WorldWideScience

Sample records for sustainable dryland cropping

  1. Agronomic & entomological results from 7 years of dryland cropping systems research at Briggsdale, Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dryland crop production in the semi-arid Great Plains is limited by both the quantity and timing of precipitation. Sustainable dryland cropping systems maximize precipitation use efficiency by managing precipitation capture, storage, and use. Pest management approaches are also critical for efficie...

  2. Can biofuel crops alleviate tribal poverty in India's drylands?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Agoramoorthy, Govindasamy; Hsu, Minna J.; Chaudhary, Sunita; Shieh, Po-Chuen

    2009-01-01

    The on-going climate change concerns have stimulated heavy interest in biofuels, and supporters of biofuels hail that they are considered naturally carbon-neutral. Critiques on the other hand cry that the large-scale production of biofuels can not only strain agricultural resources, but also threaten future food security. People who live in the drylands of India are often faced with challenges and constraints of poverty. Foremost among the challenges are the marginal environmental conditions for agriculture, often influenced by low and erratic rainfall, frequent droughts, poor soil condition, unreliable irrigation water supply, and rural migration to urban areas in search of work. In this paper, we have analyzed a case study of community lift irrigation practiced in India and its impact in boosting agricultural productivity and enhancing local food security. The lift-irrigation model practiced in the drylands of India to grow food crops can be adopted for the expansion of biofuel crops that has the potential to eradicate poverty among farming communities if appropriate sustainable development measures are carefully implemented. (author)

  3. Sustainable semiarid dryland production in relation to tillage effects on Hydrology: 1983-2013

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semiarid dryland crop yields with no-till, NT, residue management are often greater than stubble-mulch tillage, SM, as a result of improved soil conditions or water conservation, but knowledge of long-term tillage effects on the comprehensive field hydrology and sustained crop production is needed. ...

  4. Long-term conventional and no-tillage effects on field hydrology and yields of a dryland crop rotation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semiarid dryland crop yields with no-till, NT, residue management are often greater than stubble-mulch, SM, tillage as a result of improved soil conditions and water conservation, but information on long-term tillage effects on field hydrology and sustained crop production are needed. Our objective ...

  5. Mitigating Drought Impacts in Drylands : Quantifying the Potential for Strengthening Crop- and Livestock-Based Livelihoods

    OpenAIRE

    Carfagna, Federica; Cervigni, Raffaello

    2018-01-01

    Drylands account for three-quarters of Sub-Saharan Africa's cropland, two-thirds of cereal production, and four-fifths of livestock holdings. Today frequent and severe shocks, especially droughts, limit the livelihood opportunities available to millions of households and undermine efforts to eradicate poverty in the drylands. Prospects for sustainable development of drylands are assessed in this book through the lens of resilience, understood here to mean the ability of people to withstand an...

  6. Sustainable Agriculture: Cover Cropping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Megan

    2018-01-01

    Sustainable agriculture practices are increasingly being used by farmers to maintain soil quality, increase biodiversity, and promote production of food that is environmentally safe. There are several types of sustainable agriculture practices such as organic farming, crop rotation, and aquaculture. This lesson plan focuses on the sustainable…

  7. Replacing fallow with forage triticale in dryland crop rotations increases profitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    A common dryland rotational cropping system in the semi-arid central Great Plains of the U.S. is wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)-corn (Zea mays L.)-fallow (WCF). However, the 12-month fallow period following corn production has been shown to be relatively inefficient in storing precipitation during the...

  8. Crop model usefulness in drylands of southern Africa: an application ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Data limitations in southern Africa frequently hinder adequate assessment of crop models before application. ... three locations to represent varying cropping and physical conditions in southern Africa, i.e. maize and sorghum (Mohale's Hoek, Lesotho and Big Bend, Swaziland) and maize and groundnut (Lilongwe, Malawi).

  9. ESD as a Means to Strengthen the Sustainable Management of Marginal Drylands in Egypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salem, Boshra B.

    2012-01-01

    The objective of this article is to present results of and lessons learnt from implementing education for sustainable development (ESD) in marginal drylands, based on experiences from the TEMPUS IV project, Education for Sustainable Development beyond the Campus (EDUCAMP), in Egypt and the multinational project, Sustainable Development of Marginal…

  10. Dryland maize yields and water use efficiency in response to tillage/crop stubble and nutrient management practices in China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wang, X.B.; Dai, K.; Zhang, D.; Zhang, X.; Wang, Y.; Zhao, Q.; Cai, D.X.; Hoogmoed, W.B.; Oenema, O.

    2011-01-01

    Rainfed crop production in northern China is constrained by low and variable rainfall. This study explored the effects of tillage/crop residue and nutrient management practices on maize (Zea mays L.) yield, water use efficiency (WUE), and N agronomic use efficiency (NAE) at Shouyang Dryland Farming

  11. Global warming likely reduces crop yield and water availability of the dryland cropping systems in the U.S. central Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    We investigated impacts of GCM-projected climate change on dryland crop rotations of wheat-fallow and wheat-corn-fallow in the Central Great Plains (Akron in Colorado, USA) using the CERES 4.0 crop modules in RZWQM2. The climate change scenarios for CO2, temperature, and precipitation were produced ...

  12. Nested archetypes of vulnerability in African drylands: where lies potential for sustainable agricultural intensification?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sietz, D.; Ordoñez, J. C.; Kok, M. T. J.; Janssen, P.; Hilderink, H. B. M.; Tittonell, P.; Van Dijk, H.

    2017-09-01

    Food production is key to achieving food security in the drylands of sub-Saharan Africa. Since agricultural productivity is limited, however, due to inherent agro-ecological constraints and land degradation, sustainable agricultural intensification has been widely discussed as an opportunity for improving food security and reducing vulnerability. Yet vulnerability determinants are distributed heterogeneously in the drylands of sub-Saharan Africa and sustainable intensification cannot be achieved everywhere in cost-effective and efficient ways. To better understand the heterogeneity of farming systems’ vulnerability in order to support decision making at regional scales, we present archetypes, i.e. socio-ecological patterns, of farming systems’ vulnerability in the drylands of sub-Saharan Africa and reveal their nestedness. We quantitatively indicated the most relevant farming systems’ properties at a sub-national resolution. These factors included water availability, agro-ecological potential, erosion sensitivity, population pressure, urbanisation, remoteness, governance, income and undernourishment. Cluster analysis revealed eight broad archetypes of vulnerability across all drylands of sub-Saharan Africa. The broad archetype representing better governance and highest remoteness in extremely dry and resource-constrained regions encompassed the largest area share (19%), mainly indicated in western Africa. Moreover, six nested archetypes were identified within those regions with better agropotential and prevalent agricultural livelihoods. Among these patterns, the nested archetype depicting regions with highest erosion sensitivity, severe undernourishment and lower agropotential represented the largest population (30%) and area (28%) share, mainly found in the Sahel region. The nested archetype indicating medium undernourishment, better governance and lowest erosion sensitivity showed particular potential for sustainable agricultural intensification, mainly in

  13. Comparison of net global warming potential and greenhouse gas intensity affected by management practices in two dryland cropping sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Little is known about the effect of management practices on net global warming potential (GWP) and greenhouse gas intensity (GHGI) that account for all sources and sinks of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in dryland cropping systems. The objective of this study was to compare the effect of a combinat...

  14. Climate change predicted to negatively influence surface soil organic matter of dryland cropping systems in the Inland Pacific Northwest, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil organic matter (SOM) is a key indicator of agricultural productivity and overall soil health. Currently, dryland cropping systems of the inland Pacific Northwest (iPNW) span a large gradient in mean annual temperature (MAT) and precipitation (MAP).These climatic drivers are major determinants o...

  15. Challenges and Alternatives to Sustainable Management of Agriculture and Pastoral Ecosystems in Asian Drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, J.

    2015-12-01

    There is no question that human must produce additional 70% food to feed the new 2.2 billion of people on the planet by 2050, but the question is where to grow the additional food. The demand for the additional food lies not only in producing the basic resources needed to sustain a healthy lifestyle, but also from a changing diet, especially in rapidly developing countries in the dryland regions around the world. It is forecast that this demand for meat will require an additional 0.2 billion tons per year by 2050, which is almost a doubling of present meat consumption. These new demands create mounting pressures on agriculture and pastoral ecosystems and the reported trajectory of warmer and drier climate in the future increases uncertainties in food security, adding further stresses to the already stressed nations in the Asian dryland belt. Different approaches are being either proposed or practiced in the region but the question is whether or not the current practices are sustainable or optimal in addressing the emerging issues. Given the complexity and interplay among the food, water and energy, what are alternatives to ensure a sustainable trajectory of regional development to meet the new food demand? This presentation reviews existing practices and proposes alternative solutions, by specifically examining the trade-offs between different ecosystem services that drylands in Asian may provide. Preliminary analysis suggested that the current trajectory of meat and milk production is likely not on a sustainable pathway.

  16. Developing an Agro-Ecological Zoning Model for Tumbleweed (Salsola kali, as Energy Crop in Drylands of Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Falasca Silvia

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Salsola kali is considered extremely valuable as an energy crop worldwide because it adapts easily to environments with strong abiotic stresses (hydric, saline and alkaline and produces large amounts of biomass in drylands. This species is categorized as an important weed in Argentina. The aim of this work was to design an agro-ecological zoning model for tumbleweed in Argentina, employing a Geography Information System. Based on the bioclimatic requirements for the species and the climatic data for Argentina (1981–2010 period, an agro-climatic suitability map was drawn. This map was superimposed on the saline and alkaline soil maps delineated by the Food and Agriculture Organization for dry climates, generating the agro-ecological zoning on a scale of 1 : 500 000. This zoning revealed very suitable and suitable cultivation areas on halomorphic soils. The potential growing areas extend from N of the Salta province (approximately 22° S to the Santa Cruz province (50° S. The use of tumbleweed on halomorphic soils under semi-arid to arid conditions, for the dual purpose of forage use and source of lignocellulosic material for bioenergy, could improve agricultural productivity in these lands. Furthermore, it could also contribute to their environmental sustainability, since the species can be used to reclaim saline soils over the years. Based on international bibliography, the authors outlined an agro-ecological zoning model. This model may be applied to any part of the world, using the agro-ecological limits presented here.

  17. Sustainable land management (SLM) practices in drylands: how do they address desertification threats?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwilch, G; Liniger, H P; Hurni, H

    2014-11-01

    Managing land sustainably is a huge challenge, especially under harsh climatic conditions such as those found in drylands. The socio-economic situation can also pose challenges, as dryland regions are often characterized by remoteness, marginality, low-productive farming, weak institutions, and even conflict. With threats from climate change, disputes over water, competing claims on land, and migration increasing worldwide, the demands for sustainable land management (SLM) measures will only increase in the future. Within the EU-funded DESIRE project, researchers and stakeholders jointly identified existing SLM technologies and approaches in 17 dryland study sites located in the Mediterranean and around the world. In order to evaluate and share this valuable SLM experience, local researchers documented the SLM technologies and approaches in collaboration with land users, utilizing the internationally recognized WOCAT questionnaires. This article provides an analysis of 30 technologies and 8 approaches, enabling an initial evaluation of how SLM addresses prevalent dryland threats, such as water scarcity, soil degradation, vegetation degradation and low production, climate change, resource use conflicts, and migration. Among the impacts attributed to the documented technologies, those mentioned most were diversified and enhanced production and better management of water and soil degradation, whether through water harvesting, improving soil moisture, or reducing runoff. Favorable local-scale cost-benefit relationships were mainly found when considered over the long term. Nevertheless, SLM was found to improve people's livelihoods and prevent further outmigration. More field research is needed to reinforce expert assessments of SLM impacts and provide the necessary evidence-based rationale for investing in SLM.

  18. Sustainable Land Management (SLM) Practices in Drylands: How Do They Address Desertification Threats?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwilch, G.; Liniger, H. P.; Hurni, H.

    2014-11-01

    Managing land sustainably is a huge challenge, especially under harsh climatic conditions such as those found in drylands. The socio-economic situation can also pose challenges, as dryland regions are often characterized by remoteness, marginality, low-productive farming, weak institutions, and even conflict. With threats from climate change, disputes over water, competing claims on land, and migration increasing worldwide, the demands for sustainable land management (SLM) measures will only increase in the future. Within the EU-funded DESIRE project, researchers and stakeholders jointly identified existing SLM technologies and approaches in 17 dryland study sites located in the Mediterranean and around the world. In order to evaluate and share this valuable SLM experience, local researchers documented the SLM technologies and approaches in collaboration with land users, utilizing the internationally recognized WOCAT questionnaires. This article provides an analysis of 30 technologies and 8 approaches, enabling an initial evaluation of how SLM addresses prevalent dryland threats, such as water scarcity, soil degradation, vegetation degradation and low production, climate change, resource use conflicts, and migration. Among the impacts attributed to the documented technologies, those mentioned most were diversified and enhanced production and better management of water and soil degradation, whether through water harvesting, improving soil moisture, or reducing runoff. Favorable local-scale cost-benefit relationships were mainly found when considered over the long term. Nevertheless, SLM was found to improve people's livelihoods and prevent further outmigration. More field research is needed to reinforce expert assessments of SLM impacts and provide the necessary evidence-based rationale for investing in SLM.

  19. Multifaceted Impacts of Sustainable Land Management in Drylands: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Jose Marques

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Biophysical restoration or rehabilitation measures of land have demonstrated to be effective in many scientific projects and small-scale environmental experiments. However circumstances such as poverty, weak policies, or inefficient scientific knowledge transmission can hinder the effective upscaling of land restoration and the long term maintenance of proven sustainable use of soil and water. This may be especially worrisome in lands with harsh environmental conditions. This review covers recent efforts in landscape restoration and rehabilitation with a functional perspective aiming to simultaneously achieve ecosystem sustainability, economic efficiency, and social wellbeing. Water management and rehabilitation of ecosystem services in croplands, rangelands, forests, and coastlands are reviewed. The joint analysis of such diverse ecosystems provides a wide perspective to determine: (i multifaceted impacts on biophysical and socio-economic factors; and (ii elements influencing effective upscaling of sustainable land management practices. One conclusion can be highlighted: voluntary adoption is based on different pillars, i.e. external material and economic support, and spread of success information at the local scale to demonstrate the multidimensional benefits of sustainable land management. For the successful upscaling of land management, more attention must be paid to the social system from the first involvement stage, up to the long term maintenance.

  20. Farming with future: making crop protection sustainable

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wijnands, F.G.

    2011-01-01

    The project Farming with future works with parties with a vested interest to promote sustainable crop protection in practice. Besides developing new knowledge, it spends a good deal of its energy in the embedding of sustainable practices within relevant organisations, businesses and agrarian

  1. Adoptability of sustainable intensification technologies in dryland smallholder farming systems of West Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Woittiez, L.S.; Descheemaeker, K.K.E.; Giller, K.E.

    2015-01-01

    Within the framework of CGIAR Research Program (CRP) 1.1: Dryland Systems, the compilation of a review of options, constraints and potential for agricultural intensification at a number of specific sites in West African dryland areas has been requested, using an integrated systems approach. CRP 1.1

  2. Relay cropping as a sustainable approach: problems and opportunities for sustainable crop production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanveer, Mohsin; Anjum, Shakeel Ahmad; Hussain, Saddam; Cerdà, Artemi; Ashraf, Umair

    2017-03-01

    Climate change, soil degradation, and depletion of natural resources are becoming the most prominent challenges for crop productivity and environmental sustainability in modern agriculture. In the scenario of conventional farming system, limited chances are available to cope with these issues. Relay cropping is a method of multiple cropping where one crop is seeded into standing second crop well before harvesting of second crop. Relay cropping may solve a number of conflicts such as inefficient use of available resources, controversies in sowing time, fertilizer application, and soil degradation. Relay cropping is a complex suite of different resource-efficient technologies, which possesses the capability to improve soil quality, to increase net return, to increase land equivalent ratio, and to control the weeds and pest infestation. The current review emphasized relay cropping as a tool for crop diversification and environmental sustainability with special focus on soil. Briefly, benefits, constraints, and opportunities of relay cropping keeping the goals of higher crop productivity and sustainability have also been discussed in this review. The research and knowledge gap in relay cropping was also highlighted in order to guide the further studies in future.

  3. A systems approach to restoring degraded drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeremy J. James; Roger L. Sheley; Todd Erickson; Kimberly S. Rollins; Michael H. Taylor; Kingsley W. Dixon

    2013-01-01

    Drylands support over 2 billion people and are major providers of critical ecosystem goods and services across the globe. Drylands, however, are one of the most susceptible biomes to degradation. International programmes widely recognize dryland restoration as key to combating global dryland degradation and ensuring future global sustainability. While the need to...

  4. Engineering crop nutrient efficiency for sustainable agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Liyu; Liao, Hong

    2017-10-01

    Increasing crop yields can provide food, animal feed, bioenergy feedstocks and biomaterials to meet increasing global demand; however, the methods used to increase yield can negatively affect sustainability. For example, application of excess fertilizer can generate and maintain high yields but also increases input costs and contributes to environmental damage through eutrophication, soil acidification and air pollution. Improving crop nutrient efficiency can improve agricultural sustainability by increasing yield while decreasing input costs and harmful environmental effects. Here, we review the mechanisms of nutrient efficiency (primarily for nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and iron) and breeding strategies for improving this trait, along with the role of regulation of gene expression in enhancing crop nutrient efficiency to increase yields. We focus on the importance of root system architecture to improve nutrient acquisition efficiency, as well as the contributions of mineral translocation, remobilization and metabolic efficiency to nutrient utilization efficiency. © 2017 Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  5. Soil management practices for sustainable crop production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abalos, E.B.

    2005-01-01

    In a sustainable system, the soil is viewed as a fragile and living medium that must be protected and nurtured to ensure its long-term productivity and stability. However, due to high demand for food brought about by high population as well as the decline in agricultural lands, the soil is being exploited beyond its limit thus, leading to poor or sick soils. Sound soil management practices in the Philippines is being reviewed. The technologies, including the advantages and disadvantages are hereby presented. This includes proper cropping systems, fertilizer program, soil erosion control and correcting soil acidity. Sound soil management practices which conserve organic matter for long-term sustainability includes addition of compost, maintaining soil cover, increasing aggregates stability, soil tilt and diversity of soil microbial life. A healthy soil is a key component to sustainability as a health soil produce healthy crop plants and have optimum vigor or less susceptible to pests. (author)

  6. Mixed cropping of annual feed legumes with barley improves feed quantity and crude protein content under dry-land conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khoshnood Alizadeh

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this research is to determine a suitable mixture of annual feed legumes and barley as a winter crop under dry-land conditions. Seeds of Hungarian vetch (cv. 2670, smooth vetch (cv. Maragheh, and local varieties of grass pea and field pea were mixed with barley (cv. Abidar in a 1:1 ratio and were tested, along with related monoculture. All legumes in the mixture survived winter while legumes alone, except Hungarian vetch, did not survive in the cold areas. The maximum fresh and dry forage yields (56 and 15 ton ha-1 respectively were obtained from a mixture of smooth vetch and barley in provinces with mild winter and more than 400 mm of rainfall. The mixture of barley and smooth vetch resulted in the highest mean crude protein content (17%. Autumn seeding of smooth vetch and barley in a 1:1 ratio produced more than 2 ton ha-1 of dry biomass with good quality in all studied areas and thus could serve as an alternative cropping system after wheat/barley in cold and semi-cold dry land.

  7. Glyphosate sustainability in South American cropping systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christoffoleti, Pedro J; Galli, Antonio J B; Carvalho, Saul J P; Moreira, Murilo S; Nicolai, Marcelo; Foloni, Luiz L; Martins, Bianca A B; Ribeiro, Daniela N

    2008-04-01

    South America represents about 12% of the global land area, and Brazil roughly corresponds to 47% of that. The major sustainable agricultural system in South America is based on a no-tillage cropping system, which is a worldwide adopted agricultural conservation system. Societal benefits of conservation systems in agriculture include greater use of conservation tillage, which reduces soil erosion and associated loading of pesticides, nutrients and sediments into the environment. However, overreliance on glyphosate and simpler cropping systems has resulted in the selection of tolerant weed species through weed shifts (WSs) and evolution of herbicide-resistant weed (HRW) biotypes to glyphosate. It is a challenge in South America to design herbicide- and non-herbicide-based strategies that effectively delay and/or manage evolution of HRWs and WSs to weeds tolerant to glyphosate in cropping systems based on recurrent glyphosate application, such as those used with glyphosate-resistant soybeans. The objectives of this paper are (i) to provide an overview of some factors that influence WSs and HRWs to glyphosate in South America, especially in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay soybean cropped areas; (ii) to discuss the viability of using crop rotation and/or cover crops that might be integrated with forage crops in an economically and environmentally sustainable system; and (iii) to summarize the results of a survey of the perceptions of Brazilian farmers to problems with WSs and HRWs to glyphosate, and the level of adoption of good agricultural practices in order to prevent or manage it. Copyright (c) 2008 Society of Chemical Industry.

  8. Agricultural innovations for sustainable crop production intensification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michele Pisante

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Sustainable crop production intensification should be the first strategic objective of innovative agronomic research for the next 40 years. A range of options exist (often very location specific for farming practices, approaches and technologies that ensure sustainability, while at the same time improving crop production. The main challenge is to encourage farmers in the use of appropriate technologies,  and  to  ensure  that  knowledge  about  sound  production  practices  is  increasingly accepted and applied by farmers. There is a huge, but underutilized potential to link farmers’ local knowledge with science-based innovations, through favourable institutional arrangements.  The same  holds  for  the  design,  implementation  and  monitoring  of  improved  natural  resource management  that  links  community  initiatives  to  external  expertise.  It is also suggested that a comprehensive effort be undertaken to measure different stages of the innovation system, including technological adoption and diffusion at the farm level, and to investigate the impact of agricultural policies on technological change and technical efficiency. This paper provides a brief review of agronomic management practices that support sustainable crop production system and evidence on developments  in the selection of crops and cultivars; describes farming systems for crop which take a predominantly ecosystem approach; discusses the scientific application of ecosystem principles for the management of pest and weed populations; reviews the  improvements in fertilizer and nutrient management that explain productivity growth; describes the benefits and constraints of irrigation technologies; and suggests a way forward. Seven changes in the context for agricultural development are proposed that heighten the need to examine how innovation occurs in the agricultural sector.

  9. Conservation tillage for dryland farming in China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cai, D.X.; Ke, J.; Wang, X.B.; Hoogmoed, W.B.; Oenema, O.; Perdok, U.D.

    2006-01-01

    Dryland regions account for above 70% of total nation's farmland in China. These dryland are vital contributors to the total national production of grains, cash crops and animal products. However, the development of dryland farming is constrained by harsh climate, bad economic situation and poor

  10. Long-term no-till: A major driver of fungal communities in dryland wheat cropping systems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dipak Sharma-Poudyal

    Full Text Available In the dryland Pacific Northwest wheat cropping systems, no-till is becoming more prevalent as a way to reduce soil erosion and fuel inputs. Tillage can have a profound effect on microbial communities and soilborne fungal pathogens, such as Rhizoctonia. We compared the fungal communities in long-term no-till (NT plots adjacent to conventionally tilled (CT plots, over three years at two locations in Washington state and one location in Idaho, US. We used pyrosequencing of the fungal ITS gene and identified 422 OTUs after rarefication. Fungal richness was higher in NT compared to CT, in two of the locations. Humicola nigrescens, Cryptococcus terreus, Cadophora spp. Hydnodontaceae spp., and Exophiala spp. were more abundant in NT, while species of Glarea, Coniochaetales, Mycosphaerella tassiana, Cryptococcus bhutanensis, Chaetomium perlucidum, and Ulocladium chartarum were more abundant in CT in most locations. Other abundant groups that did not show any trends were Fusarium, Mortierella, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Macroventuria. Plant pathogens such as Rhizoctonia (Ceratobasidiaceae were not abundant enough to see tillage differences, but Microdochium bolleyi, a weak root pathogen, was more abundant in NT. Our results suggest that NT fungi are better adapted at utilizing intact, decaying roots as a food source and may exist as root endophytes. CT fungi can utilize mature plant residues that are turned into the soil with tillage as pioneer colonizers, and then produce large numbers of conidia. But a larger proportion of the fungal community is not affected by tillage and may be niche generalists.

  11. Comparison of Greenhouse Gas Offset Quantification Protocols for Nitrogen Management in Dryland Wheat Cropping Systems of the Pacific Northwest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tabitha T. Brown

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available In the carbon market, greenhouse gas (GHG offset protocols need to ensure that emission reductions are of high quality, quantifiable, and real. Lack of consistency across protocols for quantifying emission reductions compromise the credibility of offsets generated. Thus, protocol quantification methodologies need to be periodically reviewed to ensure emission offsets are credited accurately and updated to support practical climate policy solutions. Current GHG emission offset credits generated by agricultural nitrogen (N management activities are based on reducing the annual N fertilizer application rate for a given crop without reducing yield. We performed a “road test” of agricultural N management protocols to evaluate differences among protocol components and quantify nitrous oxide (N2O emission reductions under sample projects relevant to N management in dryland, wheat-based cropping systems of the inland Pacific Northwest (iPNW. We evaluated five agricultural N management offset protocols applicable to North America: two methodologies of American Carbon Registry (ACR1 and ACR2, Verified Carbon Standard (VCS, Climate Action Reserve (CAR, and Alberta Offset Credit System (Alberta. We found that only two protocols, ACR2 and VCS, were suitable for this study, in which four sample projects were developed representing feasible N fertilizer rate reduction activities. The ACR2 and VCS protocols had identical baseline and project emission quantification methodologies resulting in identical emission reduction values. Reducing N fertilizer application rate by switching to variable rate N (sample projects 1–3 or split N application (sample project 4 management resulted in a N2O emission reduction ranging from 0.07 to 0.16, and 0.26 Mg CO2e ha−1, respectively. Across the range of C prices considered ($5, $10, and $50 per metric ton of CO2 equivalent, we concluded that the N2O emission offset payment alone ($0.35–$13.0 ha−1 was unlikely to

  12. Navigating challenges and opportunities of land degradation and sustainable livelihood development in dryland social-ecological systems: a case study from Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huber-Sannwald, Elisabeth; Palacios, Mónica Ribeiro; Moreno, José Tulio Arredondo; Braasch, Marco; Peña, Ruth Magnolia Martínez; Verduzco, Javier García de Alba; Santos, Karina Monzalvo

    2012-11-19

    Drylands are one of the most diverse yet highly vulnerable social-ecological systems on Earth. Water scarcity has contributed to high levels of heterogeneity, variability and unpredictability, which together have shaped the long coadaptative process of coupling humans and nature. Land degradation and desertification in drylands are some of the largest and most far-reaching global environmental and social change problems, and thus are a daunting challenge for science and society. In this study, we merged the Drylands Development Paradigm, Holling's adaptive cycle metaphor and resilience theory to assess the challenges and opportunities for livelihood development in the Amapola dryland social-ecological system (DSES), a small isolated village in the semi-arid region of Mexico. After 450 years of local social-ecological evolution, external drivers (neoliberal policies, change in land reform legislation) have become the most dominant force in livelihood development, at the cost of loss of natural and cultural capital and an increasingly dysfunctional landscape. Local DSESs have become increasingly coupled to dynamic larger-scale drivers. Hence, cross-scale connectedness feeds back on and transforms local self-sustaining subsistence farming conditions, causing loss of livelihood resilience and diversification in a globally changing world. Effective efforts to combat desertification and improve livelihood security in DSESs need to consider their cyclical rhythms. Hence, we advocate novel dryland stewardship strategies, which foster adaptive capacity, and continuous evaluation and social learning at all levels. Finally, we call for an effective, flexible and viable policy framework that enhances local biotic and cultural diversity of drylands to transform global drylands into a resilient biome in the context of global environmental and social change.

  13. Navigating challenges and opportunities of land degradation and sustainable livelihood development in dryland social–ecological systems: a case study from Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huber-Sannwald, Elisabeth; Ribeiro Palacios, Mónica; Arredondo Moreno, José Tulio; Braasch, Marco; Martínez Peña, Ruth Magnolia; de Alba Verduzco, Javier García; Monzalvo Santos, Karina

    2012-01-01

    Drylands are one of the most diverse yet highly vulnerable social–ecological systems on Earth. Water scarcity has contributed to high levels of heterogeneity, variability and unpredictability, which together have shaped the long coadaptative process of coupling humans and nature. Land degradation and desertification in drylands are some of the largest and most far-reaching global environmental and social change problems, and thus are a daunting challenge for science and society. In this study, we merged the Drylands Development Paradigm, Holling's adaptive cycle metaphor and resilience theory to assess the challenges and opportunities for livelihood development in the Amapola dryland social–ecological system (DSES), a small isolated village in the semi-arid region of Mexico. After 450 years of local social–ecological evolution, external drivers (neoliberal policies, change in land reform legislation) have become the most dominant force in livelihood development, at the cost of loss of natural and cultural capital and an increasingly dysfunctional landscape. Local DSESs have become increasingly coupled to dynamic larger-scale drivers. Hence, cross-scale connectedness feeds back on and transforms local self-sustaining subsistence farming conditions, causing loss of livelihood resilience and diversification in a globally changing world. Effective efforts to combat desertification and improve livelihood security in DSESs need to consider their cyclical rhythms. Hence, we advocate novel dryland stewardship strategies, which foster adaptive capacity, and continuous evaluation and social learning at all levels. Finally, we call for an effective, flexible and viable policy framework that enhances local biotic and cultural diversity of drylands to transform global drylands into a resilient biome in the context of global environmental and social change. PMID:23045713

  14. Winter Pea: Promising New Crop for Washington's Dryland Wheat-Fallow Region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William F. Schillinger

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available A 2-year tillage-based winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.-summer fallow (WW-SF rotation has been practiced by the vast majority of farmers in the low-precipitation (<300 mm annual rainfed cropping region of east-central Washington and north-central Oregon for 140 years. Until recently, alternative crops (i.e., those other than WW so far tested have not been as economically viable or stable as WW-SF. A 6-year field study was conducted near Ritzville, WA (292 mm avg. annual precipitation to determine the yield and rotation benefits of winter pea (Pisum sativum L. (WP. Two 3-year rotations were evaluated: WP-spring wheat (SW-SF vs. WW-SW-SF. Winter pea yields averaged 2,443 vs. 4,878 kg/ha for WW. No fertilizer was applied to WP whereas 56 kg N and 11 kg S/ha were applied to WW. Winter pea used significantly less soil water than WW. Over the winter months, a lesser percentage of precipitation was stored in the soil following WP compared to WW because: (i very little WP residue remained on the soil surface after harvest compared to WW, and (ii the drier the soil, the more precipitation is stored in the soil over winter. However, soil water content in the spring was still greater following WP vs. WW. Soil residual N in the spring (7 months after the harvest of WP and WW was greater in WP plots despite not applying fertilizer to produce WP. Spring wheat grown after both WP and WW received the identical quantity of N, P, and S fertilizer each year. Average yield of SW was 2,298 and 2,011 kg/ha following WP and WW, respectively (P < 0.01. Adjusted gross economic returns for these two rotation systems were similar. Based partially on the results of this study, numerous farmers in the dry WW-SF region have shown keen interest in WP and acreage planted WP in east-central Washington has grown exponentially since 2013. This paper provides the first report of the potential for WP in the typical WW-SF region of the inland Pacific Northwest (PNW.

  15. Environmental Sustainability of Some Cropping Systems in the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Results from most findings reviewed in this paper had shown that there was no one size fits cropping system that can be use for sustainability of the humid environment but the best approach was the diversification of both traditional and modern cropping systems. The transition to systems which are both sustainable and ...

  16. Watershed Scale Optimization to Meet Sustainable Cellulosic Energy Crop Demand

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chaubey, Indrajeet [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Cibin, Raj [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Bowling, Laura [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Brouder, Sylvie [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Cherkauer, Keith [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Engel, Bernard [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Frankenberger, Jane [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Goforth, Reuben [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Gramig, Benjamin [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Volenec, Jeffrey [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States)

    2017-03-24

    The overall goal of this project was to conduct a watershed-scale sustainability assessment of multiple species of energy crops and removal of crop residues within two watersheds (Wildcat Creek, and St. Joseph River) representative of conditions in the Upper Midwest. The sustainability assessment included bioenergy feedstock production impacts on environmental quality, economic costs of production, and ecosystem services.

  17. Challenges in the participatory assessment of sustainable management practices in dryland ecosystems under regime shifts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jucker Riva, Matteo; Schwilch, Gudrun; Liniger, Hanspeter

    2015-04-01

    Regime shifts, defined as a radical and persistent reconfiguration of an ecosystem following a disturbance, have been acknowledged by scientists as a very important aspect of the dynamic of ecosystems. However, their consideration in land management planning remains marginal and limited to specific processes and systems. Current research focuses on mathematical modeling and statistical analysis of spatio-temporal data for specific environmental variables. These methods do not fulfill the needs of land managers, who are confronted with a multitude of processes and pressure types and require clear and simple strategies to prevent regime shift or to increase the resilience of their environment. The EU-FP7 CASCADE project is looking at regime shifts of dryland ecosystems in southern Europe and specifically focuses on rangeland and forest systems which are prone to various land degradation threats. One of the aims of the project is to evaluate the impact of different management practices on the dynamic of the environment in a participatory manner, including a multi-stakeholder evaluation of the state of the environment and of the management potential. To achieve this objective we have organized several stakeholder meetings and we have compiled a review of management practices using the WOCAT methodology, which enables merging scientific and land users knowledge. We highlight here the main challenges we have encountered in applying the notion of regime shift to real world socio-ecological systems and in translating related concepts such as tipping points, stable states, hysteresis and resilience to land managers, using concrete examples from CASCADE study sites. Secondly, we explore the advantages of including land users' knowledge in the scientific understanding of regime shifts. Moreover, we discuss useful alternative concepts and lessons learnt that will allow us to build a participatory method for the assessment of resilient management practices in specific socio

  18. Energy production on farms. Sustainability of energy crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Zeijts, H.

    1995-01-01

    In this article the results of a study on sustainability of energy crops are discussed. Contribution to the reduction of the greenhouse effect and other environmental effects were investigated for the Netherlands. The study assumed that energy crops are grown on set-aside land or grain land. Generating electricity and/or heat from hemp, reed, miscanthus, poplar and willow show the best prospects. These crops are sustainable and may in the future be economically feasible. Ethanol from winter wheat shows the most favourable environmental effects, but is not economically efficient. Liquid fuels from oil seed rape and sugar beet are not very sustainable. 2 tabs., 4 refs

  19. Influence of Conservation Tillage on some Soil Physical Properties and Crop Yield in Vetch-Wheat Rotation in Dryland Cold Region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I Eskandari

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Introduction Winter wheat is an important, well-adapted grain crop under dryland condition of the northwest of Iran. Soil water is the most limiting resource for crop growth in dryland areas. Therefore, farmers need to use crop residues and minimum tillage to control the soil erosion and effectively store and to use the limited precipitation received for crop production. Crop rotation and tillage system could affect crop yield due to their effects on water conservation and soil chemical and physical properties. Galantini et al., (2000 studied the effect of crop rotation on wheat productivity in the Pampean semi-arid region of Argentina and found that a wheat–vetch (Vicia sativa L. rotation resulted in higher yield and protein content, and greater yield components than the other rotations.Payne et al. (2000 stated that where precipitation amount is marginal (400 mm, dry field pea offers a potential alternative to summer fallowing. The purpose of this study was to identify the optimal tillage system for increasing crop productivity in a vetch–wheat rotation in dryland farming of the northwest of Iran. Materials and Methods The field experiment was carried out from 2010 to 2014 at the Dryland Agricultural Research Station (latitude37° 12´N; longitude 46◦20´E; 1730 m a.s.l., 25 km east of Maragheh, East Azerbaijan Province, Iran. The long-term (10 years average precipitation, temperature and relative humidity of the station are 336.5 mm, 9.4 ◦C and 47.5%, respectively. The soil (Fine Mixed, Mesic, Vertic Calcixerepts, USDA system; Calcisols, FAO system at the study site had a clay loam texture in the 0–15 cm surface layer and a clay texture in the 15–80 cm depth. This study was conducted in vetch (Vicia pannonica- wheat (Triticum aestivum L. rotation. The experiment was arranged in a randomized complete block design with four replications. The tillage treatments consisted of (1 conventional tillage: moldboard plowing followed by one

  20. Sustainable production of grain crops for biofuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grain crops of the Gramineae are grown for their edible, starchy seeds. Their grain is used directly for human food, livestock feed, and as raw material for many industries, including biofuels. Using grain crops for non-food uses affects the amount of food available to the world. Grain-based biofuel...

  1. Dynamic cropping systems: Holistic approach for dryland agricultural systems in the northern Great Plains of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cropping systems over the past century have developed greater crop specialization, more effectively conserve our soil and water resources, and are more resilient. The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the evolution of cropping systems in the Northern Great Plains and provide an approach to crop...

