeling these changes say that climate change-related biodiversity loss could be one of the largest mass extinctions in the history of the Earth. 24

What are the innovations that helped farmers produce more food per acre?

Widespread adoption of steel plows, hybrid seeds, GMOs, chemical fertilizers and pesticides helped farmers produce more food per acre than ever before. More recently, the adoption of genetically modified seeds helped to increase yields even further. This productivity comes at a great cost, however. Wide fields of a single crop (called monocultures) provide simplicity for farmers and a steady supply of feed to factory farms, but they are biodiversity deserts. Maintaining monocultures requires intense chemical inputs that reduce the abundance of wild species both on and off the farm.

How does extensification affect biodiversity?

One of the most dramatic examples of biodiversity loss through extensification is the ongoing destruction of the tropical rainforest. Rainforests are hotspots of biodiversity, with the Amazon alone containing nearly 25 percent of all living terrestrial species. 8 80 percent of deforestation worldwide is attributed to the expanding footprint of agriculture. 9 While “slash and burn” agriculture — where farmers cut and burn small areas of forest, and farm them for a few seasons before moving on to another plot — is often blamed for this deforestation, these approaches actually do less harm than the industrially scaled agriculture, which is permanently replacing forest. Growing crops like soy and oil palms or raising cattle offers farmers more income than preserving forest, which drives the permanent deforestation of over 100,000 square miles a year, an area about the size of the UK. 1011

What is the process of bringing more wild land into agriculture called?

This process of bringing more wild land into agriculture is called extensification.

How does agriculture take up space?

Whether it’s growing fruits and vegetables, grains or animals, agriculture takes up space. Prime farmland — land with good soil and water access — is a limited resource. These same areas often support rich wild ecosystems like prairies and forests; converting these areas into farms eliminates much of that wild biodiversity. Unfortunately, agriculture’s continually expanding footprint places these sensitive and important wild areas at risk of destruction. This process of bringing more wild land into agriculture is called extensification.

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 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.

Why are non-productive plants beneficial?

There are advantages in this; it can be hard to find a plant that is non-competitive for light, water, and in soil nutrients while producing something of market worth. By seeking a non-agricultural species, the choice is wider and the possibility of finding a good pairing, one that does not overly detract from yields, high.

How does industrialization affect agriculture?

These efforts include the consolidation, intensification, and simplification of peasant systems (Green Revolution technologies) with the expansion of genetically uniform monocultures displacing production using biodiverse peasant varieties. In addition, with the global spread of the industrialization of agriculture and livestock production, including large-scale land use changes from forests to plantations and cropping, and the expansion of industrial livestock production and large-scale fisheries, agricultural biodiversity has been further eroded.

What are the consequences of the loss of biodiversity in agroecosystems?

The loss of biodiversity in agroecosystems brings devastating consequences … simplified, human constructed agroecosystems may be unable to maintain their structure … [with] the accelerated loss of resilience and diversity and the erosion, salinization or decline in the fertility of soils.

What are the main groups of agro-biodiversity in Mauritius?

In Mauritius, agro-biodiversity is directly linked to food security and broadly categorised into two main groups, namely, sugar and non-sugar (vegetables, fruit, ornamentals, medicinal plants and livestock). Livestock by type as on December 2013 was as follows: cattle (7240), goat (25,702), sheep (2510) and pigs (15,961), and the method of rearing each one of them is given in Table 14.3. The major threat to agricultural biodiversity is the loss of genetic resources (gradual loss of local land races), as emphasis is being placed on a relatively small number of imported higher yielding crop varieties and animal breeds, and that the Ministry field stations with important genetic resources are being released for commercial production.

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).

What is the biodiversity of agriculture?

Agricultural biodiversity is the diversity of crops and their wild relatives, trees, animals, microbes and other species that contribute to agricultural production.

Why is biodiversity important for agriculture?

Agricultural biodiversity also keeps open options for unknown future needs, when conserved.

What is food system?

A food systems approach integrates all the processes and infrastructure, from seed selection through growing, harvesting, processing, packaging, transporting, marketing, eating and ultimately managing waste.

