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Crop Diversity and Function

Crop Diversity and Function

Geoff Squire, Graham Begg, Adrian C. Newton

ISBN: 978-0-470-65965-6

Oct 2018, Wiley-Blackwell

384 pages

Select type: Hardcover


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A comprehensive overview of how functional biodiversity can be enhanced as a key ecological strategy to bring sustainability to modern crop production

Mixtures of genotypes are the norm in natural and semi-natural ecosystems, and subsistence agriculture, but have been replaced by pure genotypes in modern agriculture to maximise profitability in high-input systems.

However, crop function with respect to the stability of yield and quality, in particular, tends to be lost in this process. Diversity can be reintroduced into cropping systems as a trait not only to confer stability but also to exploit synergies between component genotypes, compensating for potential performance losses against the best performing genotype in any given season or location. Quality need not be compromised, and research has demonstrated practical development and deployment approaches, which challenge the assumed benefits of current approaches to agronomy and achieve enhanced crop function.

Crop Diversity and Function starts with a historical perspective, before moving on to the adaptive cycle, scales of diversity, biogeochemical cycles, integrated pest management, biodiversity, yield, quality and food security, crop genotype, orientation and arrangement in time and space, and reality and policy.

  • Authors have many years’ experience working in this area
  • Vital knowledge in provision of global food security
  • Commercially important information for the plant breeding and crop protection industries