  2. Replacing fallow by cover crops: economic sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabriel, José Luis; Garrido, Alberto; Quemada, Miguel

    2013-04-01

    Replacing fallow by cover crops in intensive fertilized systems has been demonstrated as an efficient tool for reducing nitrate leaching. However, despite the evident environmental services provided and the range of agronomic benefits documented in the literature, farmers' adoption of this new technology is still limited because they are either unwilling or unable, although adoption reluctance is frequently rooted in low economic profitability, low water se efficiency or poor knowledge. Economic analyses permit a comparison between the profit that farmers obtain from agricultural products and the cost of adopting specific agricultural techniques. The goal of this study was to evaluate the economic impact of replacing the usual winter fallow with cover crops (barley (Hordeum vulgare L., cv. Vanessa), vetch (Vicia villosa L., cv. Vereda) and rapeseed (Brassica napus L., cv. Licapo)) in irrigated maize systems and variable Mediterranean weather conditions using stochastic Monte-Carlo simulations of key farms' financial performance indicators. The three scenarios studied for each cover crop were: i) just leaving the cover crop residue in the ground, ii) leaving the cover crop residue but reduce following maize fertilization according to the N available from the previous cover crop and iii) selling the cover crop residue for animal feeding. All the scenarios were compared with respect to a typical maize-fallow rotation. With observed data from six different years and in various field trials, looking for different weather conditions, probability distribution functions of maize yield, cover crop biomass production and N fertilizer saving was fitted. Based in statistical sources maize grain price, different forage prices and the cost of fertilizer were fitted to probability distribution functions too. As result, introducing a cover crop involved extra costs with respect to fallow as the initial investment, because new seed, herbicide or extra field operations. Additional

  3. Sustainable commercialization of new crops for the agricultural bioeconomy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N.R. Jordan

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Diversification of agroecological systems to enhance agrobiodiversity is likely to be critical to advancing environmental, economic, and social sustainability of agriculture. Temperate-zone agroecological systems that are currently organized for production of summer-annual crops can be diversified by integration of fallow-season and perennial crops. Integration of such crops can improve sustainability of these agroecological systems, with minimal interference with current agricultural production. Importantly, these crops can provide feedstocks for a wide range of new bio-products that are forming a new agricultural bioeconomy, potentially providing greatly increased economic incentives for diversification. However, while there are many fallow-season and perennial crops that might be used in such a “bioeconomic” strategy for diversification, most are not yet well adapted and highly-marketable. Efforts are underway to enhance adaptation and marketability of many such crops. Critically, these efforts require a strategic approach that addresses the inherent complexity of these projects. We outline a suitable approach, which we term “sustainable commercialization”: a coordinated innovation process that integrates a new crop into the agriculture of a region, while intentionally addressing economic, environmental and social sustainability challenges via multi-stakeholder governance. This approach centers on a concerted effort to coordinate and govern innovation in three critical areas: germplasm development, multifunctional agroecosystem design and management, and development of end uses, supply chains, and markets. To exemplify the approach, we describe an ongoing effort to commercialize a new fallow-season crop, field pennycress (Thlaspi arvense L..

  4. Assessing the ecological and economic sustainability of energy crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hanegraaf, M.C.; Biewinga, E.E.; Bijl, G. van der

    1998-01-01

    The production and use of biomass for energy has both positive and negative impacts on the environment. The environmental impacts of energy crops should be clarified before political choices concerning energy are made. An important aid to policy-making would be a systematic methodology to assess the environmental sustainability of energy crops. So far, most studies on the environmental aspects of energy crops deal mainly with the energy production of the crops and the possible consequences for CO 2 mitigation. The Dutch Centre for Agriculture and Environment (CLM) has developed a systematic methodology to assess the ecological and socio-economic sustainability of biomass crops. The method is best described as a multicriteria analysis of process chains and is very much related to Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Characteristics of our methodology are the use of: definition of functional units; analysis of the entire lifecycle; definition of yield levels and corresponding agricultural practices; analysis of both ecological and economic criteria; definition of reference systems; definition of procedures for normalisation and weighting. CLM has applied the method to assess the sustainability of ten potentially interesting energy crops in four European regions. The results are used to outline the perspectives for large scale production of biomass crops with regard to the medium and long term land availability in Europe. For the crops considered, net energy budget ranges from 85 GJ net avoided energy per ha for rape seed for fuel to 248 GJ net avoided fossil energy per ha for silage maize for electricity from gasification. The methodology of the tool and its results were discussed at the concerted action ''Environmental aspects of biomass production and routes for European energy supply'' (AIR3-94-2455), organised by CLM in 1996. Major conclusions of the research: multicriteria analyhsis of process lifecycles is at present the best available option to assess the ecological

  5. Agriculture and crop science in China:Innovation and sustainability

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yunbi Xu; Jiayang Li; Jianmin Wan

    2017-01-01

    The International Crop Science Congress (ICSC) is a regularly held event allowing crop scientists to integrate current knowledge into a global context and international applications. The 7th ICSC was held on August 14–19, 2016 in Beijing, China, with the theme "Crop Science: Innovation and Sustainability". As a companion production for this great congress, the nine papers collected in this special issue feature important fields of crop science in China. This editorial first briefly introduces the 7th ICSC, followed by a brief discussion of the current status of, constraints to, and innovations in Chinese agriculture and crop science. Finally, the main scientific points of the papers published in this special issue are surveyed, covering important advances in hybrid rice breeding, minor cereals, food legumes, rapeseed, crop systems, crop management, cotton, genomics-based germplasm research, and QTL mapping. In a section describing future prospects, it is indicated that China faces a full transition from traditional to modern agriculture and crop science.

  6. Sustainable Biofuel Project: Emergy Analysis of South Florida Energy Crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Amponsah, Nana Yaw [Intelligentsia International, Inc., LaBelle, FL (United States); Izursa, Jose-Luis [Intelligentsia International, Inc., LaBelle, FL (United States); Hanlon, Edward A. [Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL (United States). Soil and Water Sciences Dept.; Capece, John C. [Intelligentsia International, Inc., LaBelle, FL (United States)

    2012-11-15

    This study evaluates the sustainability of various farming systems, namely (1) sugarcane on organic and mineral soils and (2) energycane and sweet sorghum on mineral soils. The primary objective of the study is to compare the relative sustainability matrices of these energy crops and their respective farming systems. These matrices should guide decision and policy makers to determine the overall sustainability of an intended or proposed bioethanol project related to any of these studied crops. Several different methods of energy analysis have been proposed to assess the feasibility or sustainability of projects exploiting natural resources (such as (Life Cycle Analysis, Energy Analysis, Exergy Analysis, Cost Benefit Analysis, Ecological Footprint, etc.). This study primarily focused on the concept of Emergy Analysis, a quantitative analytical technique for determining the values of nonmonied and monied resources, services and commodities in common units of the solar energy it took to make them. With this Emergy Analysis study, the Hendry County Sustainable Biofuels Center intends to provide useful perspective for different stakeholder groups to (1) assess and compare the sustainability levels of above named crops cultivation on mineral soils and organic soils for ethanol production and (2) identify processes within the cultivation that could be targeted for improvements. The results provide as much insight into the assumptions inherent in the investigated approaches as they do into the farming systems in this study.

  7. Turning the aquatic weed Azolla into a sustainable crop

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brouwer, P.

    2017-01-01

    Growing worldwide demands for food, energy and chemicals threatens natural ecosystems and global climate. Plants are crucial for food production, but may also be used to produce sustainable energy and materials. Hereto novel crops are sought with high productivity per hectare, whilst requiring

  8. Using membrane transporters to improve crops for sustainable food production

    Science.gov (United States)

    With the global population predicted to grow by at least 25% by 2050, the need for sustainable production of nutritious foods is critical for human and environmental well-being. Recent advances show that specialized plant membrane transporters can be utilized to enhance yields of staple crops, incre...

  9. Sustainable Biofuel Crops Project, Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Juhn, Daniel [Conservation International, Arlington, VA (United States). Moore Center for Science and Oceans. Integrated Assessment and Planning; Grantham, Hedley [Conservation International, Arlington, VA (United States). Moore Center for Science and Oceans. Integrated Assessment and Planning

    2014-05-28

    Over the last six years, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has developed the Bioenergy and Food Security (BEFS) Approach to help countries design and implement sustainable bioenergy policies and strategies. The BEFS Approach consists of two sets of multidisciplinary and integrated tools and guidance (the BEFS Rapid Appraisal and the BEFS Detailed Analysis) to facilitate better decision on bioenergy development which should foster both food and energy security, and contribute to agricultural and rural development. The development of the BEFS Approach was for the most part funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. Recognizing the need to provide support to countries that wanted an initial assessment of their sustainable bioenergy potential, and of the associated opportunities, risks and trade offs, FAO began developing the BEFS-RA (Rapid Appraisal). The BEFS RA is a spreadsheet–based assessment and analysis tool designed to outline the country's basic energy, agriculture and food security context, the natural resources potential, the bioenergy end use options, including initial financial and economic implications, and the identification of issues that might require fuller investigation with the BEFS Detailed Analysis.

  10. Organic versus Conventional Cropping Sustainability: A Comparative System Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiffany L. Fess

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available We are at a pivotal time in human history, as the agricultural sector undergoes consolidation coupled with increasing energy costs in the context of declining resource availability. Although organic systems are often thought of as more sustainable than conventional operations, the lack of concise and widely accepted means to measure sustainability makes coming to an agreement on this issue quite challenging. However, an accurate assessment of sustainability can be reached by dissecting the scientific underpinnings of opposing production practices and crop output between cropping systems. The purpose of this review is to provide an in-depth and comprehensive evaluation of modern global production practices and economics of organic cropping systems, as well as assess the sustainability of organic production practices through the clarification of information and analysis of recent research. Additionally, this review addresses areas where improvements can be made to help meet the needs of future organic producers, including organic-focused breeding programs and necessity of coming to a unified global stance on plant breeding technologies. By identifying management strategies that utilize practices with long-term environmental and resource efficiencies, a concerted global effort could guide the adoption of organic agriculture as a sustainable food production system.

  11. Agricultural Soil Alkalinity and Salinity Modeling in the Cropping Season in a Spectral Endmember Space of TM in Temperate Drylands, Minqin, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danfeng Sun

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the potential of the four-image spectral endmember (EM space comprising sand (SL, green vegetation (GV, saline land (SA, and dark materials (DA, unmixed from Landsat TM/ETM+ to map dryland agricultural soil alkalinity and salinity (i.e., soil alkalinity (pH and soil electrical conductivity (EC in the shallow root zone (0–20 cm using partial least squares regression (PLSR and an artificial neural network (ANN. The results reveal that SA, SL, and GV fractions at the subpixel level, and land surface temperature (LST are necessary independent variables for soil EC modeling in Minqin Oasis, a temperate-arid system in China. The R2 (coefficient of determination of the optimized parameters with the ANN model was 0.79, the root mean squared error (RMSE was 0.13, and the ratio of prediction to deviation (RPD was 1.95 when evaluated against all sampled data. In addition to the aforementioned four variables, the DA fraction and the recent historical SA fraction (SAH in the spring dry season in 2008 were also helpful for soil pH modeling. The model performance is R2 = 0.76, RMSE = 0.24, and RPD = 1.96 for all sampled data. In summary, the stable EMs and LST space of TM imagery with an ANN approach can generate near-real-time regional soil alkalinity and salinity estimations in the cropping period. This is the case even in the critical agronomic range (EC of 0–20 dS·m−1 and pH of 7–9 at which researchers and policy-makers require near-real-time crop management information.

  12. Fungal endophytes for sustainable crop production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lugtenberg, Ben J J; Caradus, John R; Johnson, Linda J

    2016-12-01

    This minireview highlights the importance of endophytic fungi for sustainable agriculture and horticulture production. Fungal endophytes play a key role in habitat adaptation of plants resulting in improved plant performance and plant protection against biotic and abiotic stresses. They encode a vast variety of novel secondary metabolites including volatile organic compounds. In addition to protecting plants against pathogens and pests, selected fungal endophytes have been used to remove animal toxicities associated with fungal endophytes in temperate grasses, to create corn and rice plants that are tolerant to a range of biotic and abiotic stresses, and for improved management of post-harvest control. We argue that practices used in plant breeding, seed treatments and agriculture, often caused by poor knowledge of the importance of fungal endophytes, are among the reasons for the loss of fungal endophyte diversity in domesticated plants and also accounts for the reduced effectiveness of some endophyte strains to confer plant benefits. We provide recommendations on how to mitigate against these negative impacts in modern agriculture. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. Effect of Integrated Water-Nutrient Management Strategies on Soil Erosion Mediated Nutrient Loss and Crop Productivity in Cabo Verde Drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baptista, Isaurinda; Ritsema, Coen; Geissen, Violette

    2015-01-01

    Soil erosion, runoff and related nutrient losses are a big risk for soil fertility in Cabo Verde drylands. In 2012, field trials were conducted in two agro-ecological zones to evaluate the effects of selected techniques of soil-water management combined with organic amendments (T1: compost/manure + soil surfactant; T2: compost/animal or green manure + pigeon-pea hedges + soil surfactant; T3: compost/animal or green manure + mulch + pigeon-pea hedges) on nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) losses in eroded soil and runoff and on crop yields. Three treatments and one control (traditional practice) were tested in field plots at three sites with a local maize variety and two types of beans. Runoff and eroded soil were collected after each erosive rain, quantified, and analysed for NO3-N and PO4-P concentrations. In all treatments runoff had higher concentrations of NO3-N (2.20-4.83 mg L-1) than of PO4-P (0.02-0.07 mg L-1), and the eroded soil had higher content of PO4-P (5.27-18.8 mg g-1) than of NO3-N (1.30-8.51 mg g-1). The control had significantly higher losses of both NO3-N (5.4, 4.4 and 19 kg ha-1) and PO4-P (0.2, 0.1 and 0.4 kg ha-1) than the other treatments. T3 reduced soil loss, runoff and nutrient losses to nearly a 100% while T1 and T2 reduced those losses from 43 to 88%. The losses of NO3-N and PO4-P were highly correlated with the amounts of runoff and eroded soil. Nutrient losses from the applied amendments were low (5.7% maximum), but the losses in the control could indicate long-term nutrient depletion in the soil (19 and 0.4 kg ha-1 of NO3-N and PO4-P, respectively). T1-T3 did not consistently increase crop yield or biomass in all three sites, but T1 increased both crop yield and biomass. We conclude that T3 (combining crop-residue mulch with organic amendment and runoff hedges) is the best treatment for steep slope areas but, the pigeon-pea hedges need to be managed for higher maize yield. T1 (combining organic amendment with soil surfactant) could be a

  14. Effect of Integrated Water-Nutrient Management Strategies on Soil Erosion Mediated Nutrient Loss and Crop Productivity in Cabo Verde Drylands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baptista, Isaurinda; Ritsema, Coen; Geissen, Violette

    2015-01-01

    Soil erosion, runoff and related nutrient losses are a big risk for soil fertility in Cabo Verde drylands. In 2012, field trials were conducted in two agro-ecological zones to evaluate the effects of selected techniques of soil-water management combined with organic amendments (T1: compost/manure + soil surfactant; T2: compost/animal or green manure + pigeon-pea hedges + soil surfactant; T3: compost/animal or green manure + mulch + pigeon-pea hedges) on nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) losses in eroded soil and runoff and on crop yields. Three treatments and one control (traditional practice) were tested in field plots at three sites with a local maize variety and two types of beans. Runoff and eroded soil were collected after each erosive rain, quantified, and analysed for NO3-N and PO4-P concentrations. In all treatments runoff had higher concentrations of NO3-N (2.20-4.83 mg L-1) than of PO4-P (0.02-0.07 mg L-1), and the eroded soil had higher content of PO4-P (5.27-18.8 mg g-1) than of NO3-N (1.30-8.51 mg g-1). The control had significantly higher losses of both NO3-N (5.4, 4.4 and 19 kg ha-1) and PO4-P (0.2, 0.1 and 0.4 kg ha-1) than the other treatments. T3 reduced soil loss, runoff and nutrient losses to nearly a 100% while T1 and T2 reduced those losses from 43 to 88%. The losses of NO3-N and PO4-P were highly correlated with the amounts of runoff and eroded soil. Nutrient losses from the applied amendments were low (5.7% maximum), but the losses in the control could indicate long-term nutrient depletion in the soil (19 and 0.4 kg ha-1 of NO3-N and PO4-P, respectively). T1-T3 did not consistently increase crop yield or biomass in all three sites, but T1 increased both crop yield and biomass. We conclude that T3 (combining crop-residue mulch with organic amendment and runoff hedges) is the best treatment for steep slope areas but, the pigeon-pea hedges need to be managed for higher maize yield. T1 (combining organic amendment with soil surfactant) could be a

  15. Complementary crops and landscape features sustain wild bee communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins, Kyle T; Albert, Cécile H; Lechowicz, Martin J; Gonzalez, Andrew

    2018-06-01

    Wild bees, which are important for commercial pollination, depend on floral and nesting resources both at farms and in the surrounding landscape. Mass-flowering crops are only in bloom for a few weeks and unable to support bee populations that persist throughout the year. Farm fields and orchards that flower in succession potentially can extend the availability of floral resources for pollinators. However, it is unclear whether the same bee species or genera will forage from one crop to the next, which bees specialize on particular crops, and to what degree inter-crop visitation patterns will be mediated by landscape context. We therefore studied local- and landscape-level drivers of bee diversity and species turnover in apple orchards, blueberry fields, and raspberry fields that bloom sequentially in southern Quebec, Canada. Despite the presence of high bee species turnover, orchards and small fruit fields complemented each other phenologically by supporting two bee genera essential to their pollination: mining bees (Andrena spp.) and bumble bees (Bombus spp.). A number of bee species specialized on apple, blueberry, or raspberry blossoms, suggesting that all three crops could be used to promote regional bee diversity. Bee diversity (rarefied richness, wild bee abundance) was highest across crops in landscapes containing hedgerows, meadows, and suburban areas that provide ancillary nesting and floral resources throughout the spring and summer. Promoting phenological complementarity in floral resources at the farmstead and landscape scales is essential to sustaining diverse wild bee populations. © 2018 by the Ecological Society of America.

  16. Ensuring sustainable grain legume-cereal cropping systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bedoussac, Laurent; Journet, E-P; Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik

    2017-01-01

    health makes them a key rotation crop in the sustainable intensification and diversification of smallholder farming. This makes grain legumes a key food security crop. However, yields in developing countries are low as a result of such factors as the need for improved varieties of seed, poor seed......Grain legumes are widely cultivated, particularly for their dry seeds (known as pulses). Grain legumes are an important crop for a number of reasons. They are a rich source of protein and fibre, minerals and vitamins. In addition, their rapid growth and ability to fix nitrogen and improve soil...... distribution, the impact of pests and diseases, as well as vulnerability to poor soils, drought and other effects of climate change. This chapter summarises data from over 50 field experiments undertaken since 2001 on cereal-grain legume intercropping in 13 sites in southern and western France as well...

  17. Toward cropping systems that enhance productivity and sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, R. James

    2006-01-01

    The defining features of any cropping system are (i) the crop rotation and (ii) the kind or intensity of tillage. The trend worldwide starting in the late 20th century has been (i) to specialize competitively in the production of two, three, a single, or closely related crops such as different market classes of wheat and barley, and (ii) to use direct seeding, also known as no-till, to cut costs and save soil, time, and fuel. The availability of glyphosate- and insect-resistant varieties of soybeans, corn, cotton, and canola has helped greatly to address weed and insect pest pressures favored by direct seeding these crops. However, little has been done through genetics and breeding to address diseases caused by residue- and soil-inhabiting pathogens that remain major obstacles to wider adoption of these potentially more productive and sustainable systems. Instead, the gains have been due largely to innovations in management, including enhancement of root defense by antibiotic-producing rhizosphere-inhabiting bacteria inhibitory to root pathogens. Historically, new varieties have facilitated wider adoption of new management, and changes in management have facilitated wider adoption of new varieties. Although actual yields may be lower in direct-seed compared with conventional cropping systems, largely due to diseases, the yield potential is higher because of more available water and increases in soil organic matter. Achieving the full production potential of these more-sustainable cropping systems must now await the development of varieties adapted to or resistant to the hazards shown to account for the yield depressions associated with direct seeding. PMID:17130454

  18. Dryland orchard development in southern Tamil Nadu

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mohandas, S.; Marimuthu, R.; Karthikeyan, M.

    2002-01-01

    With low annual rainfall and high potential of evaporation in southern districts of Tamil Nadu, it is difficult to grow the crops, successfully. Drylands of this tract are vulnerable to high radiation, high temperature and variable rainfall. Hence, dryfarming has become a risky enterprise in this zone and all the above factors altogether reduce the choice of agricultural crops. Considering the magnitude of the area and it's untapped potential, which offers enormous scope for dryland horticulture in this region and thereby improving the soil productivity for other crops too

  19. Sustainability assessment of GM crops in a Swiss agricultural context

    OpenAIRE

    Speiser , Bernhard; Stolze , Matthias; Oehen , Bernadette; Gessler , Cesare; Weibel , Franco; Bravin , Esther; Kilchenmann , Adeline; Widmer , Albert; Charles , Raffael; Lang , Andreas; Stamm , Christian; Triloff , Peter; Tamm , Lucius

    2012-01-01

    International audience; The aim of this study was to provide an ex ante assessment of the sustainability of genetically modified (GM) crops under the agricultural conditions prevailing in Switzerland. The study addressed the gaps in our knowledge relating to (1) the agronomic risks/benefits in production systems under Swiss conditions (at field and rotation/orchard level), (2) the economic and socio-economic impacts associated with altered farming systems, and (3) the agro-ecological risks/be...

  20. Using membrane transporters to improve crops for sustainable food production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, Julian I.; Delhaize, Emmanuel; Frommer, Wolf B.; Guerinot, Mary Lou; Harrison, Maria J.; Herrera-Estrella, Luis; Horie, Tomoaki; Kochian, Leon V.; Munns, Rana; Nishizawa, Naoko K.; Tsay, Yi-Fang; Sanders, Dale

    2013-01-01

    With the global population predicted to grow by at least 25 per cent by 2050, the need for sustainable production of nutritious foods is critical for human and environmental health. Recent advances show that specialized plant membrane transporters can be used to enhance yields of staple crops, increase nutrient content and increase resistance to key stresses, including salinity, pathogens and aluminium toxicity, which in turn could expand available arable land. PMID:23636397

  1. GM Crops, Organic Agriculture and Breeding for Sustainability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvatore Ceccarelli

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The ongoing debate about the use of genetically-modified (GM crops in agriculture has largely focused on food safety and genetic contamination issues. Given that the majority of GM crops have been produced to respond to the problem of crop yield reductions caused by diseases, insects and weeds, the paper argues that in those cases, the currently used GM crops are an unstable solution to the problem, because they represent such a strong selection pressure, that pests rapidly evolve resistance. Organic agriculture practices provide a more sustainable way of producing healthy food; however, the lower yields often associated with those practices, making the resultant healthy food more expensive, open the criticism that such practices will not be able to feed human populations. Evolutionary plant breeding offers the possibility of using the evolutionary potential of crops to our advantage by producing a continuous flow of varieties better adapted to organic systems, to climate change and to the ever changing spectrum of pests, without depending on chemical control.

  2. Improving water use efficiency in drylands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stroosnijder, L.; Moore, D.; Alharbi, A.; Argaman, E.; Elsen, van den H.G.M.

    2012-01-01

    Drylands cover 41% of the global terrestrial area and 2 billion people use it for grazing and cropping. Food security is low owing to institutional and technical constraints. Absolute water scarcity and also the inability of crops to use available water are major technical issues. Significant

  3. Feeding nine billion: the challenge to sustainable crop production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregory, Peter J; George, Timothy S

    2011-11-01

    In the recent past there was a widespread working assumption in many countries that problems of food production had been solved, and that food security was largely a matter of distribution and access to be achieved principally by open markets. The events of 2008 challenged these assumptions, and made public a much wider debate about the costs of current food production practices to the environment and whether these could be sustained. As in the past 50 years, it is anticipated that future increases in crop production will be achieved largely by increasing yields per unit area rather than by increasing the area of cropped land. However, as yields have increased, so the ratio of photosynthetic energy captured to energy expended in crop production has decreased. This poses a considerable challenge: how to increase yield while simultaneously reducing energy consumption (allied to greenhouse gas emissions) and utilizing resources such as water and phosphate more efficiently. Given the timeframe in which the increased production has to be realized, most of the increase will need to come from crop genotypes that are being bred now, together with known agronomic and management practices that are currently under-developed.

  4. SOIL ECOLOGY AS KEY TO SUSTAINABLE CROP PRODUCTION.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Deyn, G B

    2015-01-01

    Sustainable production of food, feed and fiberwarrants sustainable soil management and crop protection. The tools available to achieve this are both in the realm of the plants and of the soil, with a key role for plant-soil interactions. At the plant level we have vast knowledge of variation within plant species with respect to pests and diseases, based on which we can breed for resistance. However, given that systems evolve this resistance is bound to be temporarily, hence also other strategies are needed. Here I plea for an integrative approach for sustainable production using ecological principles. Ecology, the study of how organisms interact with their environment, teaches us that diversity promotes productivity and yield stability. These effects are thought to be governed through resource use complementarity and reduced build-up of pests and diseases both above- and belowground. In recent years especially the role of soil biotic interactions has revealed new insights in how plant diversity and productivity are related to soil biodiversity and the functions soil biota govern. In our grassland biodiversity studies we found that root feeders can promote plant diversity and succession without reducing plant community productivity, this illustrates the role of diversity to maintain productivity. Also diversity within species offers scope for sustainable production, for example through awareness of differences between plant genotypes in chemical defense compounds that can attract natural enemies of pests aboveground- and belowground thereby providing plant protection. Plant breeding can also benefit from using complementarity between plant species in the selection for new varieties, as our work demonstrated that when growing in species mixtures plant species adapt to each other over time such that their resource acquisition traits become more complementing. Finally, in a recent meta-analysis we show that earthworms can stimulate crop yield with on average 25%, but

  5. Greening Drylands with Seawater Easily and Naturally.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moustafa, Khaled

    2017-03-01

    The sun and sea are inexhaustible sources of energy and water that could be used to transform drylands into more viable ecosystems. A sustainable and cost-effective approach is proposed for greening drylands and restoring wildlife and biodiversity in deserts using seawater desert-houses (or movable seawater ponds) that could offer important environmental advantages. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Sustainable crop models for fruit, vegetable and flower quality productions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Inglese Paolo

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Sustainable development is a paradigm that has evolved over the time, since the ideas of socially acceptable and compatible development, on which it was originally based, are now supported by the more recent notions of ecological equilibria and production process economy, both of which need to be also preserved. Environmental and health safety, rational use of the natural resources and technological tools, upkeep of high social growth rates and respect of a social equity are the basis of the sustainability for any production process, including the agriculture. The new globalization framework has penalized small farms and, at the same time, has put serious constraints to the development of stronger economic systems (medium/large farms, as well. As consequence, the EU has outlined several strategic programs to support small agricultural systems in marginal areas by: 1 strengthening all the quality- related aspects of agricultural production, including nutritional and cultural traits associated to local, typical and in some cases to neglected crops; 2 improving traditional cultural practices by adapting the cropping cycles and fomenting new partnerships between the different parts of the production chain, as for example; promotion of small horticultural chains. Specific political actions for the horticultural production sector have also been developed. Some of these policies are specifically addressed to preserve the biodiversity and to create quality labels certifying typical and/or organic products. All of these are possible strategies that may counteract and cope with the globalization process and increase the competitiveness of many production systems especially those performed by local and small entrepreneurs. New sustainable development models are required by both the market and the implicit requirements of the production system, inside a context on which Europe must face with new emerging economies with lower production costs, by increasing

  7. Groundwater Sustainability Through Optimal Crop Choice in the Indian Punjab

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desai, R.; Siegfried, T. U.; B Krishnamurthy, C.; Sobolowski, S.

    2010-12-01

    total discounted crop revenue being the goal function and non-declining revenue as well as groundwater sustainability constraints. Areas set aside for individual crops in individual seasons and districts are decision variables and levels of support prices determine revenue streams. The SP was solved with a Monte Carlo simulation-based approach by sampling the 100 climate realizations where the expected goal function is approximated by the corresponding sample average function. Results indicate that a climate sensitive crop choice can lead to expected net economic gains while ensuring non-declining groundwater tables at the same time if support prices for water intensive crops are sufficiently low as compared to the prices of climate-sensitive crops. This is promising since it shows that wisely chosen support price signals could incentivize farmers to adopt climate-sensitive crop choice while at the same time stabilize the state fiscal burden from subsidized energy for groundwater pumping. It would, however, imply that India should gradually develop other regions of modern mechanized agricultural so as to ensure sufficient caloric supplies at the national scale.

  8. Contributions of roots and rootstocks to sustainable, intensified crop production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregory, Peter J; Atkinson, Christopher J; Bengough, A Glyn; Else, Mark A; Fernández-Fernández, Felicidad; Harrison, Richard J; Schmidt, Sonja

    2013-03-01

    Sustainable intensification is seen as the main route for meeting the world's increasing demands for food and fibre. As demands mount for greater efficiency in the use of resources to achieve this goal, so the focus on roots and rootstocks and their role in acquiring water and nutrients, and overcoming pests and pathogens, is increasing. The purpose of this review is to explore some of the ways in which understanding root systems and their interactions with soils could contribute to the development of more sustainable systems of intensive production. Physical interactions with soil particles limit root growth if soils are dense, but root-soil contact is essential for optimal growth and uptake of water and nutrients. X-ray microtomography demonstrated that maize roots elongated more rapidly with increasing root-soil contact, as long as mechanical impedance was not limiting root elongation, while lupin was less sensitive to changes in root-soil contact. In addition to selecting for root architecture and rhizosphere properties, the growth of many plants in cultivated systems is profoundly affected by selection of an appropriate rootstock. Several mechanisms for scion control by rootstocks have been suggested, but the causal signals are still uncertain and may differ between crop species. Linkage map locations for quantitative trait loci for disease resistance and other traits of interest in rootstock breeding are becoming available. Designing root systems and rootstocks for specific environments is becoming a feasible target.

  9. Development of sorghum varieties and hybrids for dryland areas of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mo

    second to tef as injera (leavened local flat bread) making cereal. In the dryland areas of Ethiopia which covers 66 per cent of the total area, it is the major cereal crop grown. In these areas crop production is mainly rain-fed. Because of the low amount, uneven distribution and erratic nature of the rainfall crop production is ...

  10. Sustainable use of Brackish water for crop production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chaudhry, M.R.; Iqbal, M.; Subhani, K.M.

    2005-01-01

    The good quality surface-water is not sufficient to meet the crop water requirement for potential crop production. To augment the inadequate supplies of good quality water the only alternative is the use of poor quality , ground water. To explore sustainable use of brackish water a study was conducted in Fordwah Eastern Sadiqia South, Bahawalnagar, Punjab during the year 1998-99 to 2000-2001 with the objective to evaluate the impact of different irrigation treatments on physical and chemical properties of soil and crops yield. The experiment was conducted on farmer's field with his collaboration. The initial soil pH was about 8.0 while ECe and SAR ranged between 2.0 to 4.1 dS m/sup -/1 and 7.1 to 15.1 (mmol/sub c/ L/sup -1/)1/2, respectively with sandy loam texture. The brackish water used for irrigation had ECiw, SAR and RSC between 5.6 to 6.7 dS m/sup -/1, 15.1 to 16.4 (mmolc L/sup -1/sup 1/2/ and 1.52 to 1.64 (mmol/sub c/ L/sup -1/.The crops tested were wheat during Rabi and cotton during Kharif season. The treatments tested were: irrigation with canal water (T/sub 1/), canal water during Rabi and drainage water during Kharif (T/sub 2/), drainage water for two years and canal water for one season(T/sub 3/); and drainage water for three years + application of gypsum at the rate of 25% of CWR and thereafter canal water for one season(T 4). Fertilizers were applied at the rate of 120-60-50 N, P/sub 2/O/sub 5/ and K20 kg ha/sup -1/, respectively in the form of urea, diammonium phosphate and sulfate of potash. Crops irrigated with drainage water visualized yield reduction depending upon the share of drainage water in the irrigation delta. Application of gypsum provided reasonable check against salinity build-up with brackish water irrigation besides a nominal boost of 3 and 5% in yield of wheat and cotton, respectively over comparable treatment of year-round brackish water irrigation lacking gypsum application. Drainage water in alternate arrangement of seasonal

  11. GM crops, the environment and sustainable food production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raven, Peter H

    2014-12-01

    Today, over 7.1 billion people rely on the earth's resources for sustenance, and nearly a billion people are malnourished, their minds and bodies unable to develop properly. Globally, population is expected to rise to more than 9 billion by 2050. Given the combined pressures of human population growth, the rapidly growing desire for increased levels of consumption, and the continued use of inappropriate technologies, it is not surprising that humans are driving organisms to extinction at an unprecedented rate. Many aspects of the sustainable functioning of the natural world are breaking down in the face of human-induced pressures including our individual and collective levels of consumption and our widespread and stubborn use of destructive technologies. Clearly, agriculture must undergo a redesign and be better and more effectively managed so as to contribute as well as possible to feeding people, while at the same time we strive to lessen the tragic loss of biodiversity and damage to all of its productive systems that the world is experiencing. For GM crops to be part of the solution, biosafety assessments should not be overly politically-driven or a burdensome impedance to delivering this technology broadly. Biosafety scientists and policy makers need to recognize the undeniable truth that inappropriate actions resulting in indecision also have negative consequences. It is no longer acceptable to delay the use of any strategy that is safe and will help us achieve the ability to feed the world's people.

  12. Biophysical constraints to sustainable agricultural intensification in West African drylands: an example of the WASCAL Research Action Plan (WRAP 2.0) Flagship Strategy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tondoh, E. J.; Forkuor, G.; Adegoke, J. O.

    2017-12-01

    The West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) is an intergovernmental research organization established in 2012 as result of multilateral collaborations between the Republic of Germany and Governments of 10 West African countries. Its new research program termed WASCAL Research Action Plan (WRAP 2.0) aims to deploy first-class, demand-driven, and impact-oriented research to achieve development outcomes and deliver key science-based climate and environmental services. It's therefore structured around key flagships, including "Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security" with a focus on enhancing the adaptive capacity of socio-ecological landscapes through increased agricultural productivity. However, as land degradation is one of the major obstacles to sustainable agricultural production and food security in sub Saharan African, it's imperative to mitigate this complex multifaceted process which is particularly acute in West African drylands. This case study aims to diagnose the main constraints to sustainable agricultural intensification at landscape scale and derive best bet soil management practices. The methodological approach is built around biophysical survey at sites of 100 km2 organized around 16 clusters each composed of 10 georeferenced sampling plots in three semi-arid agro-ecological landscapes located in upper-west region of Ghana (Lambussie), southwestern Burkina Faso (Bondigui) and southwestern Mali (Finkolo). Soil samples were collected in both the topsoil (0-20cm) and subsoil (20-50) and key soil physical constraints were measured at each sampling point. Remote Sensing (RS) variables representing biomass, climate and topography were correlated with soil organic carbon (SOC) to determine the influence of these variables on soil health. Results revealed within and between site variations in SOC concentration, soil pH, soil fertility index (SFI), erosion prevalence and root depth restriction. Different RS

  13. Crop Sequence Influences on Sustainable Spring Wheat Production in the Northern Great Plains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph M. Krupinsky

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Cropping systems in American agriculture are highly successful since World War II, but have become highly specialized, standardized, and simplified to meet the demands of an industrialized food system. Minimal attention has been given to the efficient exploitation of crop diversity and the synergistic and/or antagonistic relationships of crops in crop sequences. Objectives of our research were to determine if previous crop sequences have long-term benefits and/or drawbacks on spring wheat seed yield, seed N concentration, and seed precipitation-use efficiency in the semiarid northern Great Plains, USA. Research was conducted 6 km southwest of Mandan, ND using a 10 × 10 crop matrix technique as a research tool to evaluate multiple crop sequence effects on spring wheat (triticum aestivum L. production in 2004 and 2005. Spring wheat production risks can be mitigated when second year crop residue was dry pea (Pisium sativum L. averaged over all first year crop residues. When compared to spring wheat as second year crop residue in the dry year of 2004, dry pea as the second year residue crop resulted in a 30% spring wheat seed yield increase. Sustainable cropping systems need to use precipitation efficiently for crop production, especially during below average precipitation years like 2004. Precipitation use efficiency average over all treatments, during the below average precipitation year was 23% greater than the above average precipitation year of 2005. Diversifying crops in cropping systems improves production efficiencies and resilience of agricultural systems.