What is the mainstreaming of agrobiodiversity?

A recent Bioversity International’s book, Mainstreaming Agrobiodiversity in Sustainable Food Systems : Scientific Foundations for an Agrobiodiversity Index, summarizes the most recent evidence on how to use agricultural biodiversity to provide nutritious foods through harnessing natural processes. The evidence described provides the foundations for identifying indicators for an Agrobiodiversity Index.

Why is food important for the environment?

Good food systems nourish people and nurture the environment. They are sustainable and enhance environmental, economic and social health. Agricultural biodiversity is a critical component of a sustainable food system. Without agricultural biodiversity, a food system cannot be sustainable.

What happens when we lose biodiversity?

When we lose agricultural biodiversity, we also lose the options to make our diets healthier and our food systems more resilient and sustainable.

How much will the agricultural production decrease in 2050?

Every decade until 2050, agricultural production will reduce by 2% while demand will increase by 14%. Agricultural biodiversity is a source of species and varieties that are tolerant to different climate extremes – from drought to flooding and extreme temperatures.

What is agricultural biodiversity?

Agricultural biodiversity is a sub-set of general biodiversity. Otherwise known as agrobiodiversity, agricultural biodiversity is a broad term that includes “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 …

What is food biodiversity?

Food biodiversity is “the diversity of plants, animals and other organisms used for food, covering the genetic resources within species, between species and provided by ecosystems.”. Historically at least 6,000 plant species and numerous animal species have been used as human food.

What is ecosystem level conservation?

Ecosystem level conservation looks at landscape level, with landscapes managed by the group of stakeholders working together to achieve biodiversity, production and livelihood goals. Land use mosaics combine

How is agrobiodiversity threatened?

Agrobiodiversity is threatened by changing patterns of land use (urbanization, deforestation), agricultural modernization (monocultures and abandoning of traditional, biodiversity-based practices); Westernization of diets and their supply chains.

What is the importance of agrobiodiversity?

Agrobiodiversity is central to cultural ecosystem services in the form of food biodiversity, which is central to local cuisines worldwide. Agrobiodiversity provides locally appreciated crops and species, and also unique varieties which have cultural significance.

How does agrobiodiversity support biodiversity?

Agrobiodiversity can support wild biodiversity through the use of field margins, riparian corridors, hedgerows and clumps of trees, which provide and connect habitats. A further supporting service is maintaining healthy soil biota .

What is the source of genetic diversity?

An important source of genetic diversity are crop wild relatives, wild plant species that are genetically related to cultivated crops. A second supporting service is to maintain the habitat of wild biodiversity, particularly associated biodiversity, for example pollinators and predators.

Why is biodiversity important for agriculture?

Biodiversity is an important regulator of agro-ecosystem functions, not only in the strictly biological sense of impact on production, but also in satisfying a variety of needs of the farmer and society at large. Agroecosystem managers, including farmers, can build upon, enhance and manage the essential ecosystem services provided by biodiversity in order to work towards sustainable agricultural production. This can be achieved though good farming practices which follow ecosystem-based approaches designed to improve sustainability of production systems. They aim at meeting consumer needs for products that are of high quality, safe and produced in an environmentally and socially responsible way.

What is crop biodiversity?

Crop associated biodiversity is the sum of non-crop living organisms found in agroecosystems. This includes the range of organisms above and below ground that can harm or help agriculture, such as pests, diseases, and weeds; pollinators and biological control organisms; and the many organisms controlling nutrient cycling. Together with crops and livestock that are intentionally introduced and maintained by the farmer, there are other resources, such as soil flora and fauna, herbivores, carnivores, decomposers or other species that already exist in, or colonise the agro-ecosystem, that are also part of agricultural biodiversity, and which contribute to a functioning agro-ecosystem. Crop and crop-associated biodiversity benefits the ecosystems by providing nutrient cycling, pest and disease regulation, pollination, and other wider ecological services. For example, a well-managed biodiversity contributes to maintain water quality, enhance waste removal, soil moisture retention with reduction of runoff and control water infiltration and erosion. Other crop-associated biodiversity, such as pests, diseases, and competitors, is not so beneficial and requires wise management.

