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Do Farm Management Practices Alter Soil Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function? Implications for Sustainable Land Management

Philipps, Ms Lois; Stockdale, Dr Elizabeth A. and Waston, Dr Christine A. (2006) Do Farm Management Practices Alter Soil Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function? Implications for Sustainable Land Management. Paper at: Joint Organic Congress, Odense, Denmark, May 30-31, 2006.

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Summary

Maintaining ecosystem functions is a key issue for sustainable farming, while recent reviews (Hole et al, 2005, Fuller et al 2005) have highlighted that a wide range of taxa, including birds and mammals, benefit from organic management of land, there is a need to bring together the evidence for the impact of agricultural management practices on belowground biodiversity. A focus simply on the biodiversity of below-ground species is however not enough and there is a need to consider the contribution of below-ground biological processes to the maintenance and enhancement of a range of ecosystem services. A recent literature review on the impacts of land management practices on soil ecology and function shows clearly that farm management practices do alter below-ground biodiversity and ecosystem function. The data indicate that reducing the intensity of use of mechanical and manufactured inputs and (re)-discovering cost-effective ways to integrate biological inputs, will benefit below–ground biodiversity, particularly in lowland grassland and cropping systems. Benefits are seen from both organic and integrated systems; the evidence base is not strong enough to conclusively distinguish the benefits of these approaches from one another in lowland arable systems


EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Subjects: Soil > Soil quality > Soil biology
Soil > Soil quality
Research affiliation: International Conferences > 2006: Joint Organic Congress > Theme 4: Crop systems and soils
Deposited By: O'Brien, Josie
ID Code:7511
Deposited On:09 May 2006
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:32
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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