  14. Management of crop residues for sustainable crop production. Results of a co-ordinated research project 1996-2001

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2003-05-01

    Since ancient times, farmers have recognized the importance of organic matter inputs to enhance crop yields. Organic matter contributes to plant growth through beneficial effects on the physical, chemical, and biological properties of the soil, including (i) provision of a carbon and energy source for soil microbes, (ii) improvement of soil aggregation, thus reducing the hazard of erosion, (iii) retaining of nutrients and water, (iv) provision of nutrients through decomposition, and (v) reduction of soil compaction. The amount of soil organic matter is controlled by the balance between additions of plant and animal materials and losses by decomposition. Both additions and losses are directly affected by management practices. This CRP supported national efforts in eleven Member States to identify options managing crop residues for sustainable agricultural production and environmental preservation in a wide range of soils and cropping systems. Various options for the recycling of crop residues that are sustainable and economically attractive to farmers were examined using isotopic techniques. The specific options of this CRP were: to increase the quantity of nutrients available to crops from organic sources and for more effective recycling of those nutrients; to enhance the efficiency of use of nutrients by crops, and minimize losses through improved synchrony between process-level understanding of carbon and nutrient flow through the use of isotopic techniques so that management recommendations can be extrapolated to a wide range of environments using models. A simple mathematical model, descriptive in nature, was developed to synthesize information collected from all experimental sites, allowing comparisons between treatments and sites. Most of the fertilizer N was lost during the first cropping season and only insignificant losses occurred in the following seasons. The losses of N from applied fertilizer ranged from 45 to 85% irrespective of crop

  15. Integrated Soil, Water and Nutrient Management for Sustainable Rice–Wheat Cropping Systems in Asia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2016-08-01

    The rice-wheat system is a predominant cropping system in Asia providing food, employment and income, ensuring the livelihoods of about 1 billion of resource poor rural and urban people. However, the productivity of the current rice-wheat systems is seriously threatened by increasing land degradation and scarcity of water and labour, inefficient cropping practices and other emerging socio economic and environmental drivers. Responding to the need to develop alternate crop establishment methods and improved cropping practices, this publication summarizes the results from a joint FAO/IAEA coordinated research project on optimizing productivity and sustainability of rice-wheat cropping systems. It provides relevant information on how to modify existing water and nutrient management systems and improve soil management in both traditional and emerging crop establishment methods for sustainable intensification of cereal production in Asia

  16. Sustainability of Marketing Food Crops through the Internet in Lagos ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    abdulaphyz

    Key Words: Marketing food crop, internet marketing in Nigeria .... have been made easy such that prospective customers are exposed to the varieties via ... earlier found a positive relationship between perceived usefulness and adoption of .... crops, varieties and, easy and personalized experience devised as encouraging ...

  17. EUCLID: Leveraging IPM for sustainable production of fruit and vegetable crops in partnership with China

    OpenAIRE

    Nicot , Philippe C.; Bardin , Marc; Leyronas , Christel; Desneux , Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    EUCLID: Leveraging IPM for sustainable production of fruit and vegetable crops in partnership with China. 13. IOBC-WPRS Meeting of the working group "Biological control of fungal and bacterial plant pathogens. .

  18. The role of leguminous cover crops in sustainable production of oil ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Leguminous cover crops have the potential for obtaining high and sustainable crop yields. They have been shown to play an important role in weed suppression, nutrition, growth and yield of oil palm. They also play an important role in soil erosion control and soil moisture conservation in plantations. The development of ...

  19. Assessing the sustainability of wheat-based cropping systems using APSIM: Model parameterisation and evaluation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moeller, C.; Pala, M.; Manschadi, A.M.; Meinke, H.B.; Sauerborn, J.

    2007-01-01

    Assessing the sustainability of crop and soil management practices in wheat-based rotations requires a well-tested model with the demonstrated ability to sensibly predict crop productivity and changes in the soil resource. The Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM) suite of models was

  20. Crop residue is key for sustaining maximum food production and for conservation of our biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crop residue is key in our efforts to move towards agricultural sustainability. This paper provides a quick overview of some selected references and looks at some of the newest advances related to cover crops. Several authors have described in detail the benefits derived from improving soil quality ...

  1. Environmental Sustainability of Gm Crops for Food Safety on Risk Society

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gil Ramos de Carvalho Neto

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available GM crops are presented as an alternative to the erradication of hunger. The risk society, however, considering the brazilian environmental law - specially the brazilian legislation on biosafety - the food safety and nutritional law and the economic and social data on the subject, it appears that the environmental sustainability of these crops is not yet complete. Producers should adopt additional safeguards if they wish a sustainable agriculture with effective food security.

  2. Genetically Modified Crops: Towards Agricultural Growth, Agricultural Development, or Agricultural Sustainability?

    OpenAIRE

    Azadi, Hossein; Ghanian, Mansour; Ghuchani, Omid M.; Rafiaani, Parisa; Taning, Clauvis N. T.; Hajivand, Roghaye Y.; Dogot, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    The present debate on how to increase global food production in a sustainable way has focused on arguments over the pros and cons of genetically modified (GM) crops. Scientists in both public and private sectors clearly regard GM technology as a major new set of tools, whereas industry sees it as an opportunity for increased profits. However, it remains questionable whether GM crops can contribute to agricultural growth, agricultural development, and agricultural sustainability. This review p...

  3. Sustainable irrigation and nitrogen management of fertigated vegetable crops

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thompson, R.B.; Incrocci, L.; Voogt, W.; Pardossi, A.; Magán, J.J.

    2017-01-01

    Fertigation in combination with drip irrigation is being increasingly used in vegetable crop production. From a nutrient management perspective, this combination provides the technical capacity for precise nitrogen (N) nutrition, both spatially and temporally. With these systems, N and other

  4. Cover Crops in West Africa: Contributing to Sustainable Agriculture ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    It documents past experiences withcover cropping in Africa and will hopefully ... Adaptation strategies for two Colombian cities were discussed at ADAPTO's ... International Water Resources Association, in close collaboration with IDRC, ...

  5. Role of modern chemistry in sustainable arable crop protection

    OpenAIRE

    Smith, Keith; Evans, David A; El-Hiti, Gamal A

    2007-01-01

    Organic chemistry has been, and for the foreseeable future will remain, vitally important for crop protection. Control of fungal pathogens, insect pests and weeds is crucial to enhanced food provision. As world population continues to grow, it is timely to assess the current situation, anticipate future challenges and consider how new chemistry may help meet those challenges. In future, agriculture will increasingly be expected to provide not only food and feed, but also crops for conversion ...

  6. Exploring profit - Sustainability trade-offs in cropping systems using evolutionary algorithms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    DeVoil, P.; Rossing, W.A.H.; Hammer, G.L.

    2006-01-01

    Models that implement the bio-physical components of agro-ecosystems are ideally suited for exploring sustainability issues in cropping systems. Sustainability may be represented as a number of objectives to be maximised or minimised. However, the full decision space of these objectives is usually

  7. Do Smallholder, Mixed Crop-Livestock Livelihoods Encourage Sustainable Agricultural Practices? A Meta-Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas K. Rudel

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available As calls for bolstering ecosystem services from croplands have grown more insistent during the past two decades, the search for ways to foster these agriculture-sustaining services has become more urgent. In this context we examine by means of a meta-analysis the argument, proposed by Robert McC. Netting, that small-scale, mixed crop-livestock farming, a common livelihood among poor rural peoples, leads to environmentally sustainable agricultural practices. As predicted, mixed crop-livestock farms exhibit more sustainable practices, but, contrary to predictions, a small scale of operation does not predict sustainability. Many smallholders on mixed crop-livestock farms use sustainable practices, but other smallholders practice a degrading, input-scarce agriculture. Some large farm operators use soil-conserving, minimum-tillage techniques while other large operators ignore soil-conserving techniques and practice an industrialized, high chemical input agriculture. The strength and pervasiveness of the link in the data between mixed crop-livestock farming and sustainable agricultural practices argues for agricultural policies that promote mixed crop-livestock livelihoods.

  8. Debates on Genetically Modified Crops in the Context of Sustainable Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerasimova, Ksenia

    2016-04-01

    The paper discusses conflicts in perceptions of GM crops illustrating the complexities of GM debates and applications of the concept of sustainable development. The concept consists of three discourses that both opponents and supporters of GM crops refer to in their analyses: environmentalism, social and economic development and the two sub-issues of sustainable development-biodiversity loss and food security. This creates a unique situation when both proponents and opponents of GM food use the same framework of sustainable development to support their arguments and do not reach a common ground. This will be illustrated by a review of the arguments brought by these two groups.

  9. Investigation of ethanol productivity of cassava crop as a sustainable ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The ethanol productivity of cassava crop was investigated in a laboratory experiment by correlating volumes and masses of ethanol produced to the masses of samples used. Cassava tubers (variety TMS 30555) were peeled, cut and washed. 5, 15, 25 and 35 kg samples of the tubers were weighed in three replicates, ...

  10. Integrated crop management: an approach to sustainable agricultural development.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meerman, F.; Ven, van de G.W.J.; Keulen, van H.; Breman, H.

    1996-01-01

    In developing countries, agriculture is being intensified to produce more food and agricultural products. In most agricultural development strategies, the order of priorities is on: (i) increasing yields, (ii) crop protection, and (iii) human health, environmental and social aspects. This sequential

  11. Investigation of ethanol productivity of cassava crop as a sustainable ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    GREGORY

    2010-08-30

    Aug 30, 2010 ... the most dominant among the plant materials are the energy crops. ... even reverse CO2 emissions by taking carbon out of the air and sequestering it in ... ethanol unsuitable for human consumption. Enzymes are used to ...

  12. A Spanner in the Works: Human–Elephant Conflict Complicates the Food–Water–Energy Nexus in Drylands of Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mwangi Githiru

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The two major conservation issues for drylands of Africa are habitat loss or degradation and habitat fragmentation, largely from agriculture, charcoal production, and infrastructural development. A key question for management is how these landscapes can retain their critical ecological functions and services, while simultaneously supporting resilient livelihoods. It is a clear nexus question involving food (agriculture, water, and energy (fuelwood, which is complicated by human–wildlife conflicts. While these could appear disparate issues, they are closely connected in dryland forest landscapes of Africa where elephants occur close to areas of human habitation. For instance, crop failure, whether due to weather or wildlife damage, is a key driver for rural farmers seeking alternative livelihoods and incomes, one of the commonest being charcoal production. Similarly, heavy reliance on wood-based energy often leads to degradation of wildlife habitat, which heightens competition with wildlife for food and water, increasing the possibility of crop-raiding. So, for multifunctional landscapes where elephants occur in close proximity with humans, any food–water–energy nexus activities toward achieving sustainability and resilience should consider human–elephant conflicts (HECs. Here, we broach these food–water–energy nexus issues with a focus on dryland areas of Africa and HECs. We highlight an ongoing study attempting to address this nexus holistically by employing a climate-smart agriculture (CSA and agro-forestry based design, augmented by an elephant deterrent study and an eco-charcoal production venture.

  13. Cloud decision model for selecting sustainable energy crop based on linguistic intuitionistic information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Hong-Gang; Wang, Jian-Qiang

    2017-11-01

    In recent years, sustainable energy crop has become an important energy development strategy topic in many countries. Selecting the most sustainable energy crop is a significant problem that must be addressed during any biofuel production process. The focus of this study is the development of an innovative multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) method to handle sustainable energy crop selection problems. Given that various uncertain data are encountered in the evaluation of sustainable energy crops, linguistic intuitionistic fuzzy numbers (LIFNs) are introduced to present the information necessary to the evaluation process. Processing qualitative concepts requires the effective support of reliable tools; then, a cloud model can be used to deal with linguistic intuitionistic information. First, LIFNs are converted and a novel concept of linguistic intuitionistic cloud (LIC) is proposed. The operations, score function and similarity measurement of the LICs are defined. Subsequently, the linguistic intuitionistic cloud density-prioritised weighted Heronian mean operator is developed, which served as the basis for the construction of an applicable MCDM model for sustainable energy crop selection. Finally, an illustrative example is provided to demonstrate the proposed method, and its feasibility and validity are further verified by comparing it with other existing methods.

  14. Self-Sustaining Crop Production Unit, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA's goals to explore deep space through manned missions requires development of self-sustaining life support systems. A diverse team from Freight Farms, Inc. have...

  15. Boosting innate immunity to sustainably control diseases in crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicaise, Valerie

    2017-10-01

    Viruses cause epidemics in all major crops, threatening global food security. The development of efficient and durable resistance able to withstand viral attacks represents a major challenge for agronomy, and relies greatly on the understanding of the molecular dialogue between viral pathogens and their hosts. Research over the last decades provided substantial advances in the field of plant-virus interactions. Remarkably, the advent of studies of plant innate immunity has recently offered new strategies exploitable in the field. This review summarizes the recent breakthroughs that define the mechanisms underlying antiviral innate immunity in plants, and emphasizes the importance of integrating that knowledge into crop improvement actions, particularly by exploiting the insights related to immune receptors. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Feed legumes for truly sustainable crop-animal systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paolo Annicchiarico

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Legume cultivation has sharply decreased in Italy during the last 50 years. Lucerne remains widely grown (with about 12% of its area devoted to dehydration, whereas soybean is definitely the most-grown grain legume. Poor legume cropping is mainly due to the gap in yielding ability with major cereals, which has widened up in time according to statistical data. Lucerne displays definitely higher crude protein yield and somewhat lower economic gap with benchmark cereals than feed grain legumes. Pea because of high feed energy production per unit area and rate of genetic progress, and white lupin because of high protein yield per unit area, are particularly interesting for Italian rain-fed environments. Greater legume cultivation in Europe is urged by the need for reducing energy and green-house gas emissions and excessive and unbalanced global N flows through greater symbiotic N fixation and more integrated crop-animal production, as well as to cope with ongoing and perspective raising prices of feed proteins and N fertilisers and insecurity of feed protein supplies. The transition towards greater legume cultivation requires focused research effort, comprehensive stakeholder cooperation and fair economic compensation for legume environmental services, with a key role for genetic improvement dragged by public breeding or pre-breeding. New opportunities for yield improvement arise from the ongoing development of cost-efficient genome-enabled selection procedures, enhanced adaptation to specific cropping conditions via ecophysiological and evolutionary-based approaches, and more thorough exploitation of global genetic resources.

  17. Crop residue, manure and fertilizer in dryland maize under reduced tillage in northern China: I grain yields and nutrient use efficiencies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wang, X.B.; Cai, D.X.; Hoogmoed, W.B.; Perdok, U.D.; Oenema, O.

    2007-01-01

    The rapidly increasing population and associated quest for food and feed in China has led to increased soil cultivation and nitrogen (N) fertilizer use, and as a consequence to increased wind erosion and unbalanced crop nutrition. In the study presented here, we explored the long-term effects of

  18. Cover crops for sustainable agrosystems in the Americas. Chapter 2

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Scholberg, J.M.S.; Dogliotti, S.; Leoni, C.; Zotarelli, L.; Cherr, C.M.; Rossing, W.A.H.

    2010-01-01

    Rapid depletion of global fertilizer and fossil fuel reserves, combined with concerns about global warming, have resulted in increased interest in alternative strategies for sustaining agricultural production. Moreover, many farmers are being caught in a vicious spiral of unsustainability related to

  19. Crop diversification can contribute to disease risk control in sustainable biofuels production

    OpenAIRE

    Smith, VH; McBride, RC; Shurin, JB; Bever, JD; Crews, TE; Tilman, GD

    2015-01-01

    © The Ecological Society of America. Global demand for transportation fuels will increase rapidly during the upcoming decades, and concerns about fossil-fuel consumption have stimulated research on renewable biofuels that can be sustainably produced from biological feedstocks. However, if unchecked, pathogens and parasites are likely to infect these cultivated biofuel feedstocks, greatly reducing crop yields and potentially threatening the sustainability of renewable bioenergy production effo...

  20. Sustainability assessment of crop protection systems: SustainOS methodology and its application for apple orchards

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mouron, P.; Heijne, B.; Naef, A.; Strassemever, J.; Haver, F.; Avilla, J.

    2012-01-01

    Crop protection in general and apple crop protection in particular often rely on pesticides, although several alternative pest management measures are available. In this context European agricultural policy requires the implementation of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) by 2014. Within IPM, more

  1. Farmers typology and crops sustainability in Alto Urubamba, La Convencion – Cusco

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isaías Merma

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The research was conducted in the geographical region of Alto Urubamba, province of La Convencion, Cusco - Peru. The objective was to identify types of farmers and evaluate crops sustainability on farms of high forest. Surveys were applied to a sample of 106 farmers in both biophysical and socio-economic terms in order to identify typology; this information was analyzed through descriptive statistics. Multivariate analysis using preselected variables was performed to identify types of farmers. In addition, sustainability of eight tropical crops was evaluated; for this purpose, three farms for each crop were selected from 24 evaluated farms. Practical indicators of soil quality and crop health with a valuation from 0 to 10 were used; farmers participated during this evaluation. The results show that there are three types of farmers according to their efficiency in resources management and their economic logic. The crops of tea (6.65 and mango (6.50 obtained the highest values of sustainability, followed by coffee (6.25, cocoa (6.25, citrus (5.50, banana (5.45 and coca (5.10. Papaya (4.60 shows a value less than five; therefore, is considered as unsustainable according to local conditions.

  2. Traits to Ecosystems: The Ecological Sustainability Challenge When Developing Future Energy Crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weih, Martin; Hoeber, Stefanie; Beyer, Friderike; Fransson, Petra

    2014-01-01

    Today, we are undertaking great efforts to improve biomass production and quality traits of energy crops. Major motivation for developing those crops is based on environmental and ecological sustainability considerations, which however often are de-coupled from the trait-based crop improvement programs. It is now time to develop appropriate methods to link crop traits to production system characteristics set by the plant and the biotic communities influencing it; and to the ecosystem processes affecting ecological sustainability. The relevant ecosystem processes involve the net productivity in terms of biomass and energy yields, the depletion of energy-demanding resources (e.g., nitrogen, N), the carbon dynamics in soil and atmosphere, and the resilience and temporal stability of the production system. In a case study, we compared aspects of N use efficiency in various varieties of an annual (spring wheat) and perennial (Salix) energy crop grown under two nutrient regimes in Sweden. For example, we found considerable variation among crops, varieties, and nutrient regimes in the energy yield per plant-internal N (megajoule per gram per year), which would result in different N resource depletion per unit energy produced.

  3. Traits to Ecosystems: The Ecological Sustainability Challenge When Developing Future Energy Crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weih, Martin, E-mail: martin.weih@slu.se; Hoeber, Stefanie; Beyer, Friderike [Department of Crop Production Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden); Fransson, Petra [Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden)

    2014-05-22

    Today, we are undertaking great efforts to improve biomass production and quality traits of energy crops. Major motivation for developing those crops is based on environmental and ecological sustainability considerations, which however often are de-coupled from the trait-based crop improvement programs. It is now time to develop appropriate methods to link crop traits to production system characteristics set by the plant and the biotic communities influencing it; and to the ecosystem processes affecting ecological sustainability. The relevant ecosystem processes involve the net productivity in terms of biomass and energy yields, the depletion of energy-demanding resources (e.g., nitrogen, N), the carbon dynamics in soil and atmosphere, and the resilience and temporal stability of the production system. In a case study, we compared aspects of N use efficiency in various varieties of an annual (spring wheat) and perennial (Salix) energy crop grown under two nutrient regimes in Sweden. For example, we found considerable variation among crops, varieties, and nutrient regimes in the energy yield per plant-internal N (megajoule per gram per year), which would result in different N resource depletion per unit energy produced.

  4. Water logging and salinity control for environmentally sustainable crop production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chaudhry, M.R.; Bhutta, M.N.

    2005-01-01

    Irrigation supplies at proper time and adequate quantities are imperative for potential agricultural production under arid and semi-arid climatic conditions. To achieve this goal one of the largest integrated irrigation network was established. Without adequate drainage it resulted in the problems of water logging and salinity. To control these problems a big programme of Salinity Control and Reclamation projects (SCARPs) was initiated during 1960 and 82 such SCARPs have been completed and 9 were in progress up to June, 2002 covering an area of 18.6 ma (7.5 mh) at a cost of Rs.93 billions. Under these projects 12746 tube wells in fresh, 3572 in saline groundwater and 13726 km surface and 12612 km tile pipes covering 6391.7 ha, 160 km interceptor drains have been constructed an area of 0.998 ma (GCA). In addition to this some other measures like on farm water management, canal command project, canal lining, construction of evaporation ponds, establishment of research Inst./Organizations were also taken. Many drainage plans like Master Plan (1963), Northern Regional Plan (1967), Water Sector Investment Plan Study (1990), Right Bank Master Plan (1992), Drainage Sector Environmental Assessment (1993) and National Drainage Programme (1995) were prepared and implemented. The cost of the, phase-I of the National Drainage Programme was 785 million US$. The main activities undertaken were remodeling/extension of existing surface and new drains; rehabilitation/replacement of saline ground water (SGW) tube wells; construction of interceptor drains, reclamation of waterlogged areas through biological drainage and transfer of fresh ground water tube wells to the farmers. The data indicate that all the measures taken have played a significant role in reducing the water logging, salinity/sodicity and have increased the crop production and consequently improved the socio-economic conditions of the peoples especially the farming community. The environment in these areas was also

  5. A crop production ecology (CPE) approach to sustainable production of biomass for food, feed and fuel

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haverkort, A.J.; Bindraban, P.S.; Conijn, J.G.; Ruijter, de F.J.

    2009-01-01

    With the rapid increase in demand for agricultural products for food, feed and fuel, concerns are growing about sustainability issues. Can agricultural production meet the needs of increasing numbers of people consuming more animal products and using a larger share of crops as fuel for transport,

  6. Emergy Analysis and Sustainability Efficiency Analysis of Different Crop-Based Biodiesel in Life Cycle Perspective

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ren, Jingzheng; Manzardo, Alessandro; Mazzi, Anna

    2013-01-01

    kinds of crop-based biodiesel including soybean-, rapeseed-, sunflower-, jatropha- and palm-based biodiesel production options are studied by emergy analysis; soybean-based scenario is recognized as the most sustainable scenario that should be chosen for further study in China. DEA method is used...

  7. The potential of hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) for sustainable fibre production: a crop physiological appraisal.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Werf, van der H.M.G.; Mathijssen, E.W.J.M.; Haverkort, A.J.

    1996-01-01

    Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) fibre can be used as a raw material for paper and textile production. A comprehensive research programme in the Netherlands has concluded that fibre hemp is a potentially profitable crop, having the right profile to fit into sustainable farming systems. This paper presents

  8. Total evaporation estimates from a Renosterveld and dryland wheat ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2010-07-09

    Jul 9, 2010 ... 1 CSIR Natural Resources and the Environment, PO Box 320 Stellenbosch 7599, South ... A change in land use from Renosterveld to dryland annual crops could therefore affect the soil .... Modelling total evaporation spatially: Surface Energy ..... similar, with ETo's ranging between 1.8 mm∙d-1 (on a cloudy/.

  9. Total evaporation estimates from a Renosterveld and dryland wheat ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Accurate quantification of the water balance, in particular evapotranspiration, is fundamental in managing water resources, especially in semi-arid areas. The objective of this study was to compare evaporation from endemic vegetation – Renosterveld – and a dryland wheat/fallow cropping system. The study was carried out ...

  10. Syndromes of dryland degradation in southern Africa | Scholes ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Dryland degradation (in other words, desertification) is defined for the purposes of this paper as a persistent decrease in the capacity of an arid or semiarid ecosystem to supply a range of services, including (but not restricted to) forage, fuel, timber, crops, fresh water, wild-harvested foods, biodiversity habitat and tourism ...

  11. Phosphate fertilisers and management for sustainable crop production in tropical acid soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chien, S.H.; Friesen, D.K.

    2000-01-01

    Extensive research has been conducted over the past 25 years on the management of plant nutrients, especially N and P, for crop production on acidic infertile tropical soils. Under certain conditions, the use of indigenous phosphate rock (PR) and modified PR products, such as partially acidulated PR or compacted mixtures of PR with superphosphates, are attractive alternatives, both agronomically and economically, to the use of conventional water-soluble P fertilisers for increasing crop productivity on Oxisols and Ultisols. A combination of the effects of proper P and N management including biological N 2 fixation, judicious use of lime, and the use of acid-soil tolerant and/or P-efficient cultivars in cropping systems that enhance nutrient cycling and use efficiency, can provide an effective technology to sustainably increase crop productivity and production in tropical agro-ecosystems dominated by these acid soils. (author)

  12. Crop residue recycling for economic and environmental sustainability: The case of India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Devi Saroj

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available India is one of the key producers of food grain, oilseed, sugarcane and other agricultural products. Agricultural crops generate considerable amounts of leftover residues, with increases in food production crop residues also increasing. These leftover residues exhibit not only resource loss but also a missed opportunity to improve a farmer’s income. The use of crop residues in various fields are being explored by researchers across the world in areas such as textile composite non-woven making processes, power generation, biogas production, animal feed, compost and manures, etc. The increasing trend in addition of bio-energy cogeneration plants, increasing demand for animal feedstock and increasing trend for organic agriculture indicates a competitive opportunity forcrop residue in Agriculture. It is to be noted that the use of this left over residue isoften not mutually exclusive which makes measurement of its economic value more difficult.For example, straw can be used as animal bedding and thereafter as a crop fertilizer. In view of this, the main aim of this paper envisaged to know about how much crop residue is left unutilized and how best they can be utilized for alternative purposes for environmental stewardship and sustainability. In this context, an attempt has been made to estimate the total crop residue across the states and its economic value though data available from various government sources and a SWOT analysis performed for possible alternative uses of residue in India. This paper also discusses the successful case studies of India and global level of use of crop residues in economic activities. Over all 516 Mtonnes of crop residue was produced in 2014-15 in India among which cereals were the largest producer of crop residue followed by sugarcane. The energy potential from paddy rice straw crop residue was estimated as 486,955 megawatt for 2014-15 and similarly for coarse cereals it was 226,200megawatt.

  13. Dryland ecohydrology and climate change: critical issues and technical advances

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Wang

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Drylands cover about 40% of the terrestrial land surface and account for approximately 40% of global net primary productivity. Water is fundamental to the biophysical processes that sustain ecosystem function and food production, particularly in drylands where a tight coupling exists between ecosystem productivity, surface energy balance, biogeochemical cycles, and water resource availability. Currently, drylands support at least 2 billion people and comprise both natural and managed ecosystems. In this synthesis, we identify some current critical issues in the understanding of dryland systems and discuss how arid and semiarid environments are responding to the changes in climate and land use. The issues range from societal aspects such as rapid population growth, the resulting food and water security, and development issues, to natural aspects such as ecohydrological consequences of bush encroachment and the causes of desertification. To improve current understanding and inform upon the needed research efforts to address these critical issues, we identify some recent technical advances in terms of monitoring dryland water dynamics, water budget and vegetation water use, with a focus on the use of stable isotopes and remote sensing. These technological advances provide new tools that assist in addressing critical issues in dryland ecohydrology under climate change.

  14. Water Resources Assessment and Management in Drylands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magaly Koch

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Drylands regions of the world face difficult issues in maintaining water resources to meet current demands which will intensify in the future with population increases, infrastructure development, increased agricultural water demands, and climate change impacts on the hydrologic system. New water resources evaluation and management methods will be needed to assure that water resources in drylands are optimally managed in a sustainable manner. Development of water management and conservation methods is a multi-disciplinary endeavor. Scientists and engineers must collaborate and cooperate with water managers, planners, and politicians to successfully adopt new strategies to manage water not only for humans, but to maintain all aspects of the environment. This particularly applies to drylands regions where resources are already limited and conflicts over water are occurring. Every aspect of the hydrologic cycle needs to be assessed to be able to quantify the available water resources, to monitor natural and anthropogenic changes, and to develop flexible policies and management strategies that can change as conditions dictate. Optimal, sustainable water management is achieved by cooperation and not conflict, thereby necessitating the need for high quality scientific research and input into the process.

  15. Ecology, equity and economics: reframing dryland policy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hesse, Ced

    2011-11-15

    Drylands are among the world's most variable and unpredictable environments. But people here have long learnt how to live with and harness this variability to support sustainable and productive economies, societies and ecosystems. Policymakers have for too long ignored this wealth of experience and expertise with dire consequences. Attempts to replace traditional land use practices with modern techniques have simply exacerbated poverty, degradation and conflict. In the face of climate change and increasing uncertainty in the drylands, the need to reframe policy and practice has never been greater. The future must be built on sound scientific information, local knowledge, informed participation and the wisdom of customary institutions that emphasise social equity, ecological integrity and economic development.

  16. The role of short-rotation woody crops in sustainable development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shepard, J.P.; Tolbert, V.R.

    1996-01-01

    One answer to increase wood production is by increasing management intensity on existing timberland, especially in plantation forests. Another is to convert land currently in agriculture to timberland. Short-rotation woody crops can be used in both cases. But, what are the environmental consequences? Short-rotation woody crops can provide a net improvement in environmental quality at both local and global scales. Conversion of agricultural land to short-rotation woody crops can provide the most environmental quality enhancement by reducing erosion, improving soil quality, decreasing runoff, improving groundwater quality, and providing better wildlife habitat. Forest products companies can use increased production from intensively managed short-rotation woody crop systems to offset decreased yield from the portion of their timberland that is managed less intensively, e.g. streamside management zones and other ecologically sensitive or unique areas. At the global scale, use of short-rotation woody crops for bioenergy is part of the solution to reduce greenhouse gases produced by burning fossil fuels. Incorporating short-rotation woody crops into the agricultural landscape also increases storage of carbon in the soil, thus reducing atmospheric concentrations. In addition, use of wood instead of alternatives such as steel, concrete, and plastics generally consumes less energy and produces less greenhouse gases. Cooperative research can be used to achieve energy, fiber, and environmental goals. This paper will highlight several examples of ongoing cooperative research projects that seek to enhance the environmental aspects of short-rotation woody crop systems. Government, industry, and academia are conducting research to study soil quality, use of mill residuals, nutrients in runoff and groundwater, and wildlife use of short-rotation woody crop systems in order to assure the role of short-rotation crops as a sustainable way of meeting society's needs

  17. Hemp: A more sustainable annual energy crop for climate and energy policy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Finnan, John; Styles, David

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this study was to compare the fuel-chain greenhouse gas balance and farm economics of hemp grown for bioenergy with two perennial bioenergy crops, Miscanthus and willow, and two more traditional annual bioenergy crops, sugar beet and oil seed rape (OSR). The GHG burden of hemp cultivation is intermediate between perennial and traditional annual energy crops, but net fuel chain GHG abatement potential of 11 t/CO 2 eq./ha/year in the mid yield estimate is comparable to perennial crops, and 140% and 540% greater than for OSR and sugar beet fuel chains, respectively. Gross margins from hemp were considerably lower than for OSR and sugar beet, but exceeded those from Miscanthus when organic fertilizers were used and in the absence of establishment grants for the latter crop. Extrapolated up to the EU scale, replacing 25% of OSR and sugar beet production with hemp production could increase net GHG abatement by up to 21 Mt CO 2 eq./year. Hemp is a considerably more efficient bioenergy feedstock than the dominant annual energy crops. Integrated into food crop rotations, hemp need not compete with food supplies, and could provide an appealing option to develop more sustainable non-transport bioenergy supply chains. - Highlights: ► The GHG burden of hemp is intermediate between perennial and annual energy crops. ► Replacing 25% of OSR/beet with hemp could increase GHG abatement by 21 Mt/CO 2 eq./year. ► Hemp is a more efficient bioenergy feedstock than the dominant annual energy crops

  18. Assessing the sustainability of Brazilian oleaginous crops - possible raw material to produce biodiesel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Takahashi, Fabio; Ortega, Enrique

    2010-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to make an emergy assessment of oleaginous crops cultivated in Brazil, available to produce biodiesel, in order to determine which crop is the most sustainable. This study evaluates conventional agro-chemical farms that produce rapeseed (canola), oil palm, soybean, sunflower and cotton. Rapeseed (canola) crop uses 40.41% of renewable energy and it is the most sustainable conventional oil crop; on the other hand, it is not widely produced in Brazil, probably due to climate restrictions or low market demand. The oil palm emergy indicators are contradictory: its emergy exchange ratio (EER) value is the lower, showing the possibility of fair exchange, and the low transformity value indicates high efficiency; however, it also has low renewability (28.31%), indicating a high dependency on agro-chemicals (basically fertilizers). Oil palm is a potential energy source due to its high agricultural productivity, but appropriate management is necessary to increase its sustainability and reduce the use of non-renewable resources.

  19. Assessing the sustainability of Brazilian oleaginous crops - possible raw material to produce biodiesel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Takahashi, Fabio, E-mail: fabiotak@fea.unicamp.b [FEA - College of Food Engineering - Unicamp, CP 6121, CEP 13083-862 Campinas, SP (Brazil); Ortega, Enrique, E-mail: fabiotak@gmail.co [FEA - College of Food Engineering - Unicamp, CP 6121, CEP 13083-862 Campinas, SP (Brazil)

    2010-05-15

    The aim of this paper is to make an emergy assessment of oleaginous crops cultivated in Brazil, available to produce biodiesel, in order to determine which crop is the most sustainable. This study evaluates conventional agro-chemical farms that produce rapeseed (canola), oil palm, soybean, sunflower and cotton. Rapeseed (canola) crop uses 40.41% of renewable energy and it is the most sustainable conventional oil crop; on the other hand, it is not widely produced in Brazil, probably due to climate restrictions or low market demand. The oil palm emergy indicators are contradictory: its emergy exchange ratio (EER) value is the lower, showing the possibility of fair exchange, and the low transformity value indicates high efficiency; however, it also has low renewability (28.31%), indicating a high dependency on agro-chemicals (basically fertilizers). Oil palm is a potential energy source due to its high agricultural productivity, but appropriate management is necessary to increase its sustainability and reduce the use of non-renewable resources.

  20. Optimizing root system architecture in biofuel crops for sustainable energy production and soil carbon sequestration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    To, Jennifer Pc; Zhu, Jinming; Benfey, Philip N; Elich, Tedd

    2010-09-08

    Root system architecture (RSA) describes the dynamic spatial configuration of different types and ages of roots in a plant, which allows adaptation to different environments. Modifications in RSA enhance agronomic traits in crops and have been implicated in soil organic carbon content. Together, these fundamental properties of RSA contribute to the net carbon balance and overall sustainability of biofuels. In this article, we will review recent data supporting carbon sequestration by biofuel crops, highlight current progress in studying RSA, and discuss future opportunities for optimizing RSA for biofuel production and soil carbon sequestration.

  1. From the Academy: Colloquium perspective. Toward cropping systems that enhance productivity and sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, R James

    2006-12-05

    The defining features of any cropping system are (i) the crop rotation and (ii) the kind or intensity of tillage. The trend worldwide starting in the late 20th century has been (i) to specialize competitively in the production of two, three, a single, or closely related crops such as different market classes of wheat and barley, and (ii) to use direct seeding, also known as no-till, to cut costs and save soil, time, and fuel. The availability of glyphosate- and insect-resistant varieties of soybeans, corn, cotton, and canola has helped greatly to address weed and insect pest pressures favored by direct seeding these crops. However, little has been done through genetics and breeding to address diseases caused by residue- and soil-inhabiting pathogens that remain major obstacles to wider adoption of these potentially more productive and sustainable systems. Instead, the gains have been due largely to innovations in management, including enhancement of root defense by antibiotic-producing rhizosphere-inhabiting bacteria inhibitory to root pathogens. Historically, new varieties have facilitated wider adoption of new management, and changes in management have facilitated wider adoption of new varieties. Although actual yields may be lower in direct-seed compared with conventional cropping systems, largely due to diseases, the yield potential is higher because of more available water and increases in soil organic matter. Achieving the full production potential of these more-sustainable cropping systems must now await the development of varieties adapted to or resistant to the hazards shown to account for the yield depressions associated with direct seeding.

  2. Designing a new cropping system for high productivity and sustainable water usage under climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Qingfeng; Wang, Hongfei; Yan, Peng; Pan, Junxiao; Lu, Dianjun; Cui, Zhenling; Zhang, Fusuo; Chen, Xinping

    2017-02-01

    The food supply is being increasingly challenged by climate change and water scarcity. However, incremental changes in traditional cropping systems have achieved only limited success in meeting these multiple challenges. In this study, we applied a systematic approach, using model simulation and data from two groups of field studies conducted in the North China Plain, to develop a new cropping system that improves yield and uses water in a sustainable manner. Due to significant warming, we identified a double-maize (M-M; Zea mays L.) cropping system that replaced the traditional winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) -summer maize system. The M-M system improved yield by 14-31% compared with the conventionally managed wheat-maize system, and achieved similar yield compared with the incrementally adapted wheat-maize system with the optimized cultivars, planting dates, planting density and water management. More importantly, water usage was lower in the M-M system than in the wheat-maize system, and the rate of water usage was sustainable (net groundwater usage was ≤150 mm yr-1). Our study indicated that systematic assessment of adaptation and cropping system scale have great potential to address the multiple food supply challenges under changing climatic conditions.

  3. Genetic Engineering and Sustainable Crop Disease Management: Opportunities for Case-by-Case Decision-Making

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Vincelli

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Genetic engineering (GE offers an expanding array of strategies for enhancing disease resistance of crop plants in sustainable ways, including the potential for reduced pesticide usage. Certain GE applications involve transgenesis, in some cases creating a metabolic pathway novel to the GE crop. In other cases, only cisgenessis is employed. In yet other cases, engineered genetic changes can be so minimal as to be indistinguishable from natural mutations. Thus, GE crops vary substantially and should be evaluated for risks, benefits, and social considerations on a case-by-case basis. Deployment of GE traits should be with an eye towards long-term sustainability; several options are discussed. Selected risks and concerns of GE are also considered, along with genome editing, a technology that greatly expands the capacity of molecular biologists to make more precise and targeted genetic edits. While GE is merely a suite of tools to supplement other breeding techniques, if wisely used, certain GE tools and applications can contribute to sustainability goals.