Why is crop biodiversity important?

Because of the complex relationships that exist among systems and species in an ecosystem, crop associated biodiversity plays an important role in the in situ conservation of plant genetic resources, while its management can contribute to the sustainable utilization of plant genetic resources. Crop and crop-associated biodiversity (C-CAB) is an intrinsic and important part of agricultural ecosystems, and can be planned and unplanned. Planned biodiversity includes crops and livestock purposefully introduced and maintained in an agro-ecosystem, by the farmer. Unplanned associated biodiversity includes all soil flora and fauna, herbivores, carnivores, decomposers and any other species that exist in, or colonise the agroecosystem. These diverse organisms interact with eachother, and with plants and animals, in a complex web of biologcal activity.

What are the functions of genetic resources in agriculture?

Plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA) interacting with other dimensions of agricultural biodiversity – in particular crop associated biodiversity – provide multiple goods and essential ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling, pest and disease regulation, pollination, and other wider ecological services such as maintenance of water quality, waste removal, soil moisture retention with reduction of runoff, water infiltration and erosion control.

What are the genetic resources of plants?

Plant genetic resources are the basis of food security and consist of diversity of seeds and planting material of traditional varieties and modern cultivars, crop wild relatives and other wild plant species. These resources are used as food, feed for domesticated animals, fibre, clothing, shelter and energy. The conservation and sustainable use of PGRFA is necessary to ensure crop production and meet growing environmental challenges and climate change. The loss of these resources or a lack of adequate linkages between conservation and their use poses a severe threat to the world’s food security in the long term. The potential of plant genetic resources for food security, sustainable livelihoods, adequate nutrition and adaptation to climate change is enormous, if managed in a sustainable manner.

How many species of plants have been cultivated for consumption in human history?

About 7,000 species of plants have been cultivated for consumption in human history. The great diversity of varieties resulting from human and ecosystem interaction guaranteed food for the survival and development of human populations throughout the world in spite of pests, diseases, climate fluctuations, droughts and other unexpected environmental events.

Why are pastures and crops more sustainable?

Grassland and pasture/crop systems that diversify and integrate ruminant livestock and crops tend to be more sustainable because they provide opportunities for rotation diversity, perennial cultivation, and greater energy efficiency. The introduction of grazing animals at certain points in farming cycles may help to break down plant material and increase nutrient availability. Predators and parasites which attack pest insects or pathogens on crops, or plant-feeding insects which attack crop weeds contribute to pest regulation. Beyond these direct trophic relationships, a web-like pattern of interactions amongst diverse life-forms on-farm can deliver additional benefits. For instance, crop production may benefit from benign micro-organisms which colonize crops and their habitats such that pathogens do not establish, or from non-crop plants which are attractive to pests and thereby reduce their numbers on crops. Taken together, this directly- and indirectly-acting biodiversity may create “pest suppressive” conditions.

What is biodiversity in agriculture?

Biodiversity is the variety of life at genetic, species and ecosystem levels. Biodiversity for food and agriculture (BFA) is, in turn, the subset of biodiversity that contributes in one way or another to agriculture and food production. It includes the domesticated plants and animals that are part of crop, livestock, forest or aquaculture systems, harvested forest and aquatic species, the wild relatives of domesticated species, and other wild species harvested for food and other products. It also encompasses what is known as “associated biodiversity”, the vast range of organisms that live in and around food and agricultural production systems 1, sustaining them and contributing to their output.

Why is biodiversity important for food production?

Biodiversity for food and agriculture is indispensable to food security and sustainable development. It supplies many vital ecosystem services, such as creating and maintaining healthy soils , pollinating plants , controlling pests and providing habitat for wildlife, including for fish and other species that are vital to food production and agricultural livelihoods.

How many species are there in the Domestic Animal Diversity Information System?