  4. Integrated nutrient management (INM) for sustaining crop productivity and reducing environmental impact: A review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu, Wei; Ma, Baoluo

    2015-01-01

    The increasing food demands of a growing human population and the need for an environmentally friendly strategy for sustainable agricultural development require significant attention when addressing the issue of enhancing crop productivity. Here we discuss the role of integrated nutrient management (INM) in resolving these concerns, which has been proposed as a promising strategy for addressing such challenges. INM has multifaceted potential for the improvement of plant performance and resource efficiency while also enabling the protection of the environment and resource quality. This review examines the concepts, objectives, procedures and principles of INM. A comprehensive literature search revealed that INM enhances crop yields by 8–150% compared with conventional practices, increases water-use efficiency, and the economic returns to farmers, while improving grain quality and soil health and sustainability. Model simulation and fate assessment further reveal that reactive nitrogen (N) losses and GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions are reduced substantially under advanced INM practices. Lower inputs of chemical fertilizer and therefore lower human and environmental costs (such as intensity of land use, N use, reactive N losses and GHG emissions) were achieved under advanced INM practices without compromising crop yields. Various approaches and perspectives for further development of INM in the near future are also proposed and discussed. Strong and convincing evidence indicates that INM practice could be an innovative and environmentally friendly strategy for sustainable agriculture worldwide. - Highlights: • The increasing pressure to meet global cereal demand poses great challenge. • A changing environment further threatens cereal production. • Literature summary shows 8–150% yield advantage from use of INM method. • INM contributions to mitigation of environmental costs are remarkable. • High crop productivity and less environmental impact can be

  5. Integrated nutrient management (INM) for sustaining crop productivity and reducing environmental impact: A review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, Wei, E-mail: weiwu@nwsuaf.edu.cn [College of Agronomy, Northwest A& F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100 (China); Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Eastern Cereal and Oilseed Research Centre (ECORC), Ottawa, ON K1A 0C6 (Canada); Ma, Baoluo, E-mail: Baoluo.Ma@AGR.GC.CA [Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Eastern Cereal and Oilseed Research Centre (ECORC), Ottawa, ON K1A 0C6 (Canada)

    2015-04-15

    The increasing food demands of a growing human population and the need for an environmentally friendly strategy for sustainable agricultural development require significant attention when addressing the issue of enhancing crop productivity. Here we discuss the role of integrated nutrient management (INM) in resolving these concerns, which has been proposed as a promising strategy for addressing such challenges. INM has multifaceted potential for the improvement of plant performance and resource efficiency while also enabling the protection of the environment and resource quality. This review examines the concepts, objectives, procedures and principles of INM. A comprehensive literature search revealed that INM enhances crop yields by 8–150% compared with conventional practices, increases water-use efficiency, and the economic returns to farmers, while improving grain quality and soil health and sustainability. Model simulation and fate assessment further reveal that reactive nitrogen (N) losses and GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions are reduced substantially under advanced INM practices. Lower inputs of chemical fertilizer and therefore lower human and environmental costs (such as intensity of land use, N use, reactive N losses and GHG emissions) were achieved under advanced INM practices without compromising crop yields. Various approaches and perspectives for further development of INM in the near future are also proposed and discussed. Strong and convincing evidence indicates that INM practice could be an innovative and environmentally friendly strategy for sustainable agriculture worldwide. - Highlights: • The increasing pressure to meet global cereal demand poses great challenge. • A changing environment further threatens cereal production. • Literature summary shows 8–150% yield advantage from use of INM method. • INM contributions to mitigation of environmental costs are remarkable. • High crop productivity and less environmental impact can be

  6. Farmers' Perception of Integrated Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management for Sustainable Crop Production: A Study of Rural Areas in Bangladesh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farouque, Md. Golam; Takeya, Hiroyuki

    2007-01-01

    This study aimed to determine farmers' perception of integrated soil fertility and nutrient management for sustainable crop production. Integrated soil fertility (ISF) and nutrient management (NM) is an advanced approach to maintain soil fertility and to enhance crop productivity. A total number of 120 farmers from eight villages in four districts…

  7. On Farm Agronomic and First Environmental Evaluation of Oil Crops for Sustainable Bioenergy Chains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luca Lazzeri

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Energy crops, and in particular oil crops, could be an important occasion for developing new non food production rows for a new multi-functional agriculture in Italy. In this view, the use of local biomass is a fundamental starting point for the development of a virtuous energy chain that should pursue not only agricultural profitability, but also chain sustainability and that is less dependent on the global market, characterized by instability in terms of biomass availability and price. From this perspective, particular attention must be paid to crop choice on the basis of its rusticity and of its adaptability to local growing conditions and to low input cropping systems. In this context, alike woody and herbaceous biomasses, oil crops such as sunflower and rapeseed should be able to support local agricultural bioenergy chain in Italy. In addition, in a local bioenergy chain, the role of the farmers should not be limited just to grain production; but also grain processing should be performed at farm or consortium level in oilseed extraction plants well proportioned to the cropped surface. In this way, by means of a simple power generator, farmer could thus produce its own thermal and electric energy from the oil, maximizing his profit. This objective could also be achieved through the exploitation of the total biomass, including crop residues and defatted seed meals, that may be considered as fundamental additional economic and/or environmental benefits of the chain. This paper reports some results of three-years on-farm experiments on oil crop chain carried out in the framework of “Bioenergie” project, that was focused to enhance farmers awareness of these criteria and to the feasibility at open field scale of low-input cultivation of rapeseed, sunflower and Brassica carinata in seven Italian regions. In several on-farm experiences, these crops produced more than 800 kg ha-1 of oil with good energy properties. Defatted seed meals could be

  8. On Farm Agronomic and First Environmental Evaluation of Oil Crops for Sustainable Bioenergy Chains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luca Lazzeri

    Full Text Available Energy crops, and in particular oil crops, could be an important occasion for developing new non food production rows for a new multi-functional agriculture in Italy. In this view, the use of local biomass is a fundamental starting point for the development of a virtuous energy chain that should pursue not only agricultural profitability, but also chain sustainability and that is less dependent on the global market, characterized by instability in terms of biomass availability and price. From this perspective, particular attention must be paid to crop choice on the basis of its rusticity and of its adaptability to local growing conditions and to low input cropping systems. In this context, alike woody and herbaceous biomasses, oil crops such as sunflower and rapeseed should be able to support local agricultural bioenergy chain in Italy. In addition, in a local bioenergy chain, the role of the farmers should not be limited just to grain production; but also grain processing should be performed at farm or consortium level in oilseed extraction plants well proportioned to the cropped surface. In this way, by means of a simple power generator, farmer could thus produce its own thermal and electric energy from the oil, maximizing his profit. This objective could also be achieved through the exploitation of the total biomass, including crop residues and defatted seed meals, that may be considered as fundamental additional economic and/or environmental benefits of the chain. This paper reports some results of three-years on-farm experiments on oil crop chain carried out in the framework of “Bioenergie” project, that was focused to enhance farmers awareness of these criteria and to the feasibility at open field scale of low-input cultivation of rapeseed, sunflower and Brassica carinata in seven Italian regions. In several on-farm experiences, these crops produced more than 800 kg ha-1 of oil with good energy properties. Defatted seed meals could be

  9. Enhancing Adoption of Irrigation Scheduling to Sustain the Viability of Fruit and Nut Crops in California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fulton, A.; Snyder, R.; Hillyer, C.; English, M.; Sanden, B.; Munk, D.

    2012-04-01

    Enhancing Adoption of Irrigation Scheduling to Sustain the Viability of Fruit and Nut Crops in California Allan Fulton, Richard Snyder, Charles Hillyer, Marshall English, Blake Sanden, and Dan Munk Adoption of scientific methods to decide when to irrigate and how much water to apply to a crop has increased over the last three decades in California. In 1988, less than 4.3 percent of US farmers employed some type of science-based technique to assist in making irrigation scheduling decisions (USDA, 1995). An ongoing survey in California, representing an industry irrigating nearly 0.4 million planted almond hectares, indicates adoption rates ranging from 38 to 55 percent of either crop evapotranspiration (ETc), soil moisture monitoring, plant water status, or some combination of these irrigation scheduling techniques to assist with making irrigation management decisions (California Almond Board, 2011). High capital investment to establish fruit and nut crops, sensitivity to over and under-irrigation on crop performance and longevity, and increasing costs and competition for water have all contributed to increased adoption of scientific irrigation scheduling methods. These trends in adoption are encouraging and more opportunities exist to develop improved irrigation scheduling tools, especially computer decision-making models. In 2009 and 2010, an "On-line Irrigation Scheduling Advisory Service" (OISO, 2012), also referred to as Online Irrigation Management (IMO), was used and evaluated in commercial walnut, almond, and French prune orchards in the northern Sacramento Valley of California. This specific model has many features described as the "Next Generation of Irrigation Schedulers" (Hillyer, 2010). While conventional irrigation management involves simply irrigating as needed to avoid crop stress, this IMO is designed to control crop stress, which requires: (i) precise control of crop water availability (rather than controlling applied water); (ii) quantifying crop

  10. Tree Crops, a Permanent Agriculture: Concepts from the Past for a Sustainable Future

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Reed Funk

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available J. Russell Smith (1874–1966, a professor of geography at Columbia University, witnessed the devastation of soil erosion during his extensive travels. He first published his landmark text, Tree Crops, A Permanent Agriculture in 1929, in which he described the value of tree crops for producing food and animal feed on sloping, marginal, and rocky soils as a sustainable alternative to annual crop agriculture less suited to these lands. A cornerstone of his thesis was using wide germplasm collection and plant breeding to improve this largely underutilized and genetically unexploited group of plants to develop locally adapted, high-yielding cultivars for the many climatic zones of North America. Smith proposed an establishment of “Institutes of Mountain Agriculture” to undertake this work. For a variety of reasons, though, his ideas were not implemented to any great degree. However, our growing population’s increasing demands on natural resources and the associated environmental degradation necessitate that Smith’s ideas be revisited. In this review, his concepts, supported by modern scientific understanding and advances, are discussed and expanded upon to emphasize their largely overlooked potential to enhance world food and energy security and environmental sustainability. The discussion leads us to propose that his “institutes” be established worldwide and with an expanded scope of work.

  11. Fitting maize into sustainable cropping systems on acid soils of the tropics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Horst, W.J.

    2000-01-01

    One of the key elements of sustainable cropping systems is the integration of crops and/or crop cultivars with high tolerance of soil acidity and which make most efficient use of the nutrients supplied by soil and fertilizer. This paper is based mainly on on-going work within an EU-funded project combining basic research on plant adaptation mechanisms by plant physiologists, and field experimentation on acid soils in Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia and Guadeloupe by breeders, soil scientists and a agronomists. The results suggest that large genetic variability exists in adaptation of plants to acid soils. A range of morphological and physiological plant characteristics contribute to tolerance of acid soils, elucidation of which has contributed to the development of rapid techniques for screening for tolerance. Incorporation of acid-soil-tolerant species and cultivars into cropping systems contributes to improved nutrient efficiency overall, and thus reduces fertilizer needs. This may help to minimize maintenance applications of fertiliser through various pathways: (i) deeper root growth resulting in more-efficient uptake of nutrients from the sub-soil and less leaching, (ii) more biomass production resulting in less seepage and less leaching, with more intensive nutrient cycling, maintenance of higher soil organic-matter content, and, consequently, less erosion owing to better soil protection by vegetation and mulch. (author)

  12. Molecular approaches to improvement of Jatropha curcas Linn. as a sustainable energy crop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sudhakar Johnson, T; Eswaran, Nalini; Sujatha, M

    2011-09-01

    With the increase in crude oil prices, climate change concerns and limited reserves of fossil fuel, attention has been diverted to alternate renewable energy sources such as biofuel and biomass. Among the potential biofuel crops, Jatropha curcas L, a non-domesticated shrub, has been gaining importance as the most promising oilseed, as it does not compete with the edible oil supplies. Economic relevance of J. curcas for biodiesel production has promoted world-wide prospecting of its germplasm for crop improvement and breeding. However, lack of adequate genetic variation and non-availability of improved varieties limited its prospects of being a successful energy crop. In this review, we present the progress made in molecular breeding approaches with particular reference to tissue culture and genetic transformation, genetic diversity assessment using molecular markers, large-scale transcriptome and proteome studies, identification of candidate genes for trait improvement, whole genome sequencing and the current interest by various public and private sector companies in commercial-scale cultivation, which highlights the revival of Jatropha as a sustainable energy crop. The information generated from molecular markers, transcriptome profiling and whole genome sequencing could accelerate the genetic upgradation of J. curcas through molecular breeding.

  13. Natural ecosystem mimicry in traditional dryland agroecosystems: Insights from an empirical and holistic approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanco, Julien; Michon, Geneviève; Carrière, Stéphanie M

    2017-12-15

    While the aim of Ecological Intensification is to enable the design of more sustainable and productive agricultural systems, it is not suited to dryland agroecosystems that are driven by non-equilibrium dynamics and intrinsic variability. Instead, a model based on mobility and variability management has been proposed for these agroecosystems. However, this model remains under-applied in southern Morocco where there have been few studies on the functioning of traditional agroecosystems. This paper focuses on an agroecosystem in the Moroccan Saharan fringe zone that combines agriculture and pastoralism in an acacia parkland. A grounded theory approach was used over a three-year investigation period (i) to highlight how agro-pastoral activities interface with environmental variability, and (ii) to analyze the formal and informal institutions that support these activities. Results show that farmers interface with rainfall variability through (i) an opportunistic agricultural calendar, (ii) a variation of cultivated areas, and (iii) crop diversification. Herders combine macro-mobility (nomads move over long distances to track rainfall) and micro-mobility (nomadic and sedentary herds are driven on a daily basis around settlements) to optimize the exploitation of ecological heterogeneity. During droughts, they also resort to State-subsidized forage supplies. Both cultivation and pastoral activities tend to interface with ecological dynamics and to mimic nature, resulting in a human-modified parkland that could be considered as a 'green agroecosystem'. The sustainability of natural resource use relies on flexible property rights, backed up by a social and cultural norm-based regulation system, that allow crop-livestock integration and landscape collective management. Despite encouraging results, the agroecosystem appears to be threatened by current agricultural policies, rural exodus and the lack of social recognition of nomadism. Nevertheless, because ecosystem mimicry of

  14. Sustainability of energy crops. Four papers by the Centre for Agriculture and Environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hanegraaf, M.C.; Van Kuik, M.; Van Zeijts, H.

    1998-07-01

    Between 1994 and 1996 CLM developed a method for assessing the ecological and economic sustainability of producing and using energy from agricultural and forest biomass. The method has much in common with environmental life cycle assessment (LCA). CLM has also co-ordinated a concerted action called 'Environmental aspects of biomass production and routes for European energy supply'. LCA is at present the best available instrument for assessing the ecological sustainability of energy crops. CLM focused on three topics disseminating the results of the concerted action; updating the work on bioethanol, and proposals for new financial instruments. The results are presented in this report. First, the results from the concerted action and work carried out by CLM were disseminated. Papers were presented at the international conference on 'Implementation of solid biofuels for carbon dioxide mitigation', 29-30 September 1997, Uppsala, Sweden, and at the international workshop on 'Environmental aspects of energy crop production', 9-10 October 1997, Brasimone, Italy. In addition, a paper was written on the need to co-ordinate policy options to stimulate the production and use of energy crops from an energy, agricultural and environmental point of view. Second, a study on bioethanol was carried out in which data obtained elsewhere on the use of bioethanol as a transport fuel were revised and updated. The sustainability of bioethanol production from sugar beet was compared with that of bioethanol from winter wheat. Using bioethanol from sugar beet replaces more fossil energy than bioethanol from winter wheat. For both crops, the costs per ton avoided CO2 decrease over time to 2010, but are still higher than electricity routes. The third action was the development of proposals for new financial instruments to stimulate energy production from biomass in the agricultural and forestry sector. This proposal was presented at the ALTENER Seminar on 'Financial incentives for

  15. Sustainable biochar effects for low carbon crop production: A 5-crop season field experiment on a low fertility soil from Central China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, X.

    2014-12-01

    GHGs emission than with soil property and crop yield. Thus, our study suggested that biochar amended in dry land could sustain a low carbon production both of maize and wheat in terms of its efficient carbon sequestration, lower GHGs emission intensity and soil improvement over 5 crop seasons after a single amendment.

  16. Sustainability of current GM crop cultivation : Review of people, planet, profit effects of agricultural production of GM crops, based on the cases of soybean, maize, and cotton

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Franke, A.C.; Breukers, M.L.H.; Broer, W.; Bunte, F.H.J.; Dolstra, O.; Engelbronner-Kolff, d' F.M.; Lotz, L.A.P.; Montfort, J.; Nikoloyuk, J.; Rutten, M.M.; Smulders, M.J.M.; Wiel, van de C.C.M.; Zijl, M.

    2011-01-01

    This report adresses the question whether the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops abroad for import in the Netherlands, as compared to the cultivation of their conventional (non-GM) counterparts, is in line with Dutch policy and societal aims striving after more sustainable forms of

  17. Improvements in crop water productivity increase water sustainability and food security—a global analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brauman, Kate A; Foley, Jonathan A; Siebert, Stefan

    2013-01-01

    Irrigation consumes more water than any other human activity, and thus the challenges of water sustainability and food security are closely linked. To evaluate how water resources are used for food production, we examined global patterns of water productivity—food produced (kcal) per unit of water (l) consumed. We document considerable variability in crop water productivity globally, not only across different climatic zones but also within climatic zones. The least water productive systems are disproportionate freshwater consumers. On precipitation-limited croplands, we found that ∼40% of water consumption goes to production of just 20% of food calories. Because in many cases crop water productivity is well below optimal levels, in many cases farmers have substantial opportunities to improve water productivity. To demonstrate the potential impact of management interventions, we calculated that raising crop water productivity in precipitation-limited regions to the 20th percentile of productivity would increase annual production on rainfed cropland by enough to provide food for an estimated 110 million people, and water consumption on irrigated cropland would be reduced enough to meet the annual domestic water demands of nearly 1.4 billion people. (letter)

  18. Dedicated Industrial Oilseed Crops as Metabolic Engineering Platforms for Sustainable Industrial Feedstock Production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Li-Hua; Krens, Frans; Smith, Mark A; Li, Xueyuan; Qi, Weicong; van Loo, Eibertus N; Iven, Tim; Feussner, Ivo; Nazarenus, Tara J; Huai, Dongxin; Taylor, David C; Zhou, Xue-Rong; Green, Allan G; Shockey, Jay; Klasson, K Thomas; Mullen, Robert T; Huang, Bangquan; Dyer, John M; Cahoon, Edgar B

    2016-02-26

    Feedstocks for industrial applications ranging from polymers to lubricants are largely derived from petroleum, a non-renewable resource. Vegetable oils with fatty acid structures and storage forms tailored for specific industrial uses offer renewable and potentially sustainable sources of petrochemical-type functionalities. A wide array of industrial vegetable oils can be generated through biotechnology, but will likely require non-commodity oilseed platforms dedicated to specialty oil production for commercial acceptance. Here we show the feasibility of three Brassicaceae oilseeds crambe, camelina, and carinata, none of which are widely cultivated for food use, as hosts for complex metabolic engineering of wax esters for lubricant applications. Lines producing wax esters >20% of total seed oil were generated for each crop and further improved for high temperature oxidative stability by down-regulation of fatty acid polyunsaturation. Field cultivation of optimized wax ester-producing crambe demonstrated commercial utility of these engineered crops and a path for sustainable production of other industrial oils in dedicated specialty oilseeds.

  19. Management and conservation of tropical acid soils for sustainable crop production. Proceedings of a consultants meeting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2000-06-01

    Forests of the tropics are invaluable ecosystems of global, regional and local importance, particularly in terms of protection and conservation of biodiversity and water resources. The indiscriminate conversion of tropical forests into agricultural land as a result of intense human activities - logging and modem shifting cultivation - continues to cause soil erosion and degradation. However, the acid savannahs of the world, such as the cerrado of Brazil, the Llanos in Venezuela and Colombia, the savannahs of Africa, and the largely anthropic savannahs of tropical Asia, encompass vast areas of potentially arable land. The acid soils of the savannahs are mostly considered marginal because of low inherent fertility and susceptibility to rapid degradation. These constraints for agricultural development are exacerbated by the poverty of new settlers who try to cultivate such areas after deforestation. Low- or minimum-input systems are not sustainable on these tropical acid soils but, with sufficient investment and adequate technologies, they can be highly productive. Thus, there is a need to develop management practices for sustainable agricultural production systems on such savannah acid soils. The Soil and Water Management and Crop Nutrition Sub-programme of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture strongly supports an integrated approach to soil, water and nutrient management within cropping systems. In this context, nuclear and related techniques can be used to better understand the processes and factors influencing the productivity of agricultural production systems, and improve them through the use of better soil, water and nutrient management practices. A panel of experts actively engaged in field projects on acid soils of savannah agro-ecosystems in the humid and sub-humid tropics convened in March 1999 in Vienna to review and discuss recent research progress, along the following main lines of investigation: (i) utilization of

  20. Allelopathic cover crop of rye for integrated weed control in sustainable agroecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincenzo Tabaglio

    2013-02-01

    absorption capability. The insensitivity of A. theophrasti to BOA was due to reduced accumulation in seedlings. Overall, results confirm that the use of a rye cover crop in a suitable crop rotation represents a sustainable weed management practice permitting a reduction in the amount of herbicides used in agroecosystems, thus limiting the environmental risks of intensive agriculture.

  1. Implications of deep drainage through saline clay for groundwater recharge and sustainable cropping in a semi-arid catchment, Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. A. Timms

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The magnitude and timing of deep drainage and salt leaching through clay soils is a critical issue for dryland agriculture in semi-arid regions (<500 mm yr−1 rainfall, potential evapotranspiration >2000 mm yr−1 such as parts of Australia's Murray-Darling Basin (MDB. In this rare study, hydrogeological measurements and estimations of the historic water balance of crops grown on overlying Grey Vertosols were combined to estimate the contribution of deep drainage below crop roots to recharge and salinization of shallow groundwater. Soil sampling at two sites on the alluvial flood plain of the Lower Namoi catchment revealed significant peaks in chloride concentrations at 0.8–1.2 m depth under perennial vegetation and at 2.0–2.5 m depth under continuous cropping indicating deep drainage and salt leaching since conversion to cropping. Total salt loads of 91–229 t ha−1 NaCl equivalent were measured for perennial vegetation and cropping, with salinity to ≥ 10 m depth that was not detected by shallow soil surveys. Groundwater salinity varied spatially from 910 to 2430 mS m−1 at 21 to 37 m depth (N = 5, whereas deeper groundwater was less saline (290 mS m−1 with use restricted to livestock and rural domestic supplies in this area. The Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM software package predicted deep drainage of 3.3–9.5 mm yr−1 (0.7–2.1% rainfall based on site records of grain yields, rainfall, salt leaching and soil properties. Predicted deep drainage was highly episodic, dependent on rainfall and antecedent soil water content, and over a 39 yr period was restricted mainly to the record wet winter of 1998. During the study period, groundwater levels were unresponsive to major rainfall events (70 and 190 mm total, and most piezometers at about 18 m depth remained dry. In this area, at this time, recharge appears to be negligible due to low

  2. Implications of deep drainage through saline clay for groundwater recharge and sustainable cropping in a semi-arid catchment, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timms, W. A.; Young, R. R.; Huth, N.

    2012-04-01

    The magnitude and timing of deep drainage and salt leaching through clay soils is a critical issue for dryland agriculture in semi-arid regions (2000 mm yr-1) such as parts of Australia's Murray-Darling Basin (MDB). In this rare study, hydrogeological measurements and estimations of the historic water balance of crops grown on overlying Grey Vertosols were combined to estimate the contribution of deep drainage below crop roots to recharge and salinization of shallow groundwater. Soil sampling at two sites on the alluvial flood plain of the Lower Namoi catchment revealed significant peaks in chloride concentrations at 0.8-1.2 m depth under perennial vegetation and at 2.0-2.5 m depth under continuous cropping indicating deep drainage and salt leaching since conversion to cropping. Total salt loads of 91-229 t ha-1 NaCl equivalent were measured for perennial vegetation and cropping, with salinity to ≥ 10 m depth that was not detected by shallow soil surveys. Groundwater salinity varied spatially from 910 to 2430 mS m-1 at 21 to 37 m depth (N = 5), whereas deeper groundwater was less saline (290 mS m-1) with use restricted to livestock and rural domestic supplies in this area. The Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM) software package predicted deep drainage of 3.3-9.5 mm yr-1 (0.7-2.1% rainfall) based on site records of grain yields, rainfall, salt leaching and soil properties. Predicted deep drainage was highly episodic, dependent on rainfall and antecedent soil water content, and over a 39 yr period was restricted mainly to the record wet winter of 1998. During the study period, groundwater levels were unresponsive to major rainfall events (70 and 190 mm total), and most piezometers at about 18 m depth remained dry. In this area, at this time, recharge appears to be negligible due to low rainfall and large potential evapotranspiration, transient hydrological conditions after changes in land use and a thick clay dominated vadose zone. This is in

  3. Sustainable use of pig slurry, with and without treatment, as an amendment organic in almond crop

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dominguez Oliver, S. G.; Faz Cano, A.

    2009-01-01

    This study consists in the use of different forms of slurry, as an organic fertilizer, on almond trees located in La Aljorra (Cartegena, Murcia). The slurry used comes from a farm near the area of study, which has a treatment system composed by tree parts: a phase separator, a bioreactor and 5 constructed wetlands of vertical flow. Different phases of slurry are obtained from each part of the system. The results show the reduction of most of the parameters lime salinity, BOD 5 QOD, nitrate, etc. The use of these effluents as an organic amend in different doses, supposes a sustainable way of management of these residues; at the same time it improves the soil properties and the agronomic quality of the almond tree crop. (Author) 4 refs.

  4. Soil Tillage Conservation and its Effect on Soil Properties Bioremediation and Sustained Production of Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rusu, Teodor; Ioana Moraru, Paula; Muresan, Liliana; Andriuca, Valentina; Cojocaru, Olesea

    2017-04-01

    soil features resulted in a positive impact on the water permeability of the soil. Availability of soil moisture during the crop growth resulted in better plant water status. Subsequent release of conserved soil water regulated proper plant water status, soil structure, and lowered soil penetrometer resistance. Productions obtained at STC did not have significant differences for the wheat and maize crop but were higher for soybean. The advantages of minimum soil tillage systems for Romanian pedo-climatic conditions can be used to improve methods in low producing soils with reduced structural stability on sloped fields, as well as measures of water and soil conservation on the whole agroecosystem. Presently, it is necessary to make a change concerning the concept of conservation practices and to consider a new approach regarding the good agricultural practice. We need to focus on an upper level concerning conservation by focusing on soil quality. Carbon management is necessary for a complexity of matters including soil, water management, field productivity, biological fuel and climatic change. In conclusion a Sustainable Agriculture includes a range of complementary agricultural practices: (i) minimum soil tillage (through a system of reduced tillage or no-tillage) to preserve the structure, fauna and soil organic matter; (ii) permanent soil cover (cover crops, residues and mulches) to protect the soil and help to remove and control weeds; (iii) various combinations and rotations of the crops which stimulate the micro-organisms in the soil and controls pests, weeds and plant diseases. Acknowledgements: This paper was performed under the frame of the Partnership in priority domains - PNII, developed with the support of MEN-UEFISCDI, project no. PN-II-PT-PCCA-2013-4-0015: Expert System for Risk Monitoring in Agriculture and Adaptation of Conservative Agricultural Technologies to Climate Change, and International Cooperation Program - Sub-3.1. Bilateral AGROCEO c. no. 21BM

  5. Adaptive livelihood strategies for coping with water scarcity in the drylands of central Tanzania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liwenga, Emma T.

    In this paper, it is argued that local knowledge for adapting to water scarcity is important for integrated resource management by taking into consideration both the natural and social constraints in a particular setting based on accumulated experience. The paper examines the relevance of local knowledge in sustaining agricultural production in the semiarid areas of central Tanzania. The paper specifically focuses on how water scarcity, as the major limiting factor, is addressed in the study area using local knowledge to sustain livelihoods of its people. The study was conducted in four villages; Mzula, Ilolo, Chanhumba and Ngahelezi, situation in Mvumi Division in Dodoma Region. The study mainly employed qualitative data collection techniques. Participatory methods provided a means of exploring perceptions and gaining deeper insights regarding natural resource utilization in terms of problems and opportunities. The main data sources drawn upon in this study were documentation, group interviews and field observations. Group interviews involved discussions with a group of 6-12 people selected on the basis of gender, age and socio-economic groups. Data analysis entailed structural and content analysis within the adaptive livelihood framework in relation to management of water scarcity using local knowledge. The findings confirm that rainfall is the main limiting factor for agricultural activities in the drylands of Central Tanzania. As such, local communities have developed, through time, indigenous knowledge to cope with such environments utilizing seasonality and diversity of landscapes. Use of this local knowledge is therefore effective in managing water scarcity by ensuring a continuous production of crops throughout the year. This practice implies increased food availability and accessibility through sales of such agricultural products. Local innovations for water management, such as cultivation in sandy rivers, appear to be very important means of accessing

  6. Controlled release for crop and wood protection: Recent progress toward sustainable and safe nanostructured biocidal systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattos, Bruno D; Tardy, Blaise L; Magalhães, Washington L E; Rojas, Orlando J

    2017-09-28

    We review biocide delivery systems (BDS), which are designed to deter or control harmful organisms that damage agricultural crops, forests and forest products. This is a timely topic, given the growing socio-economical concerns that have motivated major developments in sustainable BDS. Associated designs aim at improving or replacing traditional systems, which often consist of biocides with extreme behavior as far as their solubility in water. This includes those that compromise or pollute soil and water (highly soluble or volatile biocides) or those that present low bioavailability (poorly soluble biocides). Major breakthroughs are sought to mitigate or eliminate consequential environmental and health impacts in agriculture and silviculture. Here, we consider the most important BDS vehicles or carriers, their synthesis, the environmental impact of their constituents and interactions with the active components together with the factors that affect their rates of release such as environmental factors and interaction of BDS with the crops or forest products. We put in perspective the state-of-the-art nanostructured carriers for controlled release, which need to address many of the challenges that exist in the application of BDS. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Breeding crop plants with deep roots: their role in sustainable carbon, nutrient and water sequestration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kell, Douglas B.

    2011-01-01

    Background The soil represents a reservoir that contains at least twice as much carbon as does the atmosphere, yet (apart from ‘root crops’) mainly just the above-ground plant biomass is harvested in agriculture, and plant photosynthesis represents the effective origin of the overwhelming bulk of soil carbon. However, present estimates of the carbon sequestration potential of soils are based more on what is happening now than what might be changed by active agricultural intervention, and tend to concentrate only on the first metre of soil depth. Scope Breeding crop plants with deeper and bushy root ecosystems could simultaneously improve both the soil structure and its steady-state carbon, water and nutrient retention, as well as sustainable plant yields. The carbon that can be sequestered in the steady state by increasing the rooting depths of crop plants and grasses from, say, 1 m to 2 m depends significantly on its lifetime(s) in different molecular forms in the soil, but calculations (http://dbkgroup.org/carbonsequestration/rootsystem.html) suggest that this breeding strategy could have a hugely beneficial effect in stabilizing atmospheric CO2. This sets an important research agenda, and the breeding of plants with improved and deep rooting habits and architectures is a goal well worth pursuing. PMID:21813565

  8. Sustainable management in crop monocultures: the impact of retaining forest on oil palm yield.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Felicity A; Edwards, David P; Sloan, Sean; Hamer, Keith C

    2014-01-01

    Tropical agriculture is expanding rapidly at the expense of forest, driving a global extinction crisis. How to create agricultural landscapes that minimise the clearance of forest and maximise sustainability is thus a key issue. One possibility is protecting natural forest within or adjacent to crop monocultures to harness important ecosystem services provided by biodiversity spill-over that may facilitate production. Yet this contrasts with the conflicting potential that the retention of forest exports dis-services, such as agricultural pests. We focus on oil palm and obtained yields from 499 plantation parcels spanning a total of ≈23,000 ha of oil palm plantation in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. We investigate the relationship between the extent and proximity of both contiguous and fragmented dipterocarp forest cover and oil palm yield, controlling for variation in oil palm age and for environmental heterogeneity by incorporating proximity to non-native forestry plantations, other oil palm plantations, and large rivers, elevation and soil type in our models. The extent of forest cover and proximity to dipterocarp forest were not significant predictors of oil palm yield. Similarly, proximity to large rivers and other oil palm plantations, as well as soil type had no significant effect. Instead, lower elevation and closer proximity to forestry plantations had significant positive impacts on oil palm yield. These findings suggest that if dipterocarp forests are exporting ecosystem service benefits or ecosystem dis-services, that the net effect on yield is neutral. There is thus no evidence to support arguments that forest should be retained within or adjacent to oil palm monocultures for the provision of ecosystem services that benefit yield. We urge for more nuanced assessments of the impacts of forest and biodiversity on yields in crop monocultures to better understand their role in sustainable agriculture.

  9. Invited review: Sustainable forage and grain crop production for the US dairy industry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, N P; Russelle, M P; Powell, J M; Sniffen, C J; Smith, S I; Tricarico, J M; Grant, R J

    2017-12-01

    A resilient US dairy industry will be underpinned by forage and crop production systems that are economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable. Land use for production of perennial and annual forages and grains for dairy cattle must evolve in response to multiple food security and environmental sustainability issues. These include increasing global populations; higher incomes and demand for dairy and other animal products; climate change with associated temperature and moisture changes; necessary reductions in carbon and water footprints; maintenance of soil quality and soil nutrient concerns; and competition for land. Likewise, maintaining producer profitability and utilizing practices accepted by consumers and society generally must also be considered. Predicted changes in climate and water availability will likely challenge current feed and dairy production systems and their national spatial distribution, particularly the western migration of dairy production in the late 20th century. To maintain and stabilize profitability while reducing carbon footprint, particularly reductions in methane emission and enhancements in soil carbon sequestration, dairy production will need to capitalize on genetic and management innovations that enhance forage and grain production and nutritive value. Improved regional and on-farm integration of feed production and manure utilization is needed to reduce environmental nitrogen and phosphorus losses and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Resilient and flexible feed production strategies are needed to address each of these challenges and opportunities to ensure profitable feeding of dairy cattle and a sustainable dairy industry. The Authors. Published by the Federation of Animal Science Societies and Elsevier Inc. on behalf of the American Dairy Science Association®. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

  10. Using internet technology to inform researchers, policy makers and other stakeholders about sustainable land management in drylands: experience from a large interdisciplinary and international project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geeson, N.; van den Elsen, E.; Brandt, J.; Quaranta, G.; Salvia, R.

    2012-04-01

    In the last twenty years the advent of the internet has made it much easier to share the results of scientific research with a wider range of audiences. Where once there were only scientific journals and books, it is now possible to deliver messages and dissemination products instantly, by email or other media, to huge circulation lists; thereby also addressing non-scientific audiences. Most scientific projects now host a website, but until recently few have exploited the communication possibilities to maximum advantage. DESIRE has been a large interdisciplinary and international project working to mitigate desertification by selecting and trialling sustainable land management practices with stakeholders. Therefore it has been very important to use a general project website, and a separate Harmonised Information System, to ensure that partners and stakeholders are able to understand the sustainable options and learn from one another. The project website has included many useful features, such as general project and partner information, a schedule of future meetings, and repositories of publicly (and project only) downloadable documents. Lessons have been learned about communication preferences between groups with different interests. For example, an on-line forum seemed a good way of allowing project partners to have their say on various topics. However it was not well-used and it was concluded that partners preferred to communicate just by email, a medium that they access most days for many uses. Whereas the project website focuses on the latest news, the Harmonised Information System has been used to document the history of the project, stage by stage, filling in each section as results became available. Information can be accessed from the perspective of both the research aims and each study site. Interactive tools and drop-down menus are among the features that are used to make the information as attractive and as accessible as possible. Although English is the

  11. Fisheries in the drylands of Sub-Saharan Africa “Fish come with the Rains”

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kolding, Jeppe; Zwieten, van P.A.M.; Marttin, Felix; Poulain, Florence

    2016-01-01

    Dryland areas cover more than half of sub-Saharan Africa and are home to nearly 50 percent of
    its populations, who depend on agriculture (including livestock, crops and fisheries) as their main
    livelihood strategy. Sporadic and irregular rainfall patterns are the most important

  12. Spatial optimization of cropping pattern for sustainable food and biofuel production with minimal downstream pollution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Femeena, P V; Sudheer, K P; Cibin, R; Chaubey, I

    2018-04-15

    compromising on food and biofuel production. Optimization runs yielded an optimal cropping pattern with 32% of watershed area in stover removal, 15% in switchgrass and 2% in Miscanthus. The optimal scenario resulted in 14% reduction in nitrate and 22% reduction in total phosphorus from the baseline. This framework can be used as an effective tool to take decisions regarding environmentally and economically sustainable strategies to minimize the nutrient delivery at minimal biomass production cost, while simultaneously meeting food and biofuel production targets. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Management options to increase soil organic matter and nitrogen availability in cultivated drylands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grace, P.R.

    1998-01-01

    Cropping of dryland soils in marginal regions with an emphasis on economic rather than ecological sustainability has generally led to decline in soil organic matter reserves and hence nutrient availability. Outputs commonly exceed inputs, with degradation of soil structure, reduction in infiltration and increase in runoff. Biological productivity is severely affected, leading to a vicious cycle of events usually culminating in decreased N release, excessive soil loss and ultimately desertification. Reducing the incidence of bare fallow, increasing crop-residue retention, strategic N-fertilizer application and shifting to cereal-legume rotations (as opposed to monocultures) and intercropping can slow the spiral. Simulation models such as DSSAT and SOCRATES provide suitable and easy-to-use platforms to evaluate these management strategies in terms of soil organic matter accumulation and yield performance. Through the linkage of these models to global information systems and the use of spatial-characterization software to identify zones of similarity, it is now possible to examine the transportability and risk of a particular management strategy under a wide range of climatic and soil conditions. (author)

  14. Drought preparedness and drought mitigation in the developing world׳s drylands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahmoud Solh

    2014-06-01

    Drought is a climatic event that cannot be prevented, but interventions and preparedness to drought can help to: (i be better prepared to cope with drought; (ii develop more resilient ecosystems (iii improve resilience to recover from drought; and (iv mitigate the impacts of droughts. Preparedness strategies to drought include: (a geographical shifts of agricultural systems; (b climate-proofing rainfall-based systems; (c making irrigated systems more efficient; (d expanding the intermediate rainfed–irrigated systems. The paper presents successful research results and case studies applying some innovative techniques where clear impact is demonstrated to cope with drought and contribute to food security in dry areas. The CGIAR Consortium Research Program (CRP on “Integrated and Sustainable Agricultural Production Systems for Improved Food Security and Livelihoods in Dry Areas” (in short, “Dryland Systems”, led by ICARDA, was launched in May 2013 with many partners and stakeholders from 40 countries. It addresses farming systems in dry areas, at a global level, involving 80 partner institutions. The Dryland Systems Program aims at coping with drought and water scarcity to enhance food security and reduce poverty in dry areas through an integrated agro-ecosystem approach. It will also deliver science-based solutions that can be adopted in regions that are not yet experiencing extreme shocks, but will be affected in the medium to long-term. The approach entails shifting the thinking away from the traditional focus on a small number of research components to take an integrated approach aiming to address agro-ecosystems challenges. Such an approach involves crops, livestock, rangeland, trees, soils, water and policies. It is one of the first global research for development efforts that brings “systems thinking” to farming innovations leading to improved livelihoods in the developing world. The new technique uses modern innovation platforms to involve all

  15. Optimization of Southeastern Forest Biomass Crop Production: A Watershed Scale Evaluation of the Sustainability and Productivity of Dedicated Energy Crop and Woody Biomass Operations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chescheir, George M. [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Nettles, Jami E, [Weyerhaeuser Company; Youssef, Mohamed [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Birgand, Francois [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Amatya, Devendra M. [United States Forest Service; Miller, Darren A. [Weyerhaeuser Company; Sucre, Eric [Weyerhaeuser Company; Schilling, Erik [National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, Inc.; Tian, Shiying [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Cacho, Julian F. [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Bennett, Erin M. [Ecosystem Planning and Restoration, LLC; Carter, Taylor [HDR; Bowen, Nicole Dobbs [Engineering Design Consultants; Muwamba, Augustine [College of Charleston; Panda, Sudhanshu [University of North Georgia; Christopher, Sheila [Univ. of Notre Dame, IN (United States); Phillips, Brian D. [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Appelboom, Timothy [NC Department of Environmental Quality; Skaggs, Richard W. [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Greene, Ethan J. [Land Trust for Central North Carolina; Marshall, Craig D. [Mississippi State University; Allen, Elizabeth [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Schoenholtz, Stephen H. [Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ. (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, VA (United States)

    2018-04-12

    Growing switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) as an intercrop in managed loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) plantations has emerged as a potential source of bioenergy feedstock. Utilizing land resources between pine trees to produce an energy crop can potentially reduce the demand for land resources used to produce food; however, converting conventionally managed forest land to this new intercropping system constitutes changes in land use and associated management practices, which may affect the environmental and economic sustainability of the land.

    The overall objective of this project is to evaluate the environmental effects of large-scale forest bioenergy crop production and utilize these results to optimize cropping systems in a manner that protects the important ecosystem services provided by forests while contributing to the development of a sustainable and economically-viable biomass industry in the southeastern United States.

    Specific objectives are to:

    1. Quantify the hydrology of different energy crop production systems in watershed scale experiments on different landscapes in the southeast.
    2. Quantify the nutrient dynamics of energy crop production systems in watershed scale experiments to determine the impact of these systems on water quality.
    3. Evaluate the impacts of energy crop production on soil structure, fertility, and organic matter.
    4. Evaluate the response of flora and fauna populations and habitat quality to energy crop production systems.
    5. Develop watershed and regional scale models to evaluate the environmental sustainability and productivity of energy crop and woody biomass operations.
    6. Quantify the production systems in terms of bioenergy crop yield versus the energy and economic costs of production.
    7. Develop and evaluate best management practice guidelines to ensure the environmental sustainability of energy crop production systems.
    Watershed and plot scale studies

  16. Arid waste? Reassessing the value of dryland pastoralism

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hesse, Ced; MacGregor, James

    2009-06-15

    East Africa has a huge hidden asset – but risks throwing it away in the quest for economic development. This is its millions-strong herds of dryland livestock managed by pastoralists. New findings show that pastoralism has immense potential value for reducing poverty, managing the environment, promoting sustainable development and building climate resilience. In Kenya alone, the sector is worth an estimated three-quarters of a billion dollars a year. Yet pastoralism is seen by many as archaic, economically inefficient, chaotic and environmentally destructive – perceptions that are not evidence-based, yet drive much regional policy. Inadequate, inaccurate national statistics on pastoralism do little to alter this view. Persistent undervaluation has effectively trapped up to 20 million dryland pastoralists in a cycle of poverty, conflict and environmental degradation. Now, with climate change biting, the time is ripe for a conceptual framework that captures the total economic benefits of this livelihood.

  17. Sustainable development of smallholder crop-livestock farming in developing countries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ates, S.; Cicek, H.; Bell, L. W.; Norman, H. C.; Mayberry, D. E.; Kassam, S.; Hannaway, D. B.; Louhaichi, M.

    2018-03-01

    Meeting the growing demand for animal-sourced food, prompted by population growth and increases in average per-capita income in low-income countries, is a major challenge. Yet, it also presents significant potential for agricultural growth, economic development, and reduction of poverty in rural areas. The main constraints to livestock producers taking advantage of growing markets include; lack of forage and feed gaps, communal land tenure, limited access to land and water resources, weak institutions, poor infrastructure and environmental degradation. To improve rural livelihood and food security in smallholder crop-livestock farming systems, concurrent work is required to address issues regarding efficiency of production, risk within systems and development of whole value chain systems. This paper provides a review of several forage based-studies in tropical and non-tropical dry areas of the developing countries. A central tenet of this paper is that forages have an essential role in agricultural productivity, environmental sustainability and livestock nutrition in smallholder mixed farming systems.

  18. Crop rotation in the Valle Calido del Alto Magdalena a sustainable focus of high yield

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alfaro Rodriguez, Ricardo; Maria Caicedo, Antonio; Amezquita Collazos, Edgar; Castro Franco, Hugo Eduardo

    1996-01-01

    Experiments were carried out during five years at the Nataima Research Center, located at 431 m.a.s.l, with average temperature of 28 Celsius degrades and annual rainfall of 1274 Boyaca mm, on a soil classified as Arenic Haplustalf, to evaluate different crops rotation based on rice and sorghum; the combinations used were as follows; rice-rice (R-R), rice-- soybean (R-SY), rice-crotalaria-sorghum (R-C-S), sorghum-sorghum (S-S), sorghum-soybean (S-SY) and cotton-sorghum (Al-S). Simultaneously it was evaluated the response to four nitrogen levels, which allowed to find out yield functions and optimum economical. The rotations S-SY, R-SY and AI-S have been the best qualified from an environmental perspective. Sorghum-soybean rotation presents increases in yield compared with expected values, which allows thinking that it is a truly sustainable rotation. This rotation also had an excellent profitability and for that reason is considered the best option within the goals of this work

  19. Influence of time scale wind speed data on sustainability analysis for irrigating greenhouse crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz Méndez, Rodrigo; García Llaneza, Joaquín; Peillón, Manuel; Perdigones, Alicia; Sanchez, Raul; Tarquis, Ana M.; Garcia, Jose Luis

    2014-05-01

    Appropriate water supply at crop/farm level, with suitable costs, is becoming more and more important. Energy management is closely related to water supply in this context, being wind energy one of the options to be considered, using wind pumps for irrigation water supply. Therefore, it is important to characterize the wind speed frequency distribution to study the technical feasibility to use its energy for irrigation management purpose. The general objective of this present research is to analyze the impact of time scale recorded wind speed data in the sustainability for tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) grown under greenhouse at Cuban conditions using drip irrigation system. For this porpoise, a daily estimation balance between water needs and water availability was used to evaluate the feasibility of the most economic windmill irrigation system. Several factors were included: wind velocity (W, m/s) in function of the time scale averaged, flow supplied by the wind pump as a function of the elevation height (H, m) and daily greenhouse evapotranspiration. Monthly volumes of water required for irrigation (Dr, m3/ha) and in the water tank (Vd, m3), as well as the monthly irrigable area (Ar, ha), were estimated by cumulative deficit water budgeting taking in account these factors. Three-hourly wind velocity (W3h, m/s) data from 1992 till 2008 was available for this study. The original data was grouped in six and twelve hourly data (W6h and W12h respectively) as well as daily data (W24h). For each time scale the daily estimation balance was applied. A comparison of the results points out a need for at least three-hourly data to be used mainly in the months in which mean wind speed are close or below the pumps threshold speed to start-up functioning. References Manuel Esteban Peillon Mesa, Ana Maria Tarquis Alfonso, José Luis García Fernández, and Raúl Sánchez Calvo. The use of wind pumps for irrigating greenhouse tomato crops: a case study in Cuba. Geophysical

  20. Sustainability of European winter wheat- and maize-based cropping systems: Economic, environmental and social ex-post assessment of conventional and IPM-based systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vasileiadis, V.P.; Dachbrodt-saaydeh, S.; Kudsk, P.; Colnenne-David, C.; Leprince, F.; Holb, I.J.; Kierzek, R.; Furlan, L.; Loddo, D.; Melander, B.; Jørgensen, L.N.; Newton, A.C.; Toque, C.; Dijk, van W.; Lefebvre, M.; Benezit, M.; Sattin, M.

    2017-01-01

    In order to ensure higher sustainability of winter wheat and maize production in Europe, cropping systems featuring different levels of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) need to be tested in the field and validated for their sustainability before being adopted by farmers. However, the sustainability

  1. Constraints and opportunities for sustainable crop production in rainfed areas of pothwar plateau

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ghafoor, A.; Shafiq, M.; Aslam, M.

    2006-01-01

    The rainfed areas, commonly known as barani tract, accounts for about 25% of the total cropped area in the Punjab. The Pothwar plateau comprising 1.82 million hectare, is the largest contiguous block of rainfed areas in Punjab. Low and erratic rainfall, water-erosion hazard, inadequate depth of soil and poor soil-fertility are the main limitations affecting the production-potential of these areas. To ensure that farmers readily adopt the agricultural technologies developed by the research-system, these should be based on real-life problems, appropriate to the natural and socio-economic environments in which farmers make decisions. The present study was undertaken in tehsils Fatehjang and Gujar Khan of Pothwar plateau, to broadly understand farmers perceptions and approaches for rainwater-harvesting and soil-fertility management. It was observed that farm size was relatively bigger in Fatehjang than Gujar Khan. About 86% and 63% of respondents in Gujar Khan and Fatehjang cultivated their own lands. Nearly 40% of respondents in both the tehsils had their lands in 3 to 6 parcels, which hindered the farm-operation and soil and water conservation activities. The uses of fertilizers are sub-optimal and imbalanced. The soil-fertility is going down. The rainwater-conservation practices are not being adopted, due to high cost of machinery and disinterest of farmers in agriculture. The farming is going to be come un- economical. The analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) was carried out and the results are discussed. Some recommendations have been proposed to control soil-erosion, moisture-stress and fertility-degradation and to sustain agricultural production in these areas. (author)

  2. Greenhouse gas emissions from cultivation of energy crops may affect the sustainability of biofuels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carter, Mette Sustmann; Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik; Heiske, Stefan

    2011-01-01

    will be lower than indicated by our data. We obtained the greatest net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by co-production of bioethanol and biogas or by biogas alone produced from either fresh grass-clover or whole crop maize. Here the net reduction corresponded to about 8 tons CO2 per hectare per year...... or incorporation of crop residues. In this study we relate measured field emissions of N2O to the reduction in fossil fuel-derived CO2, which is obtained when energy crops are used for biofuel production. The analysis includes five organically managed crops (viz. maize, rye, rye-vetch, vetch and grass......-clover) and three scenarios for conversion of biomass to biofuel. The scenarios are 1) bioethanol production, 2) biogas production and 3) co-production of bioethanol and biogas, where the energy crops are first used for bioethanol fermentation and subsequently the residues from this process are utilized for biogas...

  3. Sustainable conversion of coffee and other crop wastes to biofuels and bioproducts using combined biochemical and thermochemical processes in a multi-stage biorefinery concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    The environmental impact of agricultural waste from processing of food and feed crops is an increasing concern worldwide. Concerted efforts are underway to develop sustainable practices for the disposal of residues from processing of such crops as coffee, sugarcane, or corn. Coffee is crucial to the...

  4. Can plastic mulching replace irrigation in dryland agriculture?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, L.; Daryanto, S.; Jacinthe, P. A.

    2017-12-01

    Increasing water use efficiency (WUE) is a key strategy to maintaining crops yield without over-exploiting the scarce water resource. Plastic mulching technology for wheat and maize has been commonly used in China, but their effect on yield, soil moisture, evapotranspiration (ET), and WUE has not been compared with traditional irrigation method. Using a meta-analysis approach, we quantitatively examined the efficacy of plastic mulching in comparison with traditional irrigation in dryland agriculture. Our results showed that plastic mulching technique resulted in yield increase comparable to irrigated crops but used 24% less water. By covering the ridges with plastic and channeling rainwater into a very narrow planting zone (furrow), plastic mulching increased WUE and available soil moisture. Higher WUE in plastic-mulched croplands was likely a result of greater proportion of available water being used for transpiration than evaporation. If problems related to production costs and residual plastic pollution could be managed, plastic mulching technology would become a promising strategy for dryland farming in other regions.

  5. Re-spacing African drylands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Korf, Benedikt; Hagmann, Tobias; Emmenegger, Rony Hugo

    2015-01-01

    processes of state territorialization and indigenous commodification become mutually entangled. Sedentarization is not imposed by the state or corporate capital, but by indigenous merchants who capture the frontier's potential resource dividend. Land appropriation in the drylands is co-produced by political...... claims to territory, capital investment and new technopolitics through which indigenous (pastoral, Somali) merchants and politicians become complicit with the state's project of territorialization and sedentarization in a self-governing fashion. The irony of this situation is that the (Ethiopian) state...

  6. Optimizing soil and water management in dryland farming systems in Cabo Verde

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Santos Baptista Costa, Dos I.

    2016-01-01

    “Optimizing Soil and Water Management in Dryland Farming Systems in Cabo Verde”

    Isaurinda Baptista

    Summary

    Soil and land degradation poses a great challenge for sustainable development worldwide and, in Cabo Verde, has strongly affected both

  7. Biofertilizers function as key player in sustainable agriculture by improving soil fertility, plant tolerance and crop productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhardwaj, Deepak; Ansari, Mohammad Wahid; Sahoo, Ranjan Kumar; Tuteja, Narendra

    2014-05-08

    Current soil management strategies are mainly dependent on inorganic chemical-based fertilizers, which caused a serious threat to human health and environment. The exploitation of beneficial microbes as a biofertilizer has become paramount importance in agriculture sector for their potential role in food safety and sustainable crop production. The eco-friendly approaches inspire a wide range of application of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs), endo- and ectomycorrhizal fungi, cyanobacteria and many other useful microscopic organisms led to improved nutrient uptake, plant growth and plant tolerance to abiotic and biotic stress. The present review highlighted biofertilizers mediated crops functional traits such as plant growth and productivity, nutrient profile, plant defense and protection with special emphasis to its function to trigger various growth- and defense-related genes in signaling network of cellular pathways to cause cellular response and thereby crop improvement. The knowledge gained from the literature appraised herein will help us to understand the physiological bases of biofertlizers towards sustainable agriculture in reducing problems associated with the use of chemicals fertilizers.

  8. Biofertilizers function as key player in sustainable agriculture by improving soil fertility, plant tolerance and crop productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Current soil management strategies are mainly dependent on inorganic chemical-based fertilizers, which caused a serious threat to human health and environment. The exploitation of beneficial microbes as a biofertilizer has become paramount importance in agriculture sector for their potential role in food safety and sustainable crop production. The eco-friendly approaches inspire a wide range of application of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs), endo- and ectomycorrhizal fungi, cyanobacteria and many other useful microscopic organisms led to improved nutrient uptake, plant growth and plant tolerance to abiotic and biotic stress. The present review highlighted biofertilizers mediated crops functional traits such as plant growth and productivity, nutrient profile, plant defense and protection with special emphasis to its function to trigger various growth- and defense-related genes in signaling network of cellular pathways to cause cellular response and thereby crop improvement. The knowledge gained from the literature appraised herein will help us to understand the physiological bases of biofertlizers towards sustainable agriculture in reducing problems associated with the use of chemicals fertilizers. PMID:24885352

  9. one of the keys to attaining and sustaining higher crop yields

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Interim fertiliser recommendations for different crops at selected locations in Uganda. ... However, these recommendations (Table 5) need updating to reflect the decline in soil fertility ... and have longer residual effects in soil compared to high.

  10. Water conservation in semiarid dryland agriculture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Willis, W.O.

    1980-01-01

    Factors affecting water conservation in semiarid dryland regions are discussed. Because precipitation is the only source of water for plant growth in most semiarid regions, a good understanding of precipitation patterns (quantity, distribution, and their probable frequency) is needed for each dryland area. The various dryland practices, e.g. tillage, cultivars, residue management, fertility, erosion control, and grazing, must be considered as integral parts of an entire system to develop best management practices and to gain most efficient water conservation for food and fiber production. (author)

  11. THE DEVELOPMENT OF SUSTAINABLE CROPPING SYSTEMS IN THE HIGHLANDS OF SOUTH-EAST ASIA: GENERAL LESSONS FOR DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael A. Fullen

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available Soil conservation in the highlands of South-East Asia is essential for sustainable agro-environmental development. The effectiveness of soil conservation treatments developed in runoff plots was investigated in farmer-managed plots on a natural catchment. This wasachieved by the development and scientific evaluation of modified and novel cropping practices in a representative highland catchment in Yunnan Province, China. Wang Jia Catchment covers 40.1 hectares near Kedu, in Xundian County, north-east Yunnan (25o28'N, 102o53'E. The initial project consisted of an evaluation of the effects of modified cropping practices on maize productivity and soil properties. This programme was extended to investigate ways of increasing the productivity of maize, wheat and soybean on fragile slopes in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly way. The approach incorporates modified and novel agronomic and soil conservation measures, with the evaluation of their agricultural, environmental and socio-economic impacts using multidisciplinary approaches. This European Union funded project involved an international research team from Belgium, China, Ireland, Thailand and the U.K. Five co-ordinated work packages were implemented. Involving: (1 Background agricultural and environmental assessment of Wang Jia Catchment. (2Implementation and evaluation of modified and novel cropping systems for wheat, maize and soybean in the catchment. (3 Cost-benefit analyses of the socio-economic impacts of the changed cropping practices. (4 Comparative scientific evaluation of the cropping techniques in the highlands of northern Thailand. (5 Dissemination of project outcomes and establishment of training programmes for best practice in highland rural development. The lessons of the Project for promoting sustainable agro-environmental development in tropical and subtropical highlands include: (1 Recognizing the importance of both ‘north-south’ and ‘south-south’ co

  12. Climate Variability and Change in Bihar, India: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Crop Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kindie Tesfaye

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Climate change and associated uncertainties have serious direct and indirect consequences for crop production and food security in agriculture-based developing regions. Long-term climate data analysis can identify climate risks and anticipate new ones for planning appropriate adaptation and mitigation options. The aim of this study was to identify near-term (2030 and mid-term (2050 climate risks and/or opportunities in the state of Bihar, one of India’s most populous and poorest states, using weather data for 30 years (1980–2009 as a baseline. Rainfall, maximum and minimum temperatures, and evapotranspiration will all increase in the near- and mid-term periods relative to the baseline period, with the magnitude of the change varying with time, season and location within the state. Bihar’s major climate risks for crop production will be heat stress due to increasing minimum temperatures in the rabi (winter season and high minimum and maximum temperatures in the spring season; and intense rainfall and longer dry spells in the kharif (monsoon season. The increase in annual and seasonal rainfall amounts, and extended crop growing period in the kharif season generally provide opportunities; but increasing temperature across the state will have considerable negative consequences on (staple crops by affecting crop phenology, physiology and plant-water relations. The study helps develop site-specific adaptation and mitigation options that minimize the negative effects of climate change while maximizing the opportunities.

  13. Smart investments in sustainable food production: revisiting mixed crop-livestock systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrero, M; Thornton, P K; Notenbaert, A M; Wood, S; Msangi, S; Freeman, H A; Bossio, D; Dixon, J; Peters, M; van de Steeg, J; Lynam, J; Parthasarathy Rao, P; Macmillan, S; Gerard, B; McDermott, J; Seré, C; Rosegrant, M

    2010-02-12

    Farmers in mixed crop-livestock systems produce about half of the world's food. In small holdings around the world, livestock are reared mostly on grass, browse, and nonfood biomass from maize, millet, rice, and sorghum crops and in their turn supply manure and traction for future crops. Animals act as insurance against hard times and supply farmers with a source of regular income from sales of milk, eggs, and other products. Thus, faced with population growth and climate change, small-holder farmers should be the first target for policies to intensify production by carefully managed inputs of fertilizer, water, and feed to minimize waste and environmental impact, supported by improved access to markets, new varieties, and technologies.

  14. EUE (energy use efficiency) of cropping systems for a sustainable agriculture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alluvione, Francesco; Moretti, Barbara; Sacco, Dario; Grignani, Carlo

    2011-01-01

    Energy efficiency of agriculture needs improvement to reduce the dependency on non-renewable energy sources. We estimated the energy flows of a wheat-maize-soybean-maize rotation of three different cropping systems: (i) low-input integrated farming (LI), (ii) integrated farming following European Regulations (IFS), and (iii) conventional farming (CONV). Balancing N fertilization with actual crop requirements and adopting minimum tillage proved the most efficient techniques to reduce energy inputs, contributing 64.7% and 11.2% respectively to the total reduction. Large differences among crops in energy efficiency (maize: 2.2 MJ kg -1 grain; wheat: 2.6 MJ kg -1 grain; soybean: 4.1 MJ kg -1 grain) suggest that crop rotation and crop management can be equally important in determining cropping system energy efficiency. Integrated farming techniques improved energy efficiency by reducing energy inputs without affecting energy outputs. Compared with CONV, energy use efficiency increased 31.4% and 32.7% in IFS and LI, respectively, while obtaining similar net energy values. Including SOM evolution in the energy analysis greatly enhanced the energy performance of IFS and, even more dramatically, LI compared to CONV. Improved energy efficiency suggests the adoption of alternative farming systems to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. However, a thorough evaluation should include net global warming potential assessment. -- Highlights: → We evaluated the energy flows of integrated as alternative to conventional Farming. → Energy flows, soil organic matter evolution included, were analyzed following process analysis. → Energy flows were compared using indicators. → Integrated farming improved energy efficiency without affecting net energy. → Inclusion of soil organic matter in energy analysis accrue environmental evaluation.

  15. Beyond desertification: New paradigms for dryland landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    The dryland desertification paradigm focuses on losses of ecosystem services accompanying transitions from grasslands to systems dominated by bare ground or woody plants unpalatable for domestic livestock. However, recent studies reveal complex transitions across a range of environmental conditions ...

  16. Dryland climate change: Recent progress and challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, J.; Li, Y.; Fu, C.; Chen, F.; Fu, Q.; Dai, A.; Shinoda, M.; Ma, Z.; Guo, W.; Li, Z.; Zhang, L.; Liu, Y.; Yu, H.; He, Y.; Xie, Y.; Guan, X.; Ji, M.; Lin, L.; Wang, S.; Yan, H.; Wang, G.

    2017-09-01

    Drylands are home to more than 38% of the world's population and are one of the most sensitive areas to climate change and human activities. This review describes recent progress in dryland climate change research. Recent findings indicate that the long-term trend of the aridity index (AI) is mainly attributable to increased greenhouse gas emissions, while anthropogenic aerosols exert small effects but alter its attributions. Atmosphere-land interactions determine the intensity of regional response. The largest warming during the last 100 years was observed over drylands and accounted for more than half of the continental warming. The global pattern and interdecadal variability of aridity changes are modulated by oceanic oscillations. The different phases of those oceanic oscillations induce significant changes in land-sea and north-south thermal contrasts, which affect the intensity of the westerlies and planetary waves and the blocking frequency, thereby altering global changes in temperature and precipitation. During 1948-2008, the drylands in the Americas became wetter due to enhanced westerlies, whereas the drylands in the Eastern Hemisphere became drier because of the weakened East Asian summer monsoon. Drylands as defined by the AI have expanded over the last 60 years and are projected to expand in the 21st century. The largest expansion of drylands has occurred in semiarid regions since the early 1960s. Dryland expansion will lead to reduced carbon sequestration and enhanced regional warming. The increasing aridity, enhanced warming, and rapidly growing population will exacerbate the risk of land degradation and desertification in the near future in developing countries.

  17. The extent of forest in dryland biomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jean-Francois Bastin; Nora Berrahmouni; Alan Grainger; Danae Maniatis; Danilo Mollicone; Rebecca Moore; Chiara Patriarca; Nicolas Picard; Ben Sparrow; Elena Maria Abraham; Kamel Aloui; Ayhan Atesoglu; Fabio Attore; Caglar Bassullu; Adia Bey; Monica Garzuglia; Luis G. GarcÌa-Montero; Nikee Groot; Greg Guerin; Lars Laestadius; Andrew J. Lowe; Bako Mamane; Giulio Marchi; Paul Patterson; Marcelo Rezende; Stefano Ricci; Ignacio Salcedo; Alfonso Sanchez-Paus Diaz; Fred Stolle; Venera Surappaeva; Rene Castro

    2017-01-01

    Dryland biomes cover two-fifths of Earth’s land surface, but their forest area is poorly known. Here, we report an estimate of global forest extent in dryland biomes, based on analyzing more than 210,000 0.5-hectare sample plots through a photo-interpretation approach using large databases of satellite imagery at (i) very high spatial resolution and (ii) very high...

  18. Fibre crops as sustainable source of biobased material for industrial products in Europe and China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dam, van J.E.G.

    2014-01-01

    Bast fibre industries have a long standing tradition, both in China and Europe. In the past decades significant changes have taken place in the sector and strong competition is faced on the market with manmade fibres on the one hand, and on the other hand at the farm level with other crops that

  19. Next steps in determining the overall sustainability of perennial bioenergy crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perennial bioenergy crops are being developed and evaluated in the United States to partially offset petroleum transport fuels. Accurate accounting of upstream and downstream greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is necessary to measure the overall carbon intensity of new biofuel feedstocks. For example, c...

  20. Sustainable introduction of GM crops into european agriculture: a summary report of the FP6 SIGMEA research project*

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Messéan Antoine

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available In 2003, the European Commission established the principle of coexistence which refers to “the ability of farmers to make a practical choice between conventional, organic and GM-crop production, in compliance with the legal obligations for labelling and/or purity standards” and laid down guidelines defining the context of this coexistence1. In order to determine what is needed for the sustainable introduction of GM crops in Europe, the cross-disciplinary SIGMEA Research Project was set up to create a science-based framework to inform decision-makers. SIGMEA has (i collated and analysed European data on gene flow and the environmental impacts of the major crop species which are likely to be transgenic in the future (maize, rapeseed, sugar beet, rice, and wheat, (ii designed predictive models of gene flow at the landscape level, (iii analysed the technical feasibility and economic impacts of coexistence in the principal farming regions of Europe, (iv developed novel GMO detection methods, (v addressed legal issues related to coexistence, and (vi proposed public and farm scale decisionmaking tools, as well as guidelines regarding management and governance. This publishable version of the final activity report of the FP6 SIGMEA research project, covers the fourteen major issues under investigation.

  1. Sustainable crop intensification through surface water irrigation in Bangladesh? A geospatial assessment of landscape-scale production potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krupnik, Timothy J; Schulthess, Urs; Ahmed, Zia Uddin; McDonald, Andrew J

    2017-01-01

    Changing dietary preferences and population growth in South Asia have resulted in increasing demand for wheat and maize, along side high and sustained demand for rice. In the highly productive northwestern Indo-Gangetic Plains of South Asia, farmers utilize groundwater irrigation to assure that at least two of these crops are sequenced on the same field within the same year. Such double cropping has had a significant and positive influence on regional agricultural productivity. But in the risk-prone and food insecure lower Eastern Indo-Gangetic Plains (EIGP), cropping is less intensive. During the dryer winter months, arable land is frequently fallowed or devoted to lower yielding rainfed legumes. Seeing opportunity to boost cereals production, particularly for rice, donors and land use policy makers have consequently reprioritized agricultural development investments in this impoverished region. Tapping groundwater for irrigation and intensified double cropping, however, is unlikely to be economically viable or environmentally sound in the EIGP. Constraints include saline shallow water tables and the prohibitively high installation and energetic extraction costs from deeper freshwater aquifers. The network of largely underutilized rivers and natural canals in the EIGP could conversely be tapped to provide less energetically and economically costly surface water irrigation (SWI). This approach is now championed by the Government of Bangladesh, which has requested USD 500 million from donors to implement land and water use policies to facilitate SWI and double cropping. Precise geospatial assessment of where freshwater flows are most prominent, or where viable fallow or low production intensity cropland is most common, however remains lacking. In response, we used remotely sensed data to identify agricultural land, detect the temporal availability of freshwater in rivers and canals, and assess crop production intensity over a three-year study period in a 33,750

  2. Potential of Using Manure to Improve Soil Fertility in A Maize/Bean Intercrop in the Drylands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buigutt, J.C.

    2002-01-01

    Low soil fertility as a limiting factor in maize and bean production in ASALS areas is a pertinent topic for investigation, owing to the importance of the crops as staple foods as well as sources of income and employment for the increasing population occasioned by high fertility rates and immigration from the congested high potential highlands. The use of readily available and cheaper sources of plant nutrients such as farm yard manure (FYM), under the common practice of intercropping is one way of sustaining agricultural production in the drylands. The objective of the study conducted in LM5 (under irrigation) and LM5 (under rainfed) Agro-ecological zones of Baringo district was to determine the potential of use FYM and bean intercropping to improve soil fertility for higher maize yields. The result showed that under maize pure stand the highest yields of 3.2 tons/ha were obtained under DAP though this was not significantly different with FYM, FYM+CAN and No Fertilizer treatments. Under intercrop the highest maize yields of 2.8 t/ha were obtained under FYM+CAN. Economic analysis showed that bean pure stand system gave the highest result net benefits followed by intercrop and lastly maize pure stand. The result further showed that the generally low crop yield coupled by low prices renders Katumani maize variety uneconomical to be grown under irrigation and that the higher yielding hybrids (eg H513 using FYM+CAN could be more profitable to farmers in both zones)

  3. Crop Breeding for Low Input Agriculture: A Sustainable Response to Feed a Growing World Population

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vagner A. Benedito

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available World population is projected to reach its maximum (~10 billion people by the year 2050. This 45% increase of the current world population (approaching seven billion people will boost the demand for food and raw materials. However, we live in a historical moment when supply of phosphate, water, and oil are at their peaks. Modern agriculture is fundamentally based on varieties bred for high performance under high input systems (fertilizers, water, oil, pesticides, which generally do not perform well under low-input situations. We propose a shift of research goals and plant breeding objectives from high-performance agriculture at high-energy input to those with an improved rationalization between yield and energy input. Crop breeding programs that are more focused on nutrient economy and local environmental fitness will help reduce energy demands for crop production while still providing adequate amounts of high quality food as global resources decline and population is projected to increase.

  4. Sustaining soil productivity by integrated plant nutrient management in wheat based cropping system under rainfed conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dilshad, M.; Lone, M.I.

    2011-01-01

    The study of the use of organic (FYM) and inorganic (NPK) nutrient sources with bio fertiliser on wheat-fallow and wheat-maize cropping system under rainfed environment revealed significant increase in bio metric parameters of wheat during winter and summer seasons of two years. During both the seasons, application of half NPK + half FYM + Bio power (brand) produced the highest grain yield (3684 kg/ha) and (3781 kg/ha) of wheat with the maximum N uptake of 357 kg/ha, P uptake of 51 kg/ha and K uptake of 215 kg/ha. Wheat-maize cropping system was found to be profitable economically with integrated use of mineral and organic and/or Bio power under rainfed conditions of Pakistan. (author)

  5. Reduced tillage and green manures for sustainable cropping systems - Overview of the TILMAN-ORG project

    OpenAIRE

    Mäder, Paul

    2013-01-01

    Reduced tillage and green manures are environmentally friendly practices that increase levels of soil organic matter and biological activity, improve soil stability, and reduce fuel consumption and may mitigate the climate impact of crop production. The avoidance of deep ploughing is successfully practiced as no-tillage agriculture in conventional farming systems. However, these no-tillage systems rely on herbicides for weed control and mineral fertilisers for plant nutrients. As these inputs...

  6. Crop and irrigation management strategies for saline-sodic soils and waters aimed at environmentally sustainable agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qadir, M; Oster, J D

    2004-05-05

    Irrigation has long played a key role in feeding the expanding world population and is expected to play a still greater role in the future. As supplies of good-quality irrigation water are expected to decrease in several regions due to increased municipal-industrial-agricultural competition, available freshwater supplies need to be used more efficiently. In addition, reliance on the use and reuse of saline and/or sodic drainage waters, generated by irrigated agriculture, seems inevitable for irrigation. The same applies to salt-affected soils, which occupy more than 20% of the irrigated lands, and warrant attention for efficient, inexpensive and environmentally acceptable management. Technologically and from a management perspective, a couple of strategies have shown the potential to improve crop production under irrigated agriculture while minimizing the adverse environmental impacts. The first strategy, vegetative bioremediation--a plant-assisted reclamation approach--relies on growing appropriate plant species that can tolerate ambient soil salinity and sodicity levels during reclamation of salt-affected soils. A variety of plant species of agricultural significance have been found to be effective in sustainable reclamation of calcareous and moderately sodic and saline-sodic soils. The second strategy fosters dedicating soils to crop production systems where saline and/or sodic waters predominate and their disposal options are limited. Production systems based on salt-tolerant plant species using drainage waters may be sustainable with the potential of transforming such waters from an environmental burden into an economic asset. Such a strategy would encourage the disposal of drainage waters within the irrigated regions where they are generated rather than exporting these waters to other regions via discharge into main irrigation canals, local streams, or rivers. Being economically and environmentally sustainable, these strategies could be the key to future

  7. Phytoremediation, a sustainable remediation technology? II: Economic assessment of CO2 abatement through the use of phytoremediation crops for renewable energy production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Witters, N.; Mendelsohn, R.; Van Passel, S.; Van Slycken, S.; Weyens, N.; Schreurs, E.; Meers, E.; Tack, F.; Vanheusden, B.; Vangronsveld, J.

    2012-01-01

    Phytoremediation could be a sustainable remediation alternative for conventional remediation technologies. However, its implementation on a commercial scale remains disappointing. To emphasize its sustainability, this paper examines whether and how the potential economic benefit of CO 2 abatement for different crops used for phytoremediation or sustainable land management purposes could promote phytotechnologies. Our analysis is based on a case study in the Campine region, where agricultural soils are contaminated with mainly cadmium. We use Life Cycle Analysis to show for the most relevant crops (willow (Salix spp), energy maize (Zea mays), and rapeseed (Brassica napus)), that phytoremediation, used for renewable energy production, could abate CO 2 . Converting this in economic numbers through the Marginal Abatement Cost of CO 2 (€ 20 ton −1 ) we can integrate this in the economic analysis to compare phytoremediation crops among each other, and phytoremediation with conventional technologies. The external benefit of CO 2 abatement when using phytoremediation crops for land management ranges between € 55 and € 501 per hectare. The purpose of these calculations is not to calculate a subsidy for phytoremediation. There is no reason why one would prefer phytoremediation crops for renewable energy production over “normal” biomass. Moreover, subsidies for renewable energy already exist. Therefore, we should not integrate these numbers in the economic analysis again. However, these numbers could contribute to making explicit the competitive advantage of phytoremediation compared to conventional remediation technologies, but also add to a more sustainably funded decision on which crop should be grown on contaminated land. -- Highlights: ► We add CO 2 abatement for each remediation crop to the private economic analysis. ► This values the advantage of phytoremediation compared to conventional remediation. ► This leads to a crop choice that considers an

  8. In vitro conservation and sustained production of breadfruit ( Artocarpus altilis, Moraceae): modern technologies for a traditional tropical crop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murch, Susan J.; Ragone, Diane; Shi, Wendy Lei; Alan, Ali R.; Saxena, Praveen K.