The Domestic Animal Diversity Information System (DAD-IS), maintained and developed by FAO, contains data from 182 countries on more than 8 000 livestock breeds belonging to 38 species.

How many species of wild food are there in the world?

Contributing countries reported 3 980 wild food species (2 822 distinct species, as several are reported by more than one country), of which the vast majority are plants, followed by fish and mammals.

How do wild foods contribute to food security?

Wild foods contribute to food security both via direct consumption (on a regular basis or as an emergency measure in times of scarcity) and by being sold to buy other food. Many wild foods are rich in micronutrients, some containing more than their cultivated counterparts. Eating them can alleviate micronutrient and/or protein deficiencies and thus make diets more nutritious and balanced. However, there are many concerns about the unsustainable use of wild foods.

Why are ecosystems in decline?

Many species, including pollinators, soil organisms and the natural enemies of pests, that contribute to vital ecosystem services are in decline as a consequence of the destruction and degradation of habitats, overexploitation, pollution and other threats. There is also a rapid decline in key ecosystems that deliver numerous services essential to food and agriculture, including supply of freshwater, protection against storms, floods and other hazards, and habitats for species such as fish and pollinators.

What are the frameworks for sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity?

Most countries have put in place legal, policy and institutional frameworks for the sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity as a whole. Policies addressing food and agriculture are reported to be increasingly based on ecosystem, landscape and seascape approaches. However, legal and policy measures explicitly targeting wild foods or components of associated biodiversity and their roles in supplying ecosystem services are not widespread.

What is biodiversity in biology?

Biodiversity refers to variability among the living organisms which are existing and interacting in various terrestrial, marine system during the specific timeframe within an ecosystem (Altieri, 999; UN, 2015; Kumar, 2015). Generally, biodiversity consists of three major components such as species diversity, genetic diversity, and ecosystem diversity which have a significant role in the entire ecosystem (Rawat & Agarwal, 2015; Kumar, 2015). Furthermore, biodiversity is different forms of life on earth which consist of different species organisms. It is promoting the aesthetic value of the natural environment and support to life system by providing food, fodder, fuel, medicine, and timber etc. but unfortunately human activities cause of global warming, catastrophe, soil degradation, and habitat loss which is an alarming threat to species and ecosystem diversity (Rawat & Agarwal, 2015).

What is the meaning of biodiversity?

MEANING OF BIODIVERSITY Biodiversity may be defined as the variability among different living organisms from all sources and ecological complexes of which they are parts and includes diversity within species or between species and of eco-system. In the context of environmental science, the study of all living organisms including human beings, and other living

How do plants affect the environment?

In nature, plants grow next to each other forming the different societies of the plant kingdom. Nature, in turn, affects the growth of these plants by applying different environmental factors that could limit the agricultural productivity. Duration, severity and rate of imposed stress are the factors underlying the plant response to stress (Munné-Bosch and Alegre, 2004; Omezzine et al., 2014).

Why is biodiversity important?

Conservation of biodiversity plays important role in the functioning and delivering ecosystem services. Agroecosystems make agricultural crop production more sustainable and economically viable by maintaining high biodiversity. Agricultural biodiversity protects to pollination of crops, biological crops, maintenance of proper structure and soil fertility against nutrient cycling, soil erosion, and control of water flow and distribution (Feledyn-Szewczyk et al., 2016). Biodiversity in agricultural sector can be recognised on two levels: first level is related to species and cultivars diversity,

What is the purpose of fertilizer?

Introduction Aim: To compare the effectiveness of compost and earthworms on the germination and yield of a spinach crop. Motivation: Fertilisers are mixture of chemicals that add nutrients to the soil to establish better yielding crops (Berger, 2013). Though these products have proved to provide many beneficial aspects to the agricultural sector, they have many negative environmental consequences. Fertilisers contain many substances, including mostly potassium, phosphorus, sulphur, calcium, magnesium and nitrogen. These substances, when they accumulate in the soil, can have harmful side effects on the environment and subsequently on the productivity of crops (Vimpany and Lines-Kelly, 2004).

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