    2008-02-01

    Breadfruit ( Artocarpus altilis, Moraceae) is a traditionally cultivated, high-energy, high-yield crop, but widespread use of the plant for food is limited by poor quality and poor storage properties of the fruit. A unique field genebank of breadfruit species and cultivars exists at the National Tropical Botanical Garden in the Hawaiian Islands and is an important global resource for conservation and sustainable use of breadfruit. However, this plant collection could be damaged by a random natural disaster such as a hurricane. We have developed a highly efficient in vitro plant propagation system to maintain, conserve, mass propagate, and distribute elite varieties of this important tree species. Mature axillary shoot buds were collected from three different cultivars of breadfruit and proliferated using a cytokinin-supplemented medium. The multiple shoots were maintained as stock cultures and repeatedly used to develop whole plants after root differentiation on a basal or an auxin-containing medium. The plantlets were successfully grown under greenhouse conditions and were reused to initiate additional shoot cultures for sustained production of plants. Flow cytometry was used to determine the nuclear deoxyribonucleic acid content and the ploidy status of the in vitro grown population. The efficacy of the micropropagation protocols developed in this study represents a significant advancement in the conservation and sustained mass propagation of breadfruit germplasm in a controlled environment free from contamination.

  9. Adaptation to climate change in desertified lands of the marginal regions in Egypt through sustainable crop and livestock diversification systems

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hassan M. El Shaer

    2015-01-01

    Environmental degradation resulting from current climate changes, including prolonged drought, land degradation, desertification, and loss of biodiversity, is presenting enormous challenges to achieve food security and eradication of poverty in the marginal regions (about 90%of the total area) of Egypt. In addition to the natural constraints of high temperature, wind erosion, sand dune movement, and recurrent drought, such regions are subjected to improper land and water management. Moreover, there is a lack of knowledge, technologies, and experiences to match with the current severe climatic changes. There is a great need for establishing sustainable integrated ecosystem rehabilitation and management programs to overcome such problems in the marginal areas, particularly in the Sinai Peninsula due to its strategic and social importance. A series of research and development programs have been conducted in 2006 to im-prove the livelihoods of smallholders through enhancing the efficient management and utilization of local resources that can cope with the drastic changes of climate in the Sinai Peninsula. An integrated livestock/salt-tolerant fodder crop system was introduced, in 2010 by the project teamwork of Desert Research center, Egypt, to many smallholders in the South Sinai region, where studies were conducted at both the general research and individual farmer levels. The most important results were:(1) adoption of the most salt-tolerant genotypes of three forage crops:pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum L.), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), and Sudan grass (Sorghum sudanense (Piper) Stapf.); two cereal crops (triticale and barley);and two oil crops:safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) and Brassica (Mustard). Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L. and Medicago arborium), cowpeas (Vigna sinensis L.), fodder beets (Beta vulgaris L.), clumping desert bunchgrass (Panicum turgedum), ryegrass (Lolium perenne) Ray grass, forage shrubs (Kochia indica, Atriplex num-mularia, Sesbania sesban L

  10. Integrated Soil, Water and Nitrogen Management For Sustainable Rice–Wheat Cropping System in Pakistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hussain, F.; Yasin, M.; Gurmani, A.R.; Zia, M.S.

    2016-01-01

    The area under the rice–wheat (R–W) cropping system in Pakistan is about 2.2 Mha and despite its great importance as staple foods for the local population, the productivity of the system is poor due to several constraints. Rice (Oryza sativa L.) and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) are normally grown in sequence on the same land in the same year. Field experiments with rice and wheat were conducted during four years on a Typic Halorthid soil at Lahore, in the alluvial plain of Punjab, Pakistan to assess nitrogen use efficiency and water productivity under both traditional and emerging crop establishment methods (raised beds, unpuddled soil, direct seeding). The climate in this region is semiarid. The experimental design was a randomized complete block design with five crop establishment methods as treatments and four replications. One micro-plot was laid down in each main plot to apply 15 N labelled urea (5 atom % 15 N). Both wheat and rice received a uniform application of 120 kg N ha -1 as urea, 30 kg P ha -1 as triple super phosphate, 50 kg K ha -1 as potassium sulphate and 5 kg Zn ha -1 as zinc sulphate. Pooled data of wheat grown in 2002–03, 2004–05 and 2005–06 showed that the highest wheat grain yield (3.89 t ha -1 ) was produced with conventional flatbed sowing (well pulverised soil) followed by raised bed sowing (3.79–3.82 t ha -1 ), whereas the lowest yield (3.45 t ha -1 ) was obtained in flat bed sowing with zero till rice in sequence. The highest rice paddy yield (4.15 t ha -1 ) was achieved with conventional flooded transplanted rice at 20 × 20 cm spacing and the lowest paddy yield (3.57 t ha -1 ) was recorded with direct seeding of rice in zero tilled soil. Total N uptake in wheat was maximum (117 kg ha -1 ) with conventional flatbed sowing and it was lowest with zero tilled soil. The highest total N uptake by rice (106 kg ha -1 ) was recorded with conventional flooded transplanted rice at 20 × 20 cm spacing and the lowest (89 kg ha -1 ) with

  11. Is current irrigation sustainable in the United States? An integrated assessment of climate change impact on water resources and irrigated crop yields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanc, Elodie; Caron, Justin; Fant, Charles; Monier, Erwan

    2017-08-01

    While climate change impacts on crop yields has been extensively studied, estimating the impact of water shortages on irrigated crop yields is challenging because the water resources management system is complex. To investigate this issue, we integrate a crop yield reduction module and a water resources model into the MIT Integrated Global System Modeling framework, an integrated assessment model linking a global economic model to an Earth system model. We assess the effects of climate and socioeconomic changes on water availability for irrigation in the U.S. as well as subsequent impacts on crop yields by 2050, while accounting for climate change projection uncertainty. We find that climate and socioeconomic changes will increase water shortages and strongly reduce irrigated yields for specific crops (i.e., cotton and forage), or in specific regions (i.e., the Southwest) where irrigation is not sustainable. Crop modeling studies that do not represent changes in irrigation availability can thus be misleading. Yet, since the most water-stressed basins represent a relatively small share of U.S. irrigated areas, the overall reduction in U.S. crop yields is small. The response of crop yields to climate change and water stress also suggests that some level of adaptation will be feasible, like relocating croplands to regions with sustainable irrigation or switching to less irrigation intensive crops. Finally, additional simulations show that greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation can alleviate the effect of water stress on irrigated crop yields, enough to offset the reduced CO2 fertilization effect compared to an unconstrained GHG emission scenario.

  12. Food security as a function of Sustainable Intensification of Crop Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Theodor Friedrich

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The challenge to eradicate hunger and establish food security across all its four pillars (availability, accessibility, health and safety, and continuity is ongoing. The actual situation in global food production leads most of the attention to improving accessibility and safety of food, particularly to vulnerable populations. However, in view of the growth in demand, which includes changes in preferences for example towards food of animal origin, availability and continuity will play larger roles in future. Food production needs to increase over the coming decades at challenging rates, while facing problems of degradation and reduced availability of natural resources for production such as soil and water, and facing increasing challenges from climate change. The actual trends in yield development suggest that a simple gradual improvement of production within the existing concepts will not provide a sustainable or feasible solution, and that more fundamental changes in the agricultural production paradigm are required to face these future challenges. The Sustainable Intensification represents such a change in paradigm in which high production levels are combined with sustainability. The concept of sustainable intensification, the rationale for it and its functional elements, represented by Conservation Agriculture, are presented in this paper.

  13. Do Smallholder, Mixed Crop-Livestock Livelihoods Encourage Sustainable Agricultural Practices? A Meta-Analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rudel, Thomas K.; Kwon, Oh-Jung; Paul, B.K.

    2016-01-01

    As calls for bolstering ecosystem services from croplands have grown more insistent during the past two decades, the search for ways to foster these agriculture-sustaining services has become more urgent. In this context we examine by means of a meta-analysis the argument, proposed by Robert McC.

  14. Soil biota enhance agricultural sustainability by improving crop yield, nutrient uptake and reducing nitrogen leaching losses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bender, S.F.; van der Heijden, M.G.A.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/240923901

    2015-01-01

    Efficient resource use is a key factor for sustainable production and a necessity for meeting future global food demands. However, the factors that control resource use efficiency in agro-ecosystems are only partly understood. We investigated the influence of soil biota on nutrient leaching,

  15. Sustainability aspects of biobased products : comparison of different crops and products from the vegetable oil platform

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meesters, K.P.H.; Corré, W.J.; Conijn, J.G.; Patel, M.K.; Bos, H.L.

    2012-01-01

    This study focusses on the production of vegetable oil based products. A limited number of aspacts of the sustainability of the full chain (from agriculture to product at the factory gate) was evaluated. Three different vegetable oils were taken into account: palm oil, soy oil and rapeseed oil. Also

  16. Transport and homeostasis of potassium and phosphate: limiting factors for sustainable crop production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luan, Mingda; Tang, Ren-Jie; Tang, Yumei; Tian, Wang; Hou, Congong; Zhao, Fugeng; Lan, Wenzhi; Luan, Sheng

    2017-06-01

    Potassium (K) and phosphate (Pi) are both macronutrients essential for plant growth and crop production, but the unrenewable resources of phosphorus rock and potash have become limiting factors for food security. One critical measure to help solve this problem is to improve nutrient use efficiency (NUE) in plants by understanding and engineering genetic networks for ion uptake, translocation, and storage. Plants have evolved multiple systems to adapt to various nutrient conditions for growth and production. Within the NUE networks, transport proteins and their regulators are the primary players for maintaining nutrient homeostasis and could be utilized to engineer high NUE traits in crop plants. A large number of publications have detailed K+ and Pi transport proteins in plants over the past three decades. Meanwhile, the discovery and validation of their regulatory mechanisms are fast-track topics for research. Here, we provide an overview of K+ and Pi transport proteins and their regulatory mechanisms, which participate in the uptake, translocation, storage, and recycling of these nutrients in plants. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. EFFECTIVENESS OF SELECTION OF WHEAT TO MODERN REQUIREMENTS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF AGRICULTURE III. ENERGY PRODUCTIVITY OF CROPS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisaveta Vasileva

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Aim of the study was to conclude on adaptation of modern varieties to the requirements of sustainable agriculture and hence the effectiveness of their methods of selection with respect to these requirements. The comparison between genotypes in two directions - by the selection methods by which they were established and according to the time of their creation. Energy assessment shows that the gross energy yield of grain is higher ( in average 5% over standard for varieties produced by the methods of the Intervarietal hybridization and during the period 1995 to 1999. While absolute maximum values of the energy productivity of grain (at N18 and maximum average total gross energy productivity of crops (4% above standard were detected in genotypes generated by the methods of mutagenesis by irradiation with gamma rays. Absolute maximum value of the energy productivity of crops were reported in cultivar Zdravko (at N18, which was established by the method of plant biotechnology by combining and somaclonal variation.

  18. Evaluating the environmental sustainability of energy crops: A life cycle assessment of Spanish rapeseed and Argentinean soybean cultivation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisca Fernández-Tirado

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Rapeseed oil is expected to be increasingly used in Spain as raw material to produce biodiesel to the detriment of extra-EU imports of biodiesel mainly based on soybean oil from Argentina. Therefore, the environmental impacts produced throughout the life cycle of energy crops used to produce biodiesel which is consumed in Spain could be radically affected. In this context, the environmental impacts of rapeseed cultivation in Spain and soybean cultivation in Argentina, were compared under certain growing conditions using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA. Two methods of calculation for Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA and two functional units (FUs were used to test potential biases. The results showed that the cultivation of soybean in Argentina had, in general, fewer environmental impacts than rapeseed cultivation in Spain when the FU was the area of cultivation, but these findings are inverted when the analysis is conducted according to the energy content of the biodiesel obtained from these crops. Soybean in fact has very low oil content, meaning that larger areas of land are required to obtain the same amount of biodiesel and that consequently it has a higher environmental impact by energy content. Fertilization was, in general, the process that generated the greatest environmental burdens, and is an area in which improvement is necessary in order to increase sustainability, particularly with regard to Spanish rapeseed.

  19. Decreasing Fertilizer use by Optimizing Plant-microbe Interactions for Sustainable Supply of Nitrogen for Bioenergy Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schicklberger, M. F.; Huang, J.; Felix, P.; Pettenato, A.; Chakraborty, R.

    2013-12-01

    Nitrogen (N) is an essential component of DNA and proteins and consequently a key element of life. N often is limited in plants, affecting plant growth and productivity. To alleviate this problem, tremendous amounts of N-fertilizer is used, which comes at a high economic price and heavy energy demand. In addition, N-fertilizer also significantly contributes to rising atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. Therefore, the addition of fertilizer to overcome N limitation is highly undesirable. To explore reduction in fertilizer use our research focuses on optimizing the interaction between plants and diazotrophic bacteria, which could provide adequate amounts of N to the host-plant. Therefore we investigated the diversity of microbes associated with Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) and Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), considered as potential energy crop for bioenergy production. Several bacterial isolates with representatives from Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteriodetes and Bacilli were obtained from the roots, leaves, rhizoplane and rhizosphere of these plants. Majority of these isolates grew best with simple sugars and small organic acids. As shown by PCR amplification of nifH, several of these isolates are potential N2-fixing bacteria. We investigated diazotrophs for their response to elevated temperature and salinity (two common climate change induced stresses found on marginal lands), their N2-fixing ability, and their response to root exudates (which drive microbial colonization of the plant). Together this understanding is necessary for the development of eco-friendly, economically sustainable energy crops by decreasing their dependency on fertilizer.

  20. Evaluating the environmental sustainability of energy crops: A life cycle assessment of Spanish rapeseed and Argentinean soybean cultivation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fernández-Tirado, F.; Parra-López, C.; Romero-Gámez, M.

    2017-01-01

    Rapeseed oil is expected to be increasingly used in Spain as raw material to produce biodiesel to the detriment of extra-EU imports of biodiesel mainly based on soybean oil from Argentina. Therefore, the environmental impacts produced throughout the life cycle of energy crops used to produce biodiesel which is consumed in Spain could be radically affected. In this context, the environmental impacts of rapeseed cultivation in Spain and soybean cultivation in Argentina, were compared under certain growing conditions using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Two methods of calculation for Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) and two functional units (FUs) were used to test potential biases. The results showed that the cultivation of soybean in Argentina had, in general, fewer environmental impacts than rapeseed cultivation in Spain when the FU was the area of cultivation, but these findings are inverted when the analysis is conducted according to the energy content of the biodiesel obtained from these crops. Soybean in fact has very low oil content, meaning that larger areas of land are required to obtain the same amount of biodiesel and that consequently it has a higher environmental impact by energy content. Fertilization was, in general, the process that generated the greatest environmental burdens, and is an area in which improvement is necessary in order to increase sustainability, particularly with regard to Spanish rapeseed.

  1. Evaluating the environmental sustainability of energy crops: A life cycle assessment of Spanish rapeseed and Argentinean soybean cultivation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fernández-Tirado, F.; Parra-López, C.; Romero-Gámez, M.

    2017-09-01

    Rapeseed oil is expected to be increasingly used in Spain as raw material to produce biodiesel to the detriment of extra-EU imports of biodiesel mainly based on soybean oil from Argentina. Therefore, the environmental impacts produced throughout the life cycle of energy crops used to produce biodiesel which is consumed in Spain could be radically affected. In this context, the environmental impacts of rapeseed cultivation in Spain and soybean cultivation in Argentina, were compared under certain growing conditions using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Two methods of calculation for Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) and two functional units (FUs) were used to test potential biases. The results showed that the cultivation of soybean in Argentina had, in general, fewer environmental impacts than rapeseed cultivation in Spain when the FU was the area of cultivation, but these findings are inverted when the analysis is conducted according to the energy content of the biodiesel obtained from these crops. Soybean in fact has very low oil content, meaning that larger areas of land are required to obtain the same amount of biodiesel and that consequently it has a higher environmental impact by energy content. Fertilization was, in general, the process that generated the greatest environmental burdens, and is an area in which improvement is necessary in order to increase sustainability, particularly with regard to Spanish rapeseed.

  2. Restoring crop productivity of eroded lands through , integrated plant nutrient management (IPNM) for sustained production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bhatti, A.U.; Ali, S.

    2005-01-01

    Crop productivity of eroded lands is very poor due to removal of top fertile soil losing organic matter and plant nutrients, with consequent exposure of the sub-soil with poor fertility status. Crop productivity of such lands needs to be restored in order to help farmers feed many mouths because of increased population and high land pressure. Three field experiments were laid out at three sites, Thana, Malakand Agency; Kabal and Matta, Swat during 2003-2004 to study the effect of integrated plant nutrient management on the yield of wheat. The fertilizer treatments consisted of farmer's practice (60-45-0 kg N-P/sub 2/O/sub 5/-K/sub 2/O ha/sup -1/), recommended fertilizer rate (120-90-60 kg N-P/sub 2/O/sub 5/-K/sub 2/O ha/sup -l/ + 5 kg Zn ha/sup -1), and combined application of organic and inorganic sources of plant nutrients (FYM at the rate of 20 t ha/sup -1/ plus 60-90-60 kg N-P/sub 2/O/sub 5/-K/sub 2/O ha/sup -1/ + 5 kg Zn ha/sup -1/). The results obtained from these field trails showed that the combined application of FYM with NPK Zn increased the grain yield significantly over the other two treatments with an increase of 50-80% over the farmer's practice and 11 to 23 % over the recommended dose. As regards straw yields, T/sub 2/ and T/sub 3/ increased the yields significantly over farmer's practice (T) at all the sites; However, T/sub 2/ and T/sub 3/ at Thana and Kabal were at par with each other. As regards effect of various treatments on soil properties, organic matter content was improved at Thana and Kabal sites while at Matta the results were inconsistent. Similarly soil P and Zn contents were increased considerably in T/sub 2/ and T/sub 3/ at Thana and Kabal being at par with each other. It is apparent from these results that the crop productivity of eroded lands at all the three sties was considerably restored and the soil fertility status was improved by integrated plant nutrient management. (author)

  3. Optimal Cropping Pattern Based on Multiple Economic, Regional, and Agricultural Sustainability Criteria in Sari, Iran: Application of a Consolidated Model of AHP and Linear Programming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Fallahi

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Determining a suitable cropping pattern is an important task for planners and requires an exact and realistic decision-making process based on several goals and criteria corresponding to secure the interest of agricultural beneficiaries in long-term. Accordingly, this study reviews the current pattern operated by farmers in Sari, Iran, and intends to provide a cropping pattern that considers the multifold regional and agricultural sustainability criteria along with economic considerations. Materials and Methods: In order to achieve the study goals, a consolidated model of AHP and Linear Programming was applied. For this purpose, we constructed a three-level AHP, including a goal (determining the weight of each crop, seven criteria, and seven alternatives. Profitability, compatibility with regional and geographical conditions, water consumption, environmental effects of cropping, job creation opportunities, skill and proficiency required for producing a crop, and risk taken to cultivate a crop were considered as the criteria in the model. Seven alternative crops including rice, wheat, rapeseed, barley, soybean, clover, and vegetables were considered too. The next step is determining the weight of each criterion with regard to the goal and the weight of each alternative with regard to each criteria. By multiplying these weights, final weights for various crops were obtained from the model. Derived weights for each crop were then applied as objective function coefficients in the Linear Programming model and the model was solved subject to the constraints. Results and Discussion: Optimal cropping pattern determined based on the consolidated model of AHP and Linear Programming and the results compared to a scenario that only looks forward to maximizing the economic interests. Due to the low profitability of rapeseed and barley, these crops eliminated from the pattern in the profit-maximizing scenario. According to the results, the

  4. Biological phosphorus cycling in dryland regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Bunemann, Else; Oberson, Astrid; Frossard, Emmanuel

    2011-01-01

    The relatively few studies done on phosphorus (P) cycling in arid and semiarid lands (drylands) show many factors that distinguish P cycling in drylands from that in more mesic regions. In drylands, most biologically relevant P inputs and losses are from the deposition and loss of dust. Horizontal and vertical redistribution of P is an important process. P is concentrated at the soil surface and thus vulnerable to loss via erosion. High pH and CaCO3 limit P bioavailability, and low rainfall limits microbe and plant ability to free abiotically bound P via exudates, thus making it available for uptake. Many invasive plants are able to access recalcitrant P more effectively than are native plants. As P availability depends on soil moisture and temperature, climate change is expected to have large impacts on P cycling

  5. Sustainable and resource efficient intensivation of crop production - Perspectives of agro-ecosystem research Policy paper of the DFG Senate Commission on Agroecosystem Research

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wolters, V.; Isselstein, J.; Stützel, H.; Ordon, F.; Haaren, von C.; Schlecht, E.; Wesseler, J.H.H.; Birner, R.; Lützow, von M.; Brüggemann, N.; Diekkrüger, B.; Fangmeier, A.; Flessa, H.; Kage, H.; Kaupenhohann, M.; Kögel-Knabner, I.; Mosandl, R.; Seppelt, R.

    2014-01-01

    With its policy paper the Senate Commission on Agro-ecosystemResearch of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft(DFG) summarizes potential benefits of basic researchfor the sustainable intensification of crop production. Agro-ecosystems critically contribute to fulfilling the need forincreasing food and

  6. Camelina as a sustainable oilseed crop: contributions of plant breeding and genetic engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vollmann, Johann; Eynck, Christina

    2015-04-01

    Camelina is an underutilized Brassicaceae oilseed plant with a considerable agronomic potential for biofuel and vegetable oil production in temperate regions. In contrast to most Brassicaceae, camelina is resistant to alternaria black spot and other diseases and pests. Sequencing of the camelina genome revealed an undifferentiated allohexaploid genome with a comparatively large number of genes and low percentage of repetitive DNA. As there is a close relationship between camelina and the genetic model plant Arabidopsis, this review aims at exploring the potential of translating basic Arabidopsis results into a camelina oilseed crop for food and non-food applications. Recently, Arabidopsis genes for drought resistance or increased photosynthesis and overall productivity have successfully been expressed in camelina. In addition, gene constructs affecting lipid metabolism pathways have been engineered into camelina for synthesizing either long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, hydroxy fatty acids or high-oleic oils in particular camelina strains, which is of great interest in human food, industrial or biofuel applications, respectively. These results confirm the potential of camelina to serve as a biotechnology platform in biorefinery applications thus justifying further investment in breeding and genetic research for combining agronomic potential, unique oil quality features and biosafety into an agricultural production system. Copyright © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  7. Cropping systems sustainability: Inoculation and fertilisation effect on sulla performances in a new cultivation area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonardo Sulas

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available To assess the feasibility of the sulla [Sulla coronaria (L. Medik] forage legume in a new agroecosystem, its host-specific symbiotic interaction needs to be taken into account. This study aimed to investigate the effects of inoculation and nitrogen (N fertiliser on productive performances and N-fixation ability of sulla established in a new habitat within a Mediterranean agropastoral area. Sulla plants, previously inoculated (with peat-based, liquid inoculants, and using soil from an existing sulla field and unfertilised or N fertilised were evaluated in Sardinia (Italy. During 2013-2014, sulla plants were sampled at four growing stages, from vegetative stage to seed set, and shoot length, shoot dry matter (DM yield and N content were monitored. Moreover, atom% 15N isotopic excess, proportion of N derived from the atmosphere and fixed N of sulla shoots were quantified. Inoculation and N fertilisation both affected growth, DM and N yields, and N-fixation of sulla. Compared to the best inoculated treatment, the DM yield and fixed N of the control only represented 10 to 22% and 2 to 11%, respectively. Nitrogen fertilisation caused temporary decreases in the N fixing ability of sulla. Results pointed out that rhizobial inoculation is essential for the exploitation of sulla outside its traditional cropping area.

  8. Influence of Conservation Tillage and Soil Water Content on Crop Yield in Dryland Compacted Alfisol of Central Chile Influencia de la Labranza de Conservación y el Contenido de Agua sobre el Rendimiento del Cultivo en un Alfisol compactado del Secano Central de Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ingrid Martinez G

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Chilean dryland areas of the Mediterranean climate region are characterized by highly degraded and compacted soils, which require the use of conservation tillage systems to mitigate water erosion as well as to improve soil water storage. An oat (Avena sativa L. cv. Supernova-INIA - wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cv. Pandora-INIA crop rotation was established under the following conservation systems: no tillage (Nt, Nt + contour plowing (Nt+Cp, Nt + barrier hedge (Nt+Bh, and Nt + subsoiling (Nt+Sb, compared to conventional tillage (Ct to evaluate their influence on soil water content (SWC in the profile (10 to 110 cm depth, the soil compaction and their interaction with the crop yield. Experimental plots were established in 2007 and lasted 3 yr till 2009 in a compacted Alfisol. At the end of the growing seasons, SWC was reduced by 44 to 51% in conservation tillage systems and 60% in Ct. Soil water content had a significant (p En Chile, las zonas de clima mediterráneo se caracterizan por suelos altamente degradados y compactados por erosión, lo que requiere el uso de sistemas de labranza conservacionista para mitigar la erosión hídrica, así como incrementar el contenido de agua en el suelo. Se evaluó una rotación avena (Avena sativa L. cv. Supernova-INIA - trigo (Triticum aestivum L. cv. Pandora-INIA establecida bajo los siguientes sistemas conservacionistas: cero labranza (Nt, Nt + curvas de nivel (Nt+Cp, Nt + franjas vivas (Nt+Bh y Nt + subsolado (Nt+Sb, las que fueron comparadas al sistema de labranza convencional (Ct, para evaluar su influencia en el contenido de agua en el suelo (SWC en el perfil (10 a 110 cm profundidad, la compactación del suelo y su interacción con el rendimiento del cultivo. Las parcelas experimentales fueron establecidas 3 años seguidos (2007 al 2009 en un Alfisol compactado. Al final de la temporada, el SWC disminuyó 44 a 51% en los sistemas conservacionistas y 60% en el sistema convencional. El sistema de

  9. Report on the consultants meeting on identification of crop species/cultivars for drought and salinity tolerance for sustained crop yields by using nuclear techniques, in particular the carbon isotope discrimination

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2001-01-01

    A Consultants Meeting on Identification of Crop Species/Cultivars for Drought and Salinity Tolerance for Sustained Crop Yields by Using Nuclear Techniques, in Particular the Carbon Isotope Discrimination. was held in Vienna at the IAEA Headquarters from 12-16 November 2001. This meeting was conducted in conjunction with a Group Meeting on Novel Approaches for Improving Crop Tolerance to Salinity and Drought. Five consultants from Australia, Mexico, Pakistan, UK and the USA and one representative from FAO attended the Consultant Meeting and nine participants from Australia, Canada, China, Germany, India, Israel, Pakistan, South Africa and the USA attended the Group Meeting. First two days of the meeting consisted of five technical sessions during which the participants presented papers on various approaches for improving crop tolerance to salinity and drought and the role of nuclear techniques in identification of plants tolerant to the above abiotic stresses. After the presentations, two working groups were formed: one consisting of the participants of the Consultants Meeting and the other the participants of the Group Meeting. The consultants proposed various strategies for using the carbon isotope discrimination technique as a selection tool for identifying higher yielding crop genotypes especially in wheat and rice cropping systems under drought and saline conditions. A proposal was formulated to address the above issues in a framework of a CRP. The participants of the Group Meeting reviewed conventional and molecular approaches for improving crop tolerance to salinity and drought and research priorities were identified for future work on crop productivity improvement under the above stress factors. Recommendations of both working groups were presented at the final session of the meeting. This report provides the details of the proposal formulated by the consultants. Refs

  10. Harnessing Genetic Diversity of Wild Gene Pools to Enhance Wheat Crop Production and Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carla Ceoloni

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Wild species are extremely rich resources of useful genes not available in the cultivated gene pool. For species providing staple food to mankind, such as the cultivated Triticum species, including hexaploid bread wheat (Triticum aestivum, 6x and tetraploid durum wheat (T. durum, 4x, widening the genetic base is a priority and primary target to cope with the many challenges that the crop has to face. These include recent climate changes, as well as actual and projected demographic growth, contrasting with reduction of arable land and water reserves. All of these environmental and societal modifications pose major constraints to the required production increase in the wheat crop. A sustainable approach to address this task implies resorting to non-conventional breeding strategies, such as “chromosome engineering”. This is based on cytogenetic methodologies, which ultimately allow for the incorporation into wheat chromosomes of targeted, and ideally small, chromosomal segments from the genome of wild relatives, containing the gene(s of interest. Chromosome engineering has been successfully applied to introduce into wheat genes/QTL for resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, quality attributes, and even yield-related traits. In recent years, a substantial upsurge in effective alien gene exploitation for wheat improvement has come from modern technologies, including use of molecular markers, molecular cytogenetic techniques, and sequencing, which have greatly expanded our knowledge and ability to finely manipulate wheat and alien genomes. Examples will be provided of various types of stable introgressions, including pyramiding of different alien genes/QTL, into the background of bread and durum wheat genotypes, representing valuable materials for both species to respond to the needed novelty in current and future breeding programs. Challenging contexts, such as that inherent to the 4x nature of durum wheat when compared to 6x bread wheat, or

  11. Remote sensing of vegetation dynamics in drylands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tian, Feng; Brandt, Martin Stefan; Liu, Yi Y.

    2016-01-01

    Monitoring long-term biomass dynamics in drylands is of great importance for many environmental applications including land degradation and global carbon cycle modeling. Biomass has extensively been estimated based on the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) as a measure of the vegetatio...

  12. Improving evapotranspiration estimates in Mediterranean drylands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Morillas, Laura; Leuning, Ray; Villagarcia, Luis

    2013-01-01

    An adaptation of a simple model for evapotranspiration (E) estimations in drylands based on remotely sensed leaf area index and the Penman-Monteith equation (PML model) (Leuning et al., 2008) is presented. Three methods for improving the consideration of soil evaporation influence in total evapo-...

  13. Sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Chein-Chi; DiGiovanni, Kimberly; Mei, Ying; Wei, Li

    2016-10-01

    This review on Sustainability covers selected 2015 publications on the focus of Sustainability. It is divided into the following sections : • Sustainable water and wastewater utilities • Sustainable water resources management • Stormwater and green infrastructure • Sustainability in wastewater treatment • Life cycle assessment (LCA) applications • Sustainability and energy in wastewater industry, • Sustainability and asset management.

  14. Modeling ecohydrological dynamics of smallholder strategies for food production in dryland agricultural systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gower, Drew B.; Dell'Angelo, Jampel; McCord, Paul F.; Caylor, Kelly K.; Evans, Tom P.

    2016-11-01

    In dryland environments, characterized by low and frequently variable rainfall, smallholder farmers must take crop water sensitivity into account along with other characteristics like seed availability and market price when deciding what to plant. In this paper we use the results of surveys conducted among smallholders located near Mount Kenya to identify clusters of farmers devoting different fractions of their land to subsistence and market crops. Additionally, we explore the tradeoffs between water-insensitive but low-value subsistence crops and a water-sensitive but high-value market crop using a numerical model that simulates soil moisture dynamics and crop production over multiple growing seasons. The cluster analysis shows that most farmers prefer to plant either only subsistence crops or only market crops, with a minority choosing to plant substantial fractions of both. The model output suggests that the value a farmer places on a successful growing season, a measure of risk aversion, plays a large role in whether the farmer chooses a subsistence or market crop strategy. Furthermore, access to irrigation, makes market crops more appealing, even to very risk-averse farmers. We then conclude that the observed clustering may result from different levels of risk aversion and access to irrigation.

  15. Advanced Camera Image Cropping Approach for CNN-Based End-to-End Controls on Sustainable Computing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yunsick Sung

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Recent research on deep learning has been applied to a diversity of fields. In particular, numerous studies have been conducted on self-driving vehicles using end-to-end approaches based on images captured by a single camera. End-to-end controls learn the output vectors of output devices directly from the input vectors of available input devices. In other words, an end-to-end approach learns not by analyzing the meaning of input vectors, but by extracting optimal output vectors based on input vectors. Generally, when end-to-end control is applied to self-driving vehicles, the steering wheel and pedals are controlled autonomously by learning from the images captured by a camera. However, high-resolution images captured from a car cannot be directly used as inputs to Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs owing to memory limitations; the image size needs to be efficiently reduced. Therefore, it is necessary to extract features from captured images automatically and to generate input images by merging the parts of the images that contain the extracted features. This paper proposes a learning method for end-to-end control that generates input images for CNNs by extracting road parts from input images, identifying the edges of the extracted road parts, and merging the parts of the images that contain the detected edges. In addition, a CNN model for end-to-end control is introduced. Experiments involving the Open Racing Car Simulator (TORCS, a sustainable computing environment for cars, confirmed the effectiveness of the proposed method for self-driving by comparing the accumulated difference in the angle of the steering wheel in the images generated by it with those of resized images containing the entire captured area and cropped images containing only a part of the captured area. The results showed that the proposed method reduced the accumulated difference by 0.839% and 0.850% compared to those yielded by the resized images and cropped images

  16. Application of municipal biosolids to dry-land wheat fields - A monitoring program near Deer Trail, Colorado (USA). A presentation for an international conference: "The Future of Agriculture: Science, Stewardship, and Sustainability", August 7-9, 2006, Sacramento, CA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crock, James G.; Smith, David B.; Yager, Tracy J.B.

    2006-01-01

    Since late 1993, Metro Wastewater Reclamation District of Denver (Metro District), a large wastewater treatment plant in Denver, Colorado, has applied Grade I, Class B biosolids to about 52,000 acres of non-irrigated farmland and rangeland near Deer Trail, Colorado. In cooperation with the Metro District in 1993, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began monitoring ground water at part of this site. In 1999, the USGS began a more comprehensive study of the entire site to address stakeholder concerns about the chemical effects of biosolids applications. This more comprehensive monitoring program has recently been extended through 2010. Monitoring components of the more comprehensive study included biosolids collected at the wastewater treatment plant, soil, crops, dust, alluvial and bedrock ground water, and stream bed sediment. Streams at the site are dry most of the year, so samples of stream bed sediment deposited after rain were used to indicate surface-water effects. This presentation will only address biosolids, soil, and crops. More information about these and the other monitoring components are presented in the literature (e.g., Yager and others, 2004a, b, c, d) and at the USGS Web site for the Deer Trail area studies at http://co.water.usgs.gov/projects/CO406/CO406.html. Priority parameters identified by the stakeholders for all monitoring components, included the total concentrations of nine trace elements (arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, molybdenum, nickel, selenium, and zinc), plutonium isotopes, and gross alpha and beta activity, regulated by Colorado for biosolids to be used as an agricultural soil amendment. Nitrogen and chromium also were priority parameters for ground water and sediment components. In general, the objective of each component of the study was to determine whether concentrations of priority parameters (1) were higher than regulatory limits, (2) were increasing with time, or (3) were significantly higher in biosolids

  17. Modelling soil transport by wind in drylands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hassan, M.H.A.

    1994-01-01

    Understanding the movement of windblown soil particles and the resulting formation of complex surface features are among the most intriguing problems in dryland research. This understanding can only be achieved trough physical and mathematical modelling and must also involve observational data and laboratory experiments. Some current mathematical models that have contributed to the basic understanding of the transportation and deposition of soil particles by wind are presented and solved in these notes. (author). 26 refs, 5 figs

  18. Primary Succession on a Hawaiian Dryland Chronosequence

    OpenAIRE

    Kinney, Kealohanuiopuna M.; Asner, Gregory P.; Cordell, Susan; Chadwick, Oliver A.; Heckman, Katherine; Hotchkiss, Sara; Jeraj, Marjeta; Kennedy-Bowdoin, Ty; Knapp, David E.; Questad, Erin J.; Thaxton, Jarrod M.; Trusdell, Frank; Kellner, James R.

    2015-01-01

    We used measurements from airborne imaging spectroscopy and LiDAR to quantify the biophysical structure and composition of vegetation on a dryland substrate age gradient in Hawaii. Both vertical stature and species composition changed during primary succession, and reveal a progressive increase in vertical stature on younger substrates followed by a collapse on Pleistocene-aged flows. Tall-stature Metrosideros polymorpha woodlands dominated on the youngest substrates (hundreds of years), and ...

  19. On-farm research in Western Siberia: Potential of adapted management practices for sustainable intensification of crop production systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kühling, Insa; Trautz, Dieter

    2015-04-01

    Western Siberia is of global significance in terms of agricultural production, carbon sequestration and biodiversity preservation. Abandonment of arable land and changes in the use of permanent grasslands were triggered by the dissolution of the Soviet Union in and the following collapse of the state farm system. The peatlands, forests and steppe soils of Western Siberia are one of the most important carbon sinks worldwide. These carbon stocks are, if deteriorated, an important source of radiative forcing even in comparison to anthropogenic emissions. This situation is aggravated by recent and future developments in agricultural land use in the southern part of Western Siberia, in particular in Tyumen province. The increase of drought risk caused by climate change will led to more challenges in these water-limited agricultural production systems. The German-Russian interdisciplinary research project "SASCHA" aims to provide sustainable land management practices to cope with these far-reaching changes for Tyumen province. In particular, on farm scale agricultural strategies are being developed for increased efficiencies in crop production systems. Therefore a 3-factorial field trial with different tillage and seeding operations was installed with spring wheat on 10 ha under practical conditions in 2013. Within all combinations of tillage (no-till/conventional), seed rate (usual/reduced) and seed depth (usual/shallower) various soil parameters as well as plant development and yield components were intensively monitored during the growing seasons. Results after 2-years show significant impacts of the tillage operation on soil moisture and soil temperature. Also a higher trend in nitrogen mineralization could be observed without tillage. Plant development in terms of phenological growth stages took place simultaneously in all variants. Under no-till regime we measured slightly higher grain yields and significant advantages in protein yields. In conjunction with

  20. Sustainable Agriculture - Enhancing environmental benefits, food nutritional quality and building crop resilience to abiotic and biotic stresses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feeding nutrition-dense food to future world populations presents agriculture with enormous challenges as estimates indicate that crop production must as much as double. Crop production cannot be increased to meet this challenge simply by increasing land acreage or using past agricultural intensific...

  1. Linyphiid spider populations in sustainable wheat‐clover bi‐cropping compared to conventional wheat‐growing practice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gravesen, Eigil Vestergaard

    2008-01-01

    Linyphiid web densities in wheat-clover bi-crop systems where winter wheat was grown in an under-storey of white clover were compared with web densities estimated in conventional wheat-growing systems. The web densities in the wheat-clover bi-crop systems were on average between 200 and 250 webs ...

  2. Categorisation of typical vulnerability patterns in global drylands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sietz, D.; Lûdeke, M.K.B.; Walther, C.

    2011-01-01

    Drylands display specific vulnerability-creating mechanisms which threaten ecosystems and human well-being. The upscaling of successful interventions to reduce vulnerability arises as an important, but challenging aim, since drylands are not homogenous. To support this aim, we present the first

  3. Woody plants in drylands: plastic responses to environmental stress

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Xu, L.

    2012-01-01

    Plants in drylands are exposed to a suite of stress factors. The most obvious stress factor is drought stress induced by a strongly negative balance between precipitation and potential evapotranspiration. Drylands are increasingly being used for grazing livestock and with increasing human

  4. Dryland Degradation by wind erosion and its control

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sterk, G.; Riksen, M.; Goossens, D.

    2001-01-01

    Global population growth, is expected to impose an increasing pressure on agricultural production in the world's drylands, which cover approximately 41␘f the continental area. The land resources in drylands are severely threatened by soil degradation, with wind erosion being, one of the major

  5. Biotech crops: imperative for achieving the millenium development goals and sustainability of agriculture in the climate change era.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husaini, Amjad M; Tuteja, Narendra

    2013-01-01

    Biotechnological intervention in the development of crops has opened new vistas in agriculture. Central to the accomplishment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), biotech-agriculture is essential in meeting these targets. Biotech crops have already made modest contributions toward ensuring food and nutrition security by reducing losses and increasing productivity, with less pesticide input. These crops could help address some of the major challenges in agriculture-based economies created by climate change. Projections of global climate change expect the concentration of greenhouse gases to increase, aridization of the environment to increase, temperature fluctuations to occur sharply and frequently, and spatial and temporal distribution of rainfall to be disturbed-all of which will increase abiotic stress-related challenges to crops. Countering these challenges and to meet the food requirement of the ever-increasing world population (expected to reach 9 billion by 2030) we need to (1) develop and use biotech crops for mitigating adverse climatic changes; (2) develop biotech crops resilient to adverse environmental conditions; and (3) address the issues/non-issues raised by NGO's and educate the masses about the benefits of biotech crops.

  6. Elevated CO2 as a driver of global dryland greening

    KAUST Repository

    Lu, Xuefei; Wang, Lixin; McCabe, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    While recent findings based on satellite records indicate a positive trend in vegetation greenness over global drylands, the reasons remain elusive. We hypothesize that enhanced levels of atmospheric CO2 play an important role in the observed greening through the CO2 effect on plant water savings and consequent available soil water increases. Meta-analytic techniques were used to compare soil water content under ambient and elevated CO2 treatments across a range of climate regimes, vegetation types, soil textures and land management practices. Based on 1705 field measurements from 21 distinct sites, a consistent and statistically significant increase in the availability of soil water (11%) was observed under elevated CO2 treatments in both drylands and non-drylands, with a statistically stronger response over drylands (17% vs. 9%). Given the inherent water limitation in drylands, it is suggested that the additional soil water availability is a likely driver of observed increases in vegetation greenness.

  7. Elevated CO2 as a driver of global dryland greening

    KAUST Repository

    Lu, Xuefei

    2016-02-12

    While recent findings based on satellite records indicate a positive trend in vegetation greenness over global drylands, the reasons remain elusive. We hypothesize that enhanced levels of atmospheric CO2 play an important role in the observed greening through the CO2 effect on plant water savings and consequent available soil water increases. Meta-analytic techniques were used to compare soil water content under ambient and elevated CO2 treatments across a range of climate regimes, vegetation types, soil textures and land management practices. Based on 1705 field measurements from 21 distinct sites, a consistent and statistically significant increase in the availability of soil water (11%) was observed under elevated CO2 treatments in both drylands and non-drylands, with a statistically stronger response over drylands (17% vs. 9%). Given the inherent water limitation in drylands, it is suggested that the additional soil water availability is a likely driver of observed increases in vegetation greenness.

  8. Modeling Soil Sodicity Problems under Dryland and Irrigated Conditions: Case Studies in Argentina and Colombia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pla-Sentís, Ildefonso

    2014-05-01

    Salt-affected soils, both saline and sodic, my develop both under dryland and irrigated conditions, affecting negatively the physical and chemical soil properties, the crop production and the animal and human health.Among the development processes of salt-affected soils, the processes of sodification have been generally received less attention and is less understood than the development of saline soils. Although in both of them, hydrological processes are involved in their development, in the case of sodic soils we have to consider some additional chemical and physicochemical reactions, making more difficult their modeling and prediction. In this contribution we present two case studies: one related to the development of sodic soils in the lowlands of the Argentina Pampas, under dryland conditions and sub-humid temperate climate, with pastures for cattle production; the other deals with the development of sodic soils in the Colombia Cauca Valley, under irrigated conditions and tropical sub-humid climate, in lands used for sugarcane cropping dedicated to sugar and ethanol production. In both cases the development of sodicity in the surface soil is mainly related to the effects of the composition and level of groundwater, affected in the case of Argentina Pampas by the off-site changes in dryland use and management in the upper zones and by the drainage conditions in the lowlands, and in the case of the Cauca Valley, by the on-site irrigation and drainage management in lands with sugarcane. There is shown how the model SALSODIMAR, developed by the main author, based on the balance of water and soluble componentes of both the irrigation water and groundwater under different water and land management conditions, may be adapted for the diagnosis and prediction of both problems, and for the selection of alternatives for their management and amelioration.

  9. Integrated soil, water and nutrient management for sustainable rice-wheat cropping systems in Asia. Report of a FAO/IAEA consultants' meeting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2000-01-01

    A Consultants' Meeting on 'Integrated soil, water and nutrient management for sustainable rice-wheat cropping systems in Asia' was held at FAO, Rome, August 22-25, 2000. Five consultants, together with one staff from IAEA headquarters, one staff from IAEA Laboratories, Seibersdorf, five staff from FAO headquarters, two staff from FAO regional offices, one observer from ACIAR, one observer from Cornell University with expertise in crop, nutrient, soil and water management, attended the meeting. The consultants presented reviews of the situation regarding studies of water and nutrient dynamics in rice-wheat systems in South Asia. These were complemented by a paper on the development of 15 N techniques to study the contribution of N from legumes. The consultants also provided recommendations on the formulation and implementation of an FAO/IAEA Co-ordinated Research Project (CRP). Refs, figs, tabs

  10. Assessing Dryland Ecosystem Services in Xinjiang, Northwest China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siew, T. F.; Brauman, K. A.; Zuo, L.; Doll, P. M.

    2014-12-01

    Dryland ecosystems, including grassland, forest, and irrigated cropland, cover about 41% of earth's land area and are inhabited by over two billion people. In drylands, particularly arid and semiarid areas, the production of ecosystem services is primarily constrained by freshwater availability. Often, water allocated to production by one ecosystem or of one ecosystem service negatively impacts other ecosystems or ecosystem services (ESS). The challenge is to determine how much water should be allocated to which ecosystems (natural and manmade) such that multiple ESS are maximized, thus improving overall well-being. This strategic management decision must be supported by knowledge about spatial and temporal availability of water and its relationship to production (location and scale) of ESS that people receive. We assess the spatial and temporal relationships between water availability and ESS production in Xinjiang, Northwest China. We address four questions: (1) What services are produced by which ecosystems with water available? (2) Where are these services produced? (3) Who uses the services produced? (4) How the production of services changes with variability of water available? Using existing global, national, and regional spatial and statistical data, we assess food, fiber, livestock, and wood production as well as unique forest landscapes (as a proxy for aesthetic appreciation and habitats for unique animals and plants) and protection from dust storms. Irrigation is necessary for crop production in Xinjiang. The production of about 4.2 million tons of wheat and 500,000 tons of cotton requires more than 2 km3 of water each year. This is an important source of food and income for local residents, but the diverted water has negative and potentially costly impacts on downstream forests that potentially provide aesthetic services and protection from dust. Our analyses also show that cropland had increased by about 1.6 million ha from 1987 to 2010, while

  11. Sediment and PM10 flux from no-tillage cropping systems in the Pacific Northwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wind erosion is a concern in the Inland Pacific Northwest (PNW) United States where the emission of fine particulates from winter wheat – summer fallow (WW/SF) dryland cropping systems during high winds degrade air quality. Although no-tillage cropping systems are not yet economically viable, these ...

  12. Restoration of soil fertility and improvement of cropping systems for sustainable development in the humid savannahs of Cote d'Ivoire

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bachmann, T.

    1999-01-01

    The present FAO-project addresses the soil fertility problems by combining organic with inorganic nutrient sources and actively involving farmers and other beneficiaries in an integrated, long-term development process. A major objective of the project is the participatory on-farm testing and validation of available technological innovations for soil fertility improvement. The results should fulfill two main requirements: (i) provide the farmer with a short-term production increase and (ii) improve/maintain soil fertility in the medium and long-term. The strategic framework of the project is based on the following three main elements: the need to take into account all aspects of soil fertility restoration including areas concerned, cost of fertility restoration, and economic profitability and sustainability; - the need to test all fertility improving measures at farm level in representative agro-ecozones of the humid and sub-humid savannas before their extension at large; the need to identify major macro-economic constraints (e.g. marketing) which impede sustainable agricultural development in the savannah region. The primary goal of the project is to replace traditional shifting cultivation in the humid savannas of the country by economically, ecologically and socially more sustainable production systems. In order to achieve this development objective the project focuses on the following main issues: restoration of soil fertility through improved land and crop management and more efficient use of mineral and organic fertilizers; crop diversification through more efficient use of water resources (irrigation); introduction of new cropping systems which have been successfully tested in countries with similar agro-ecological conditions; adapting traditional land tenure to the market economy; involving the private sector in all aspects of regional development assisted by Government through the creation of a favorable environment. Phase 1: constraint analysis and

  13. VIC–CropSyst-v2: A regional-scale modeling platform to simulate the nexus of climate, hydrology, cropping systems, and human decisions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Malek

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Food supply is affected by a complex nexus of land, atmosphere, and human processes, including short- and long-term stressors (e.g., drought and climate change, respectively. A simulation platform that captures these complex elements can be used to inform policy and best management practices to promote sustainable agriculture. We have developed a tightly coupled framework using the macroscale variable infiltration capacity (VIC hydrologic model and the CropSyst agricultural model. A mechanistic irrigation module was also developed for inclusion in this framework. Because VIC–CropSyst combines two widely used and mechanistic models (for crop phenology, growth, management, and macroscale hydrology, it can provide realistic and hydrologically consistent simulations of water availability, crop water requirements for irrigation, and agricultural productivity for both irrigated and dryland systems. This allows VIC–CropSyst to provide managers and decision makers with reliable information on regional water stresses and their impacts on food production. Additionally, VIC–CropSyst is being used in conjunction with socioeconomic models, river system models, and atmospheric models to simulate feedback processes between regional water availability, agricultural water management decisions, and land–atmosphere interactions. The performance of VIC–CropSyst was evaluated on both regional (over the US Pacific Northwest and point scales. Point-scale evaluation involved using two flux tower sites located in agricultural fields in the US (Nebraska and Illinois. The agreement between recorded and simulated evapotranspiration (ET, applied irrigation water, soil moisture, leaf area index (LAI, and yield indicated that, although the model is intended to work on regional scales, it also captures field-scale processes in agricultural areas.

  14. VIC-CropSyst-v2: A regional-scale modeling platform to simulate the nexus of climate, hydrology, cropping systems, and human decisions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malek, Keyvan; Stöckle, Claudio; Chinnayakanahalli, Kiran; Nelson, Roger; Liu, Mingliang; Rajagopalan, Kirti; Barik, Muhammad; Adam, Jennifer C.

    2017-08-01

    Food supply is affected by a complex nexus of land, atmosphere, and human processes, including short- and long-term stressors (e.g., drought and climate change, respectively). A simulation platform that captures these complex elements can be used to inform policy and best management practices to promote sustainable agriculture. We have developed a tightly coupled framework using the macroscale variable infiltration capacity (VIC) hydrologic model and the CropSyst agricultural model. A mechanistic irrigation module was also developed for inclusion in this framework. Because VIC-CropSyst combines two widely used and mechanistic models (for crop phenology, growth, management, and macroscale hydrology), it can provide realistic and hydrologically consistent simulations of water availability, crop water requirements for irrigation, and agricultural productivity for both irrigated and dryland systems. This allows VIC-CropSyst to provide managers and decision makers with reliable information on regional water stresses and their impacts on food production. Additionally, VIC-CropSyst is being used in conjunction with socioeconomic models, river system models, and atmospheric models to simulate feedback processes between regional water availability, agricultural water management decisions, and land-atmosphere interactions. The performance of VIC-CropSyst was evaluated on both regional (over the US Pacific Northwest) and point scales. Point-scale evaluation involved using two flux tower sites located in agricultural fields in the US (Nebraska and Illinois). The agreement between recorded and simulated evapotranspiration (ET), applied irrigation water, soil moisture, leaf area index (LAI), and yield indicated that, although the model is intended to work on regional scales, it also captures field-scale processes in agricultural areas.

  15. Revisiting the coupling between NDVI trends and cropland changes in the Sahel drylands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tong, Xiaoye; Brandt, Martin Stefan; Hiernaux, Pierre

    2017-01-01

    The impact of human activities via land use/cover changes on NDVI trends is critical for an improved understanding of satellite-observed changes in vegetation productivity in drylands. The dominance of positive NDVI trends in the Sahel, the so-called re-greening, is sometimes interpreted...... as a combined effect of an increase in rainfall and cropland expansion or agricultural intensification. Yet, the impact of changes in land use has yet to be thoroughly tested and supported by empirical evidence. At present, no studies have considered the importance of the different seasonal NDVI signals...... of cropped and fallowed fields when interpreting NDVI trends, as both field types are commonly merged into a single ‘cropland’ class. We make use of the distinctly different phenology of cropped and fallowed fields and use seasonal NDVI curves to separate these two field types. A fuzzy classifier is applied...

  16. Water and nitrogen in crop and pasture systems in southern Australia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Angus, J.F.; Peoples, M.B.; Herwaarden, A.F. van

    1998-01-01

    Recent research on water and N for dryland crops in southern Australia has addressed the need for more efficient and sustainable production. Water-use efficiency is well below the potential and N-use efficiency well below optimum on farms. Excess water and N cause on-site and off-site environmental damage. The most effective means of illustrating these inefficiencies to growers is to present simple benchmarks of water and N-use efficiencies with which farmers can assess and improve the performance of their own crops. The practices shown by our recent research that best support the goals of more efficient and sustainable production are those that maximize extraction of soil water and mineral N, and increase biological N 2 fixation. Wheat growing after a brassica break-crop extract more water and mineral N from the soil than when grown as a continuous cereal, apparently because of a 'biofumigation' effect that reduces the numbers of soil-borne pathogens of wheat and produces a stronger root system. In the case of phased pasture-crop systems, annual pastures do not fully extract subsoil water or mineral N. However, when the grasses are removed from annual pastures with a selective herbicide, the remaining pure clover rapidly decomposes after maturity, leaving a large amount of mineral N for the following crop. Perennial pastures containing lucerne produce more forage and fix more N 2 than do annual pastures, but they dry the soil profile. After removal of the lucerne, the soil may be so dry that mineralization is slow, with the risk of water deficit for the subsequent crop. (author)

  17. Primary Succession on a Hawaiian Dryland Chronosequence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kealohanuiopuna M Kinney

    Full Text Available We used measurements from airborne imaging spectroscopy and LiDAR to quantify the biophysical structure and composition of vegetation on a dryland substrate age gradient in Hawaii. Both vertical stature and species composition changed during primary succession, and reveal a progressive increase in vertical stature on younger substrates followed by a collapse on Pleistocene-aged flows. Tall-stature Metrosideros polymorpha woodlands dominated on the youngest substrates (hundreds of years, and were replaced by the tall-stature endemic tree species Myoporum sandwicense and Sophora chrysophylla on intermediate-aged flows (thousands of years. The oldest substrates (tens of thousands of years were dominated by the short-stature native shrub Dodonaea viscosa and endemic grass Eragrostis atropioides. We excavated 18 macroscopic charcoal fragments from Pleistocene-aged substrates. Mean radiocarbon age was 2,002 years and ranged from < 200 to 7,730. Genus identities from four fragments indicate that Osteomeles spp. or M. polymorpha once occupied the Pleistocene-aged substrates, but neither of these species is found there today. These findings indicate the existence of fires before humans are known to have occupied the Hawaiian archipelago, and demonstrate that a collapse in vertical stature is prevalent on the oldest substrates. This work contributes to our understanding of prehistoric fires in shaping the trajectory of primary succession in Hawaiian drylands.

  18. Pathways for sustainable development of mixed crop livestock systems: Taking a livestock and pro-poor approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tarawali, S.A.; Herrero, M.; Descheemaeker, K.K.E.; Grings, E.; Blmmel, M.

    2011-01-01

    Mixed crop livestock systems provide the majority of the cereal and livestock domestic products for households in developing countries. We explore the question of whether such systems can respond to increasing demands for livestock products without compromising future livelihoods of the poor or the

  19. Sustainable conversion of coffee and other crop wastes to biofuels and bioproducts using coupled biochemical and thermochemical processes in a multi-stage biorefinery concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Stephen R; López-Núñez, Juan Carlos; Jones, Marjorie A; Moser, Bryan R; Cox, Elby J; Lindquist, Mitch; Galindo-Leva, Luz Angela; Riaño-Herrera, Néstor M; Rodriguez-Valencia, Nelson; Gast, Fernando; Cedeño, David L; Tasaki, Ken; Brown, Robert C; Darzins, Al; Brunner, Lane

    2014-10-01

    The environmental impact of agricultural waste from the processing of food and feed crops is an increasing concern worldwide. Concerted efforts are underway to develop sustainable practices for the disposal of residues from the processing of such crops as coffee, sugarcane, or corn. Coffee is crucial to the economies of many countries because its cultivation, processing, trading, and marketing provide employment for millions of people. In coffee-producing countries, improved technology for treatment of the significant amounts of coffee waste is critical to prevent ecological damage. This mini-review discusses a multi-stage biorefinery concept with the potential to convert waste produced at crop processing operations, such as coffee pulping stations, to valuable biofuels and bioproducts using biochemical and thermochemical conversion technologies. The initial bioconversion stage uses a mutant Kluyveromyces marxianus yeast strain to produce bioethanol from sugars. The resulting sugar-depleted solids (mostly protein) can be used in a second stage by the oleaginous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica to produce bio-based ammonia for fertilizer and are further degraded by Y. lipolytica proteases to peptides and free amino acids for animal feed. The lignocellulosic fraction can be ground and treated to release sugars for fermentation in a third stage by a recombinant cellulosic Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which can also be engineered to express valuable peptide products. The residual protein and lignin solids can be jet cooked and passed to a fourth-stage fermenter where Rhodotorula glutinis converts methane into isoprenoid intermediates. The residues can be combined and transferred into pyrocracking and hydroformylation reactions to convert ammonia, protein, isoprenes, lignins, and oils into renewable gas. Any remaining waste can be thermoconverted to biochar as a humus soil enhancer. The integration of multiple technologies for treatment of coffee waste has the potential to

  20. Determinants and the perceived effects of adoption of sustainable improved food crop technologies by smallholder farmers along the value chain in Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abiodun Elijah Obayelu

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Adoption of improved agricultural technologies is fundamental to transformation of sustainable farming system, and a driving force for increasing agricultural productivity. This study provides empirical evidence on the determinants, and the perceived effects of adoption of improved food crop technologies in Nigeria. It is a cross-sectional survey of available technologies and 1,663 farm households in Nigeria. Data were analyzed with both descriptive and inferential statistics. The findings revealed very low technology adoption index. Available food crop production technologies used by sampled respondents were assessed as effective, appropriate, readily available, affordable, durable, user and gender friendly, with requisite skill to use them. However, processing technologies such as cabinet dryer were observed as unaffordable, not durable, not gender or users friendly. Packaging machines are also not users or gender friendly; washing machine not affordable, durable and gender friendly. Grain processing technologies like De-stoner, grading, and packaging machines are still not locally available and affordable. While parboilers have a negative impact on product quality, farmers’ health and the environment, tomato grinding machines have positive impact on the quality of the product, health of the users, yield and negatively affect the environment. The main determinants of adoption are the crop types, farm size and locations. Adoption of herbicide and inorganic fertilizer were influenced by travel cost to nearest place of acquisition, while the age of farmer has a positive and significant influence on the adoption of pesticide, water management and cassava harvester. Interestingly, male farmers only exhibit greater likelihood of adopting land preparation, inorganic and organic fertilizer technologies compared to their female counterpart. Therefore, policy options that consider all users at the development stages, favour reduction of travel cost

  1. An investigation of artificial pasture establishment under dryland ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    user

    2011-01-31

    Jan 31, 2011 ... high quality forage than native ranges since a lot of the undesirable .... determinated weight of species' seed ratios in mixtures were calculated using the ..... Holzworth L, Mosley J, Cash D, Koch D, Crane K (2003). Dryland.

  2. Biocide plants as a sustainable tool for the control of pests and pathogens in vegetable cropping systems

    OpenAIRE

    Trifone D'Addabbo; Sebastiano Laquale; Stella Lovelli; Vincenzo Candido; Pinarosa Avato

    2014-01-01

    Synthetic pesticides have played a major role in crop protection related to the intensification of agricultural systems. In the recent years, environmental side effects and health concerns raised by an indiscriminate use have led the EU to the ban of many synthetic pesticides. As a result of this drastic revision, currently there is a strong need for new and alternative pest control methods. An interesting source of biorational pesticides may be represented by the biocidal compounds naturally...

  3. Investigating Strategies for Sustainable Vegetable Food Crop System in Three Agro Ecological Zones of the Humid Tropics Area of Cameroon

    OpenAIRE

    TATA NGOME, Precillia Ijang; AFARI-SEFA, Victor; NTSOMBOH-NTSEFONG, Godswill; OKOLLE, Justin; BILLA, Samuel Fru; MOMA, Crescence; ATEMKENG FONJI, Maureen; NGOME, Ajebesone Francis

    2018-01-01

    Vegetable cultivation remains an essential component of local people’s livelihoods. However, marked trend shifts in the varieties of vegetables due to large-scale commercial vegetable farming of exotic varieties in the broader market economy have resulted in the gradual disappearance of biodiversity involving vital species. The present study examined the situation of vegetable crop farming in three agro-ecological zones of Cameroon. Data were collected from a random sample of 235 respondents ...

  4. How can we improve Mediterranean cropping systems?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Benlhabib, O.; Yazar, A.; Qadir, M.

    2014-01-01

    In the Mediterranean region, crop productivity and food security are closely linked to the adaptation of cropping systems to multiple abiotic stresses. Limited and unpredictable rainfall and low soil fertility have reduced agricultural productivity and environmental sustainability. For this reason...... the tested interventions, incorporation of crop residues coupled with supplementary irrigation showed a significantly positive effect on crop productivity, yield stability and environmental sustainability....

  5. Agricultural biology in the 3rd millennium: nutritional food security & specialty crops through sustainable agriculture and biotechnology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Food security and agricultural sustainability are of prime concern in the world today in light of the increasing trends in population growth in most parts of the globe excepting Europe. The need to develop capacity to produce more to feed more people is complicated since the arable land is decreasin...

  6. Increase globe artichoke cropping sustainability using sub-surface drip-irrigation systems in a Mediterranean coastal area for reducing groundwater withdrawal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mantino, Alberto; Marchina, Chiara; Bonari, Enrico; Fabbrizzi, Alessandro; Rossetto, Rudy

    2017-04-01

    During the last decades in coastal areas of the Mediterranean basin, human growth posed severe stresses on freshwater resources due to increasing demand by agricultural, industrial and civil activities, in particular on groundwater. This in turn led to worsening of water quality, loss/reduction of wetlands, up to soil salinization and abandonment of agricultural areas. Within the EU LIFE REWAT project a number of demonstration measures will take place in the lower Cornia valley (Livorno, Italy), both structural (pilot) and non-structural (education, dissemination and capacity building), aiming at achieving sustainable and participated water management. In particular, the five demonstration actions are related to: (1) set up of a managed aquifer recharge facility, (2) restoration of a Cornia river reach, (3) water saving in the civil water supply sector, (4) water saving in agriculture, (5) reuse of treated wastewater for irrigation purposes. Thus, the REWAT project general objective is to develop a new model of governance for sustainable development of the lower Cornia valley based on the water asset at its core. As per water use in agriculture, the lower Cornia valley is well known for the horticultural production. In this regard, globe artichoke (Cynara cardunculus L. var. scolymus L. (Fiori)) crops, a perennial cool-season vegetable, cover a surface of about 600 ha. In order to increase stability and productivity of the crop, about 2000 - 4000 m3 ha-1 yr-1 of irrigation water is required. Recent studies demonstrated that yield of different crops increases using Sub-surface Drip-Irrigation (SDI) system under high frequency irrigation management enhancing water use efficiency. In the SDI systems, the irrigation water is delivered to the plant root zone, below the soil surface by buried plastic tubes containing embedded emitters located at regular spacing. Within the LIFE REWAT, the specific objectives of the pilot on irrigation efficiency is to (i) demonstrate the

  7. Scientific Basis for Sustainable Management of Eucalyptus and Populus as Short-Rotation Woody Crops in the U.S.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric D. Vance

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Short rotation woody crops (SRWC, fast growing tree species that are harvested on short, repeated intervals, can augment traditional fiber sources. These crops have economic and environmental benefits stemming from their capability of supplying fiber on a reduced land base in close proximity to users and when sensitive sites cannot be accessed. Eucalyptus and Populus appear to be genera with the greatest potential to provide supplemental fiber in the U.S. Optimal productivity can be achieved through practices that overcome site limitations and by choosing the most appropriate sites, species, and clones. Some Eucalyptus species are potentially invasive, yet field studies across multiple continents suggest they are slower to disperse than predicted by risk assessments. Some studies have found lower plant and animal diversity in SRWC systems compared to mature, native forests, but greater than some alterative land uses and strongly influenced by stand management, land use history, and landscape context. Eucalyptus established in place of grasslands, arable lands, and, in some cases, native forests can reduce streamflow and lower water tables due to higher interception and transpiration rates but results vary widely, are scale dependent, and are most evident in drier regions.

  8. Inorganic phosphorus along with biofertilizers improves profitability and sustainability in soybean (Glycine max–potato (Solanum tuberosum cropping system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sushmita Munda

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Present study was conducted to assess role of phosphorus (P fertilization on economics, energy efficiency, P use indices and soil P balance in soybean [Glycine max (L. Merril]–potato (Solanum tuberosum L. cropping system during 2008–09 and 2009–10. Treatments in soybean as main plots consisted of two sources and two levels of phosphorus with or without biofertilizers [phosphorus solubilizing bacteria, PSB and arbuscular mycorrhizae, AM]. Three levels of P were applied to potato as subplots. System productivity was calculated in terms of soybean equivalent yield and found to be better with biofertilizers treated plots. When applied in combination with biofertilizers, 50% recommended dose of P (RDP as diammonium phosphate (DAP recorded B:C ratio at par with 100% RDP. Direct application of 100% RDP to potato resulted in significantly higher returns, enhancing the net returns. Application of biofertilizers alone increased the energy use efficiency over no biofertilizer application. Irrespective of source (DAP or rock phosphate treatments with biofertilizers had improved P use indices and apparent soil P balance even at 50% RDP. This indicates the role of biofertilizers in P solubilization and making it available to plant. Biofertilizers application can help cutting down the fertilizer P application in soybean–potato cropping system without any considerable reduction in yield and economic returns. Keywords: AM, B:C ratio, P use indices, PSB, Rock phosphate, Agronomic use efficiency

  9. Colocation opportunities for large solar infrastructures and agriculture in drylands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ravi, Sujith; Macknick, Jordan; Lobell, David; Field, Christopher; Ganesan, Karthik; Jain, Rishabh; Elchinger, Michael; Stoltenberg, Blaise

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • We explored the potential to colocate solar installations and agriculture. • Water use at solar installations are similar to amounts required for desert plants. • Co-located systems are economically viable in some areas. • Colocation can maximize land and water use efficiency in drylands. - Abstract: Solar energy installations in arid and semi-arid regions are rapidly increasing due to technological advances and policy support. Although solar energy provides several benefits such as reduction of greenhouse gases, reclamation of degraded land, and improved quality of life in developing countries, the deployment of large-scale renewable energy infrastructure may negatively impact land and water resources. Meeting the ever-expanding energy demand with limited land and water resources in the context of increasing demand for alternative uses such as agricultural and domestic consumption is a major challenge. The goal of this study was to explore opportunities to colocate solar infrastructures and agricultural crops to maximize the efficiency of land and water use. We investigated the energy inputs/outputs, water use, greenhouse gas emissions, and economics of solar installations in northwestern India in comparison to aloe vera cultivation, another widely promoted and economically important land use in these systems. The life cycle analyses show that the colocated systems are economically viable in some rural areas and may provide opportunities for rural electrification and stimulate economic growth. The water inputs for cleaning solar panels are similar to amounts required for annual aloe productivity, suggesting the possibility of integrating the two systems to maximize land and water use efficiency. A life cycle analysis of a hypothetical colocation indicated higher returns per m"3 of water used than either system alone. The northwestern region of India has experienced high population growth in the past decade, creating additional demand for land

  10. Restoration of soil fertility and improvement of cropping systems for sustainable development in the humid savannahs of the Ivory Coast

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bachmann, T.

    2000-01-01

    In late 1998, FAO launched a Technical Co-operation Project to assist the government of the Ivory Coast in rural development by promoting agricultural production as the main source of economic growth, and by improving the management of natural resources. The sustainable development of the humid-savannah region and western highlands is being allotted primary consideration. The goal of the project is to replace traditional shifting cultivation with more-sustainable production systems. This paper describes the origins and scope of the problem and the research strategies being considered and employed. The project will be executed in three phases: constraint analysis and formulation of a pilot project, execution of the pilot project (1999-2003), and long-term extension (15 years) from 2004, based on the data generated in the pilot phase. (author)

  11. Restoration of soil fertility and improvement of cropping systems for sustainable development in the humid savannahs of the Ivory Coast

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bachmann, T [Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome (Italy)

    2000-06-01

    In late 1998, FAO launched a Technical Co-operation Project to assist the government of the Ivory Coast in rural development by promoting agricultural production as the main source of economic growth, and by improving the management of natural resources. The sustainable development of the humid-savannah region and western highlands is being allotted primary consideration. The goal of the project is to replace traditional shifting cultivation with more-sustainable production systems. This paper describes the origins and scope of the problem and the research strategies being considered and employed. The project will be executed in three phases: constraint analysis and formulation of a pilot project, execution of the pilot project (1999-2003), and long-term extension (15 years) from 2004, based on the data generated in the pilot phase. (author)

  12. State of the art and perspectives of the cultivation of energy crops in Hesse. Significance, procedure of cultivation, sustainability; Stand und Perspektiven des Energiepflanzenanbaus in Hessen. Bedeutung, Anbauverfahren, Nachhaltigkeit

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2012-07-15

    In line with the further increase in the use of renewable energy sources, the expansion of biomass utilization in Hesse increasingly becomes important. In light of the increasing criticism of the cultivation of energy crops, it is important to learn about the situation in the Federal State Hessen (Federal Republic of Germany). Under this aspect, the booklet under consideration contributes to proper information and creating acceptance in the current discussion on the development of bioenergy in Hessen. In particular, the brochure reports on the following topics: (1) What is the advantage of the bioenergy in Hessen?; (2) Scope of the cultivation of energy crops in the Hessian agriculture?; (3) Economic aspects of the cultivation of energy crops for biogas plants; (4) Cultivation of oil crops for the production of biodiesel oil and vegetable oil; (5) Cultivation of cereals and sugar beet for bioethanol production; (6) One-year-old energy crops; (7) Perennial energy crops; (8) Aspects of sustainability in the cultivation of energy crops; (9) Areas of conflict in the cultivation of energy crops.

  13. Dryland Landscapes: Forest Management, Gender and Social Diversity in Asia and Africa’

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bose, P.; Dijk, van J.W.M.

    2016-01-01

    Drylands cover 40 % of the earth’s surface and provide the basis for the livelihoods of 2 billion people, many of whom belong to the poorest of the world. Dryland forests provide these people with woods, fruits, fibre and pasture. Drylands are among the poorest and most problem-ridden areas of the

  14. Vegetation and erosion: comments on the linking mechanisms from the perspective of the Australian drylands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunkerley, D.

    2009-04-01

    of overland flow behaviour. In such analyses, the role of vascular plants has to be seen as one component of the system that also includes organic litter and non-vascular plants. A gap in understanding here relates to splash dislodgement of soil materials. This is known to depend on the depth of water lying above the mineral soil, being reduced for both shallow and deep water layers, and maximised at depths of a few incident drop diameters. Resolving how vegetation modifies surface water depths, and how splash dislodgement responds, across the spectrum of event sizes, remains a significant research challenge. Australian dryland streams exhibit abundant channel-associated vegetation. This exhibits diverse roles, again depending on context. Trees growing in the channel, together with associated barriers formed from floating woody debris, reduce flow speeds. On the other hand, deflector jams can result in locally intensified erosion of the banks. But the mechanisms linking vegetation and erosion are again complex. For instance, by reducing flow speeds and creating backwater effects, debris barriers promote mud deposition over channel margin sediments. This in turn reduces transmission losses, and sustains peak flow and associated sediment transport capacity further downstream than would otherwise be the case. As for hillslope processes, much remains to be learned about how these various processes play out across the spectrum of event magnitudes. Clearly, therefore, in a time of ongoing environmental change, the informed management of the global drylands requires continued research effort of the kind so well championed by John Thornes.

  15. Integrating knowledge exchange and the assessment of dryland management alternatives - A learning-centered participatory approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bautista, Susana; Llovet, Joan; Ocampo-Melgar, Anahí; Vilagrosa, Alberto; Mayor, Ángeles G; Murias, Cristina; Vallejo, V Ramón; Orr, Barron J

    2017-06-15

    The adoption of sustainable land management strategies and practices that respond to current climate and human pressures requires both assessment tools that can lead to better informed decision-making and effective knowledge-exchange mechanisms that facilitate new learning and behavior change. We propose a learning-centered participatory approach that links land management assessment and knowledge exchange and integrates science-based data and stakeholder perspectives on both biophysical and socio-economic attributes. We outline a structured procedure for a transparent assessment of land management alternatives, tailored to dryland management, that is based on (1) principles of constructivism and social learning, (2) the participation of stakeholders throughout the whole assessment process, from design to implementation, and (3) the combination of site-specific indicators, identified by local stakeholders as relevant to their particular objectives and context conditions, and science-based indicators that represent ecosystem services of drylands worldwide. The proposed procedure follows a pattern of eliciting, challenging, and self-reviewing stakeholder perspectives that aims to facilitate learning. The difference between the initial baseline perspectives and the final self-reviewed stakeholder perspectives is used as a proxy of learning. We illustrate the potential of this methodology by its application to the assessment of land uses in a Mediterranean fire-prone area in East Spain. The approach may be applied to a variety of socio-ecological systems and decision-making and governance scales. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. The charcoal-degradation nexus: contested 'fuelscapes' in the sub-Saharan drylands of northern Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergmann, Christoph; Petersen, Maike; Roden, Paul; Nüsser, Marcus

    2017-04-01

    Charcoal ranks amongst the most commercialized but least regulated commodities in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite its prevalence as an energy source for cooking and heating, localized environmental and livelihood impacts of charcoal production are poorly understood so far. The identified research deficit is amplified by widespread negative views of this activity as a poverty-driven cause of deforestation and land degradation. However, the charcoal-degradation nexus is apparently more complicated, not least because the extraction of biomass from already degraded woodlands can also be interpreted as an appropriate option under given management regimes. In order to better calibrate existing research agendas to site-specific geographies of charcoal production, we propose a re-conceptualization of such energy landscapes as 'fuelscapes' with complex material and social dimensions. The concept is tested with reference to a case study in Central Pokot, northern Kenya, where charcoal production only began in the early 1990's. Based on the assumption that the fine line between sustainable land management and degradation in dryland energy landscapes is not only highly variable but also increasingly contested, our study combines the knowledge input of different stakeholders with longitudinal time series of remote sensing data. Based on the results of our interdisciplinary analyses, we outline an integrated tool for the co-operative monitoring and management of prevailing degradation processes against the background of diversified livelihood activities in sub-Saharan drylands.

  17. Moderating Climate Hazard Risk through Cooperation in Asian Drylands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Troy Sternberg

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Asia drylands face increasing climate hazard risk, changing socio-economic forces, and environmental challenges that affect community viability. As home to >1 billion residents, deserts are at the centre of the continent’s climate-human predicament. Extreme water scarcity, dependence on food imports and now conflict increase hazard exposure across shared drylands, yet management differs from state to state. This paper argues that a more coherent strategy for mitigating risk would be based on natural environments. Linking hazards with livelihoods and social stability identifies how recent drought events disrupted ecosystems and societies. This results in borders rather than geography defining risk and response. Developing a dryland perspective across the continent can be an effective approach to reduce hazard risk and improve cooperation across Asia’s extensive arid lands.

  18. From Theory to Rural Farms: Testing the Efficacy of the Dryland Development Paradigm of Desertification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, J. F.; Herrick, J.; Huber-Sannwald, E.; Ayarza, M.

    2011-12-01

    The social and economic systems of humans (H) are inextricably linked with environmental (E) systems. This tight coupling is especially relevant in drylands, where ecosystem goods and services vital to sustaining the livelihoods of human populations are constantly changing over time. The Dryland Development Paradigm (DDP; Reynolds et al. 2007, Science 316, 847-851) was proposed as an integrated framework for dealing with the enormous complexity associated with coupled H-E systems. The DDP consists of five principles: (1) the structure, function and interrelationships that characterize H-E systems are always changing so both H and E factors must always be considered simultaneously; (2) a limited suite of "slow" variables are critical determinants of H-E dynamics; (3) thresholds in both H and E systems are vital: if a key slow variable crosses a threshold this can lead to a different state or condition (a switch in culture resistance to the introduction of new technology such as tractors to plow fields); (4) H-E systems are hierarchical in nature and because of the many cross-scale linkages and feedbacks, adaptation, surprises and self-organization are the norm; and (5) lastly, "solving" land degradation problems cannot be accomplished without drawing upon the firsthand experience and insights (local knowledge) of local stakeholders. For the past 7 years, ARIDnet-AMERICAS, an NSF-supported coordination research network, has applied these five principles via 11 case studies at diverse locations in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Columbia, Honduras, Mexico and the United States with the goal to compare and contrast the causes and processes of land degradation and their effects on the balance between the demand for, and supply of, ecosystem services. We present a summary of our initial synthesis. The causal human-environmental processes driving land degradation (e.g., overgrazing, government policies, international markets) are often similar but with differing levels of

  19. Integrated Decision Tools for Sustainable Watershed/Ground Water and Crop Health using Predictive Weather, Remote Sensing, and Irrigation Decision Tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, A. S.; Andales, A.; McGovern, C.; Smith, G. E. B.; David, O.; Fletcher, S. J.

    2017-12-01

    US agricultural and Govt. lands have a unique co-dependent relationship, particularly in the Western US. More than 30% of all irrigated US agricultural output comes from lands sustained by the Ogallala Aquifer in the western Great Plains. Six US Forest Service National Grasslands reside within the aquifer region, consisting of over 375,000 ha (3,759 km2) of USFS managed lands. Likewise, National Forest lands are the headwaters to many intensive agricultural regions. Our Ogallala Aquifer team is enhancing crop irrigation decision tools with predictive weather and remote sensing data to better manage water for irrigated crops within these regions. An integrated multi-model software framework is used to link irrigation decision tools, resulting in positive management benefits on natural water resources. Teams and teams-of-teams can build upon these multi-disciplinary multi-faceted modeling capabilities. For example, the CSU Catalyst for Innovative Partnerships program has formed a new multidisciplinary team that will address "Rural Wealth Creation" focusing on the many integrated links between economic, agricultural production and management, natural resource availabilities, and key social aspects of govt. policy recommendations. By enhancing tools like these with predictive weather and other related data (like in situ measurements, hydrologic models, remotely sensed data sets, and (in the near future) linking to agro-economic and life cycle assessment models) this work demonstrates an integrated data-driven future vision of inter-meshed dynamic systems that can address challenging multi-system problems. We will present the present state of the work and opportunities for future involvement.

  20. Sustainability of current agriculture practices, community perception, and implications for ecosystem health: an Indian study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarkar, Atanu; Patil, Shantagouda; Hugar, Lingappa B; vanLoon, Gary

    2011-12-01

    In order to support agribusiness and to attain food security for ever-increasing populations, most countries in the world have embraced modern agricultural technologies. Ecological consequences of the technocentric approaches, and their sustainability and impacts on human health have, however, not received adequate attention particularly in developing countries. India is one country that has undergone a rapid transformation in the field of agriculture by adopting strategies of the Green Revolution. This article provides a comparative analysis of the effects of older and newer paradigms of agricultural practices on ecosystem and human health within the larger context of sustainability. The study was conducted in three closely situated areas where different agricultural practices were followed: (a) the head-end of a modern canal-irrigated area, (b) an adjacent dryland, and (c) an area (the ancient area) that has been provided with irrigation for some 800 years. Data were collected by in-depth interviews of individual farmers, focus-group discussions, participatory observations, and from secondary sources. The dryland, receiving limited rainfall, continues to practice diverse cropping centered to a large extent on traditional coarse cereals and uses only small amounts of chemical inputs. On the other hand, modern agriculture in the head-end emphasizes continuous cropping of rice supported by extensive and indiscriminate use of agrochemicals. Market forces have, to a significant degree, influenced the ancient area to abandon much of its early practices of organic farming and to take up aspects of modern agricultural practice. Rice cultivation in the irrigated parts has changed the local landscape and vegetation and has augmented the mosquito population, which is a potential vector for malaria, Japanese encephalitis and other diseases. Nevertheless, despite these problems, perceptions of adverse environmental effects are lowest in the heavily irrigated area.

  1. Biocide plants as a sustainable tool for the control of pests and pathogens in vegetable cropping systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trifone D'Addabbo

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Synthetic pesticides have played a major role in crop protection related to the intensification of agricultural systems. In the recent years, environmental side effects and health concerns raised by an indiscriminate use have led the EU to the ban of many synthetic pesticides. As a result of this drastic revision, currently there is a strong need for new and alternative pest control methods. An interesting source of biorational pesticides may be represented by the biocidal compounds naturally occurring in plants as products of the secondary metabolism. Groups of plant secondary metabolites most promising for the development of pesticidal formulations are glucosinolates, saponins, and more generally terpenoid phytoconstituents, such as essential oil and their constituents. Glucosinolates are thioglucosidic secondary metabolites occurring mainly in the Brassicaceae and, at a less extent, in Capparidaceae families. The incorporation of glucosinolate- containing plant material into the soil results in degradation products highly toxic to soilborne pest, pathogens and weeds. This practice, known as biofumigation, may be considered as an ecological alternative to soil toxic fumigants. Plant-derived saponins are triterpene glycosides present in top and root tissues of plant species of the families Leguminosae, Alliaceae, Asteraceae, Polygalaceae and Agavaceae. Saponins and saponin-rich plant materials have been also reported for a biocidal activity on phytoparasites and soilborne plant pathogens. Essential oils are volatile, natural, heterogeneous mixtures of single substances, mainly terpenes and phenolics, formed as secondary metabolites by aromatic plants belonging to several botanical families. Among terpenes, limonoid triterpenes have been demonstrated to possess interesting insecticidal, nematicidal and antifungal properties. Occurrence of these compounds is mainly limited to Meliaceae and Rutaceae. Alkaloids, phenolics, cyanogenic glucosides

  2. An evaluation of four crop:weed competition models using a common data set

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Deen, W.; Cousens, R.; Warringa, J.; Bastiaans, L.; Carberry, P.; Rebel, K.; Riha, S.; Murphy, C.; Benjamin, L.R.; Cloughley, C.; Cussans, J.; Forcella, F.

    2003-01-01

    To date, several crop : weed competition models have been developed. Developers of the various models were invited to compare model performance using a common data set. The data set consisted of wheat and Lolium rigidum grown in monoculture and mixtures under dryland and irrigated conditions.

  3. Modeling the yield potential of dryland canola under current and future climates in California

    Science.gov (United States)

    George, N.; Kaffka, S.; Beeck, C.; Bucaram, S.; Zhang, J.

    2012-12-01

    Models predict that the climate of California will become hotter, drier and more variable under future climate change scenarios. This will lead to both increased irrigation demand and reduced irrigation water availability. In addition, it is predicted that most common Californian crops will suffer a concomitant decline in productivity. To remain productive and economically viable, future agricultural systems will need to have greater water use efficiency, tolerance of high temperatures, and tolerance of more erratic temperature and rainfall patterns. Canola (Brassica napus) is the third most important oilseed globally, supporting large and well-established agricultural industries in Canada, Europe and Australia. It is an agronomically useful and economically valuable crop, with multiple end markets, that can be grown in California as a dryland winter rotation with little to no irrigation demand. This gives canola great potential as a new crop for Californian farmers both now and as the climate changes. Given practical and financial limitations it is not always possible to immediately or widely evaluate a crop in a new region. Crop production models are therefore valuable tools for assessing the potential of new crops, better targeting further field research, and refining research questions. APSIM is a modular modeling framework developed by the Agricultural Production Systems Research Unit in Australia, it combines biophysical and management modules to simulate cropping systems. This study was undertaken to examine the yield potential of Australian canola varieties having different water requirements and maturity classes in California using APSIM. The objective of the work was to identify the agricultural regions of California most ideally suited to the production of Australian cultivars of canola and to simulate the production of canola in these regions to estimate yield-potential. This will establish whether the introduction and in-field evaluation of better

  4. Desertification, land use, and the transformation of global drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desertification is an escalating concern in global drylands, yet assessments to guide management and policy responses are limited by ambiguity concerning what this term means and what processes are involved. In order to provide greater clarity, we propose that desertification assessments be placed w...

  5. The complemental role of dryland cultivated pastures in market ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The complemental role of dryland cultivated pastures in market-related beef production from semi-arid rangeland. ... Abstract. Rangeland condition is a decisive factor in determining the income/cost ratio of production hence in the profitability of any beef production enterprise. Cultivated pastures can play an important role in ...

  6. Earth Observation of Vegetation Dynamics in Global Drylands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tian, Feng

    Land degradation in global drylands has been a concern related to both the local livelihoods and the changes in terrestrial biosphere, especially in the context of substantial global environmental changes. Earth Observation (EO) provides a unique way to assess the vegetation dynamics over the past...

  7. Rainfall probability and EONR for dryland corn in Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nitrogen fertilizer costs have increased 70% in the last 6 yrs in the Central Great Plains Region (CGPR). This cost increase coincides with a decrease in dryland grain yields due to drought. How does the economic optimum N rate (EONR) change with grain price and fertilizer cost? Here we evaluated 11...

  8. Climate contributions to vegetation variations in Central Asian drylands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhou, Yu; Zhang, Li; Fensholt, Rasmus

    2015-01-01

    Central Asia comprises a large fraction of the world's drylands, known to be vulnerable to climate change. We analyzed the inter-annual trends and the impact of climate variability in the vegetation greenness for Central Asia from 1982 to 2011 using GIMMS3g normalized difference vegetation index...

  9. A morphometric analysis of vegetation patterns in dryland ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mander, Luke; Dekker, Stefan C.; Li, Mao; Mio, Washington; Punyasena, Surangi W.; Lenton, Timothy M.

    2017-02-01

    Vegetation in dryland ecosystems often forms remarkable spatial patterns. These range from regular bands of vegetation alternating with bare ground, to vegetated spots and labyrinths, to regular gaps of bare ground within an otherwise continuous expanse of vegetation. It has been suggested that spotted vegetation patterns could indicate that collapse into a bare ground state is imminent, and the morphology of spatial vegetation patterns, therefore, represents a potentially valuable source of information on the proximity of regime shifts in dryland ecosystems. In this paper, we have developed quantitative methods to characterize the morphology of spatial patterns in dryland vegetation. Our approach is based on algorithmic techniques that have been used to classify pollen grains on the basis of textural patterning, and involves constructing feature vectors to quantify the shapes formed by vegetation patterns. We have analysed images of patterned vegetation produced by a computational model and a small set of satellite images from South Kordofan (South Sudan), which illustrates that our methods are applicable to both simulated and real-world data. Our approach provides a means of quantifying patterns that are frequently described using qualitative terminology, and could be used to classify vegetation patterns in large-scale satellite surveys of dryland ecosystems.

  10. Environmental drivers of human migration in drylands - A spatial picture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Neumann, K.; Sietz, D.; Hilderink, H.; Janssen, P.; Kok, M.; Dijk, van H.

    2015-01-01

    It is widely accepted that environmental change can influence human migration. In particular, the environment plays a role in migration processes in drylands, in which environmental change—including increasing variability of rainfall, increasing frequency of droughts, chronic water shortage, and

  11. Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp), a renewed multipurpose crop for a more sustainable agri-food system: nutritional advantages and constraints.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonçalves, Alexandre; Goufo, Piebiep; Barros, Ana; Domínguez-Perles, Raúl; Trindade, Henrique; Rosa, Eduardo A S; Ferreira, Luis; Rodrigues, Miguel

    2016-07-01

    The growing awareness of the relevance of food composition for human health has increased the interest of the inclusion of high proportions of fruits and vegetables in diets. To reach the objective of more balanced diets, an increased consumption of legumes, which constitutes a sustainable source of essential nutrients, particularly low-cost protein, is of special relevance. However, the consumption of legumes also entails some constraints that need to be addressed to avoid a deleterious impact on consumers' wellbeing and health. The value of legumes as a source of nutrients depends on a plethora of factors, including genetic characteristics, agro-climatic conditions, and postharvest management that modulate the dietary effect of edible seeds and vegetative material. Thus, more comprehensive information regarding composition, especially their nutritional and anti-nutritional compounds, digestibility, and alternative processing procedures is essential. These were the challenges to write this review, which focusses on the nutritional and anti-nutritional composition of Vigna unguiculata L. Walp, an emerging crop all over the world intended to provide a rational support for the development of valuable foods and feeds of increased commercial value. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  12. Combination of a crop model and a geochemical model as a new approach to evaluate the sustainability of an intensive agriculture system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohammed, Gihan; Trolard, Fabienne; Gillon, Marina; Cognard-Plancq, Anne-Laure; Chanzy, André; Bourrié, Guilhem

    2017-10-01

    By combining a crop model (STICS) and a geochemical model (PHREEQC), a new approach to assess the sustainability of agrosystems is proposed. It is based upon aqueous geochemistry and the stepwise modifications of soil solution during its transfer from the surface till aquifer. Meadows of Crau (SE France), irrigated since the 16th century, were field monitored (2012-2015) and modelled. Except for N, the mineral requirements of hay are largely covered by dissolved elements brought by irrigation water with only slight deficits in K and P, which are compensated by P-K fertilizers and the winter pasture by sheep. N cycle results in a very small nitrate leakage. The main determinants of the chemical composition changes of water are: concentration by evaporation, equilibration with soil pCO 2 , mineral nutrition of plants, input of fertilizers, sheep grazing, mineral-solution interactions in superficial formations till the aquifer, including ion exchange. Inverse modelling with PHREEQC allows for quantifying these processes. For groundwater, measured composition fit statistically very well with those computed, validating thus this approach. This long-term established agrosystem protects both soil and water resources: soil nutritional status remains constant with even some P and (minor) K fixation in soils; long-term decarbonatation occurs but it is greatly slowed by saturation of irrigation water by carbonate; P fixation in soil protects groundwater from eutrophication. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Predicting optimum crop designs using crop models and seasonal climate forecasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, D; de Voil, P; Hudson, D; Brown, J N; Hayman, P; Marrou, H; Meinke, H

    2018-02-02

    Expected increases in food demand and the need to limit the incorporation of new lands into agriculture to curtail emissions, highlight the urgency to bridge productivity gaps, increase farmers profits and manage risks in dryland cropping. A way to bridge those gaps is to identify optimum combination of genetics (G), and agronomic managements (M) i.e. crop designs (GxM), for the prevailing and expected growing environment (E). Our understanding of crop stress physiology indicates that in hindsight, those optimum crop designs should be known, while the main problem is to predict relevant attributes of the E, at the time of sowing, so that optimum GxM combinations could be informed. Here we test our capacity to inform that "hindsight", by linking a tested crop model (APSIM) with a skillful seasonal climate forecasting system, to answer "What is the value of the skill in seasonal climate forecasting, to inform crop designs?" Results showed that the GCM POAMA-2 was reliable and skillful, and that when linked with APSIM, optimum crop designs could be informed. We conclude that reliable and skillful GCMs that are easily interfaced with crop simulation models, can be used to inform optimum crop designs, increase farmers profits and reduce risks.

  14. Soil indicators to assess the effectiveness of restoration strategies in dryland ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costantini, Edoardo; Branquinho, Cristina; Nunes, Alice; Schwilch, Gudrun; Stavi, Ilan; Valdecantos, Alejandro; Zucca, Claudio

    2016-04-01

    Soil indicators may be used for assessing both land suitability for restoration and the effectiveness of restoration strategies in restoring ecosystem functioning and services. In this review paper, several soil indicators, which can be used to assess the effectiveness of restoration strategies in dryland ecosystems at different spatial and temporal scales, are discussed. The selected indicators represent the different viewpoints of pedology, ecology, hydrology, and land management. The recovery of soil capacity to provide ecosystem services is primarily obtained by increasing soil rooting depth and volume, and augmenting water accessibility for vegetation. Soil characteristics can be used either as indicators of suitability, that is, inherently slow-changing soil qualities, or as indicators for modifications, namely dynamic, thus "manageable" soil qualities. Soil organic matter forms, as well as biochemistry, micro- and meso-biology, are among the most utilized dynamic indicators. On broader territorial scales, the Landscape Function Analysis uses a functional approach, where the effectiveness of restoration strategies is assessed by combining the analysis of spatial pattern of vegetation with qualitative soil indicators. For more holistic and comprehensive projects, effective strategies to combat desertification should integrate soil indicators with biophysical and socio-economic evaluation and include participatory approaches. The integrated assessment protocol of Sustainable Land Management developed by the World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies network is thoroughly discussed. Two overall outcomes stem from the review: i) the success of restoration projects relies on a proper understanding of their ecology, namely the relationships between soil, plants, hydrology, climate, and land management at different scales, which is particularly complex due to the heterogeneous pattern of ecosystems functioning in drylands, and ii) the selection of

  15. Enhancing agricultural productivity and rural incomes through sustainable use of natural resources in the semi arid tropics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wani, Suhas P; Dixin, Yin; Li, Zhong; Dar, William D; Chander, Girish

    2012-03-30

    A participatory watershed management approach is one of the tested, sustainable and eco-friendly options to upgrade rain-fed agriculture to meet growing food demand along with additional multiple benefits in terms of improving livelihoods, addressing equity issues and biodiversity concerns. Watershed interventions at study sites in Thailand (Tad Fa and Wang Chai) and India (Kothapally) effectively reduced runoff and the associated soil loss. Such interventions at Xiaoxincun (China) and Wang Chai improved groundwater recharging and availability. Enhanced productive transpiration increased rainwater use efficiency for crop production by 13-29% at Xiaoxincun; 13-160% at Lucheba (China), 32-37% at Tad Fa and 23-46% at Wang Chai and by two to five times at Kothapally. Watershed interventions increased significantly the additional net returns from crop production as compared with the pre-watershed intervention period. Increased water availability opened up options for crop diversification with high-value crops, including increased forage production and boosted livestock-based livelihoods. In dryland tropics, integrated watershed management approach enabled farmers to diversify the systems along with increasing agricultural productivity through increased water availability, while conserving the natural resource base. Household incomes increased substantially, leading to improved living and building the resilience of the community and natural resources. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry.

  16. Plant species richness and ecosystem multifunctionality in global drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maestre, Fernando T.; Quero, Jose L.; Gotelli, Nicholas J.; Escudero, Adrian; Ochoa, Victoria; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Garcia-Gomez, Miguel; Bowker, Matthew A.; Soliveres, Santiago; Escolar, Cristina; Garcia-Palacios, Pablo; Berdugo, Miguel; Valencia, Enrique; Gozalo, Beatriz; Gallardo, Antonio; Aguilera, Lorgio; Arredondo, Tulio; Blones, Julio; Boeken, Bertrand; Bran, Donaldo; Conceicao, Abel A.; Cabrera, Omar; Chaieb, Mohamed; Derak, Mchich; Eldridge, David J.; Espinosa, Carlos I.; Florentino, Adriana; Gaitan, Juan; Gatica, M. Gabriel; Ghiloufi, Wahida; Gomez-Gonzalez, Susana; Gutie, Julio R.; Hernandez, Rosa M.; Huang, Xuewen; Huber-Sannwald, Elisabeth; Jankju, Mohammad; Miriti, Maria; Monerris, Jorge; Mau, Rebecca L.; Morici, Ernesto; Naseri, Kamal; Ospina, Abelardo; Polo, Vicente; Prina, Anibal; Pucheta, Eduardo; Ramirez-Collantes, David A.; Romao, Roberto; Tighe, Matthew; Torres-Diaz, Cristian; Val, James; Veiga, Jose P.; Wang, Deli; Zaady, Eli

    2012-01-01

    Experiments suggest that biodiversity enhances the ability of ecosystems to maintain multiple functions, such as carbon storage, productivity, and the buildup of nutrient pools (multifunctionality). However, the relationship between biodiversity and multifunctionality has never been assessed globally in natural ecosystems. We report here on a global empirical study relating plant species richness and abiotic factors to multifunctionality in drylands, which collectively cover 41% of Earth's land surface and support over 38% of the human population. Multifunctionality was positively and significantly related to species richness. The best-fitting models accounted for over 55% of the variation in multifunctionality and always included species richness as a predictor variable. Our results suggest that the preservation of plant biodiversity is crucial to buffer negative effects of climate change and desertification in drylands.

  17. Energy performance and efficiency of two sugar crops for the biofuel supply chain. Perspectives for sustainable field management in southern Italy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garofalo, Pasquale; D'Andrea, Laura; Vonella, A. Vittorio; Rinaldi, Michele; Palumbo, A. Domenico

    2015-01-01

    Improvement of the energy balance and efficiency for reduced input of cropping systems is one of the main goals for the cultivation of energy crops. In this field study, two sugar crops for bioethanol production were cultivated under different soil tillage management (conventional; no tillage) and mineral nitrogen application (0, 75, 150 kg N ha"−"1): sweet sorghum and sugar beet. The energy performance and efficiency along the bioethanol supply chain were analysed and compared. Both of these crops showed good growth adaptation to the different soil and nitrogen management, and thus the energy return, resource and energy efficiencies were significantly improved in the low-input system. Sweet sorghum provided better responses in terms of water and nitrogen use efficiency for biomass accumulation, as well as its energy yield and net gain, compared to sugar beet, whereas sugar beet showed higher energy efficiency than sorghum. According to these data, both of these crops can be cultivated in a Mediterranean environment with low energy input, which guarantees good crop and energy performances for biofuel strategy planning. - Highlights: • Two sugar crops for the bioethanol supply chain were evaluated. • Energy performances and efficiencies were assessed under different energy input. • Sugar yield resulted not compromised by the different crop management. • The energy gain was improved with low energy input at field level. • Sweet sorghum gave the highest energy yield, sugar beet the energy efficiency.

  18. Agroecology of Novel Annual and Perennial Crops for Biomass Production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Manevski, Kiril; Jørgensen, Uffe; Lærke, Poul Erik

    The agroecological potential of many crops under sustainable intensification has not been investigated. This study investigates such potential for novel annual and perennial crops grown for biomass production.......The agroecological potential of many crops under sustainable intensification has not been investigated. This study investigates such potential for novel annual and perennial crops grown for biomass production....

  19. Establishment of a constructed wetland in extreme dryland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tencer, Yoram; Idan, Gil; Strom, Marjorie; Nusinow, Uri; Banet, Dorit; Cohen, Eli; Schröder, Peter; Shelef, Oren; Rachmilevitch, Shimon; Soares, Ines; Gross, Amit; Golan-Goldhirsh, Avi

    2009-11-01

    The project was set to construct an extensive wetland in the southernmost region of Israel at Kibbutz Neot Smadar (30 degree 02'45" N and 35 degree 01'19" E). The results of the first period of monitoring, summary, and perspectives are presented. The constructed wetland (CW) was built and the subsequent monitoring performed in the framework of the Southern Arava Sustainable Waste Management Plan, funded by the EU LIFE Fund. The specific aims were: (1) To end current sewage disposal and pollution of the ground, the aquifer, and the dry river bed (wadi) paths by biologically treating the sewage as part of the creation of a sustainable wetland ecosystem. (2) Serve as an example of CW in the Negev highlands and the Arava Valley climates for neighboring communities and as a test ground for plants and building methods appropriate to hyper arid climate. (3) Serve as an educational resource and tourist attraction for groups to learn about water reuse, recycling, local wildlife and migrating birds, including serving the heart of a planned Ecological-Educational Bird Park. This report is intended to allow others who are planning similar systems in hyper arid climates to learn from our experience. The project is located in an extreme arid desert with less than 40 mm of rain annually and temperature ranges of -5 degree C to +42 degree C. The site receives 165-185 m3 of municipal and agricultural wastes daily, including cowshed and goat wastes and winery outflow. The CW establishment at Neot Smadar was completed in October 2006. For 8 months, clean water flowed through the system while the plants were taking root. In June 2007, the wetland was connected to the oxidation pond and full operation began. Because of seepage and evaporation, during the first several months, the water level was not high enough to allow free flow from one bed to the next. To bed A, the water was pumped periodically from the oxidation pond (Fig. 1) and from there flowed by gravitation through the rest

  20. Biophysical risks to carbon sequestration and storage in Australian drylands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nolan, Rachael H; Sinclair, Jennifer; Eldridge, David J; Ramp, Daniel

    2018-02-15

    Carbon abatement schemes that reduce land clearing and promote revegetation are now an important component of climate change policy globally. There is considerable potential for these schemes to operate in drylands which are spatially extensive. However, projects in these environments risk failure through unplanned release of stored carbon to the atmosphere. In this review, we identify factors that may adversely affect the success of vegetation-based carbon abatement projects in dryland ecosystems, evaluate their likelihood of occurrence, and estimate the potential consequences for carbon storage and sequestration. We also evaluate management strategies to reduce risks posed to these carbon abatement projects. Identified risks were primarily disturbances, including unplanned fire, drought, and grazing. Revegetation projects also risk recruitment failure, thereby failing to reach projected rates of sequestration. Many of these risks are dependent on rainfall, which is highly variable in drylands and susceptible to further variation under climate change. Resprouting vegetation is likely to be less vulnerable to disturbance and have faster recovery rates upon release from disturbance. We conclude that there is a strong impetus for identifying management strategies and risk reduction mechanisms for carbon abatement projects. Risk mitigation would be enhanced by effective co-ordination of mitigation strategies at scales larger than individual abatement project boundaries, and by implementing risk assessment throughout project planning and implementation stages. Reduction of risk is vital for maximising carbon sequestration of individual projects and for reducing barriers to the establishment of new projects entering the market. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Making rainfed agriculture sustainable through environmental friendly technologies in Pakistan: A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirza B. Baig

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Pakistan is an agricultural country spreading over an area of about 79. 6 million hectares (Mha with an arid and semi arid climate. Of 79. 6 Mha, about 23 Mha is suitable for crop production and nearly 25 percent of the total cultivated area is designated for rainfed agriculture. Unfortunately, rain-fed agriculture is constrained with multifarious problems such as moisture stress, soil erosion and crusting, nutrient deficiency, depletion and poor nutrient use efficiency, and weed infestation limiting the yield potential of these lands. In addition, deforestation and poor crop husbandry techniques are commonly noticed features. To meet the food requirements, farmers bring all the available pieces of lands under plough including steep slopes. Farming on steep slopes if not managed on scientific lines, results in severe erosion. The problems faced by the farmers are due to the unsustainable practices they adopt to practice dryland agriculture, limiting the productive potential of these important ecosystems. However, their potential can be improved by adopting suitable rainwater harvesting techniques; employing scientific soil and water conservation methods and using sustainable agricultural practices. This paper highlights some important issues associated with the rainfed agriculture of Pakistan. Working strategies for realizing optimum and sustainable yields have been outlined while conserving both land and water resources.

  2. The effect of conservation tillage on crop yield in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongwen LI,Jin HE,Huanwen GAO,Ying CHEN,Zhiqiang ZHANG

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Traditional agricultural practices have resulted in decreased soil fertility, shortage of water resources and deterioration of agricultural ecological environment, which are seriously affecting grain production. Conservation tillage (CT research has been developed and applied in China since the 1960s and 1970s, and a series of development policies have been issued by the Chinese government. Recent research and application have shown that CT has positive effects on crop yields in China. According to the data from the Conservation Tillage Research Center (CTRC, Chinese Ministry of Agriculture (MOA, the mean crop yield increase can be at least 4% in double cropping systems in the North China Plain and 6% in single cropping systems in the dryland areas of North-east and North-west China. Crop yield increase was particularly significant in dryland areas and drought years. The mechanism for the yield increase in CT system can be attributed to enhanced soil water content and improved soil properties. Development strategies have been implemented to accelerate the adoption of CT in China.

  3. Improving rice-based rainfed production systems in Southeast Asia for contributing towards food security and rural development through sustainable crop production intensification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abha Mishra

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Continuing degradation of the environment and the cumulating food, energy, water and financial crises have led to a situation where many people’s access to sufficient, nutritious food is affected as well as their livelihoods, income, and ultimate food and nutrition security. In the wake of these stresses and crises, there is an emerging interest to find efficient, easily accessible and sustainable approaches that can address these crises. One candidate for this is the System of Rice Intensification (SRI with its “less can produce more” prescription. A regional collaborative project currently underway is being implemented in rainfed areas of the Lower Mekong River Basin (LMB countries. This involves smallholder rice farmers, researchers, extension personnel, and development professionals, together with staff of relevant government ministries (http://www.sri-lmb.ait.asia/. The project objective is to produce healthier and profitable rice crops under rainfed conditions using SRI methods, evaluated and refined through farmers’ participatory action research (FPAR. As part of the action-research, more than 120 sets of field experiments have been carried out at 60 FPAR sites in Cambodia and Thailand, directly involving 3600 farmers. The experiments have ranged from the integration of many SRI principles with farmers’ current local practices or improved practices which was termed as “SRI-transition” to full demonstrations and assessments of SRI methodology, i.e., SRI demonstration. The initial calculation of yields has showed an average paddy yield of 5.03 t/ha with SRI-transition, whereas with SRI-demonstration the average yield was 6.41 t/ha. These yields were 60 and 100% higher than the average baseline yield in the region, 3.14 t/ha, for the same farmers and same locales. Productivity gains (dollars gained/dollars spent per ha were calculated for both rainfed and irrigated production areas. In comparative terms, the economic gains for

  4. Report of the consultants' meeting on the identification of research needs for quantification of nutrient dynamics in integrated crop/livestock systems with a focus on conservation and sustainability issues in developing countries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2002-01-01

    A Consultants' Meeting on 'The identification of research needs for quantification of nutrient needs for quantification of nutrient dynamics in integrated crop/livestock systems with a focus on conservation and sustainability issues in developing countries' was held at IAEA, Vienna, April 12- 14, 2000. Four consultants, with expertise in nutrient dynamics drawn from National Agricultural Research Organisations and Universities, attended the meeting together with staff members of the Joint FAO/IAEA Divisions. The consultants presented reviews of the situation regarding studies of nutrient dynamics in crop/pasture/ livestock systems in developing and developed agricultural systems. These were complemented by a paper on the development of 15 N techniques to study the contribution of N from crop residues and human, animal and industrial waste products developed at the Seibersdorf Laboratory. The consultants were of the opinion that in view of of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division's comparative advantage in operating (both technically and administratively) Coordinated Research Projects (CRPs) the proposal to initiate an FAO/IAEA CRP on quantification of nutrient budget and flows in integrated crop/livestock systems is appropriate. They identified a well focused area of the CRP and also provided recommendations on its formulation and implementation

  5. Report of the consultants' meeting on the identification of research needs for quantification of nutrient dynamics in integrated crop/livestock systems with a focus on conservation and sustainability issues in developing countries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2002-07-01

    A Consultants' Meeting on 'The identification of research needs for quantification of nutrient needs for quantification of nutrient dynamics in integrated crop/livestock systems with a focus on conservation and sustainability issues in developing countries' was held at IAEA, Vienna, April 12- 14, 2000. Four consultants, with expertise in nutrient dynamics drawn from National Agricultural Research Organisations and Universities, attended the meeting together with staff members of the Joint FAO/IAEA Divisions. The consultants presented reviews of the situation regarding studies of nutrient dynamics in crop/pasture/ livestock systems in developing and developed agricultural systems. These were complemented by a paper on the development of {sup 15}N techniques to study the contribution of N from crop residues and human, animal and industrial waste products developed at the Seibersdorf Laboratory. The consultants were of the opinion that in view of of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division's comparative advantage in operating (both technically and administratively) Coordinated Research Projects (CRPs) the proposal to initiate an FAO/IAEA CRP on quantification of nutrient budget and flows in integrated crop/livestock systems is appropriate. They identified a well focused area of the CRP and also provided recommendations on its formulation and implementation.

  6. Estimation of livestock appropriation of net primary productivity in Texas Drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert Washington-Allen; Jody Fitzgerald; Stephanie Grounds; Faisar Jihadi; John Kretzschmar; Kathryn Ramirez; John Mitchell

    2009-01-01

    The ecological state of US Drylands is unknown. This research is developing procedures to determine the impact of the ecological footprint of grazing livestock on the productive capacity of US Drylands. A pilot geodatabase was developed for the state of Texas that includes 2002 data for county boundaries, net primary productivity (NPP) derived from the Moderate...

  7. Rainwater harvesting for dryland agriculture in the Rift Valley of Ethiopia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Temesgen, B.B.

    2012-01-01

    The Ethiopian drylands occupy about 65% of the total land mass (close to 700,000km2) of the country. The predominantly rainfed agriculture in these drylands is highly constrained due to erratic rainfall, long dry-spells and excessive loss of rainwater through non-productive pathways

  8. Assessment of vegetation trends in drylands from time series of earth observation data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fensholt, R.; Horion, S.; Tagesson, T.; Ehammer, A.; Grogan, K.; Tian, F.; Huber, S.; Verbesselt, J.; Prince, S.D.; Tucker, C.J.; Rasmussen, K.

    2015-01-01

    This chapter summarizes approaches to the detection of dryland vegetation change and methods for observing spatio-temporal trends from space. An overview of suitable long-term Earth Observation (EO) based datasets for assessment of global dryland vegetation trends is provided and a status map of

  9. Genomic footprints of dryland stress adaptation in Egyptian fat-tail sheep and their divergence from East African and western Asia cohorts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mwacharo, Joram M; Kim, Eui-Soo; Elbeltagy, Ahmed R; Aboul-Naga, Adel M; Rischkowsky, Barbara A; Rothschild, Max F

    2017-12-15

    African indigenous sheep are classified as fat-tail, thin-tail and fat-rump hair sheep. The fat-tail are well adapted to dryland environments, but little is known on their genome profiles. We analyzed patterns of genomic variation by genotyping, with the Ovine SNP50K microarray, 394 individuals from five populations of fat-tail sheep from a desert environment in Egypt. Comparative inferences with other East African and western Asia fat-tail and European sheep, reveal at least two phylogeographically distinct genepools of fat-tail sheep in Africa that differ from the European genepool, suggesting separate evolutionary and breeding history. We identified 24 candidate selection sweep regions, spanning 172 potentially novel and known genes, which are enriched with genes underpinning dryland adaptation physiology. In particular, we found selection sweeps spanning genes and/or pathways associated with metabolism; response to stress, ultraviolet radiation, oxidative stress and DNA damage repair; activation of immune response; regulation of reproduction, organ function and development, body size and morphology, skin and hair pigmentation, and keratinization. Our findings provide insights on the complexity of genome architecture regarding dryland stress adaptation in the fat-tail sheep and showcase the indigenous stocks as appropriate genotypes for adaptation planning to sustain livestock production and human livelihoods, under future climates.

  10. The geomorphology of wetlands in drylands: Resilience, nonresilience, or …?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tooth, Stephen

    2018-03-01

    Over the last decade, much attention has focused on wetland resilience to disturbances such as extreme weather events, longer climate change, and human activities. In geomorphology and cognate disciplines, resilience is defined in various ways and has physical and socioeconomic dimensions but commonly is taken to mean the ability of a system to (A) withstand disturbance, (B) recover from disturbance, or (C) adapt and evolve in response to disturbance to a more desirable (e.g., stable) configuration. Most studies of wetland resilience have tended to focus on the more-or-less permanently saturated humid region wetlands, but whether the findings can be readily transferred to wetlands in drylands remains unclear. Given the natural climatic variability and overall strong moisture deficit characteristic of drylands, are such wetlands likely to be more resilient or less resilient? Focusing on wetlands in the South African drylands, this paper uses existing geomorphological, sedimentological, and geochronological data sets to provide the spatial (up to 50 km2) and temporal (late Quaternary) framework for an assessment of geomorphological resilience. Some wetlands have been highly resilient to environmental (especially climate) change, but others have been nonresilient with marked transformations in channel-floodplain structure and process connectivity having been driven by natural factors (e.g., local base-level fall, drought) or human activities (e.g., channel excavation, floodplain drainage). Key issues related to the assessment of wetland resilience include channel-floodplain dynamics in relation to geomorphological thresholds, wetland geomorphological 'life cycles', and the relative roles of natural and human activities. These issues raise challenges for the involvement of geomorphologists in the practical application of the resilience concept in wetland management. A key consideration is how geomorphological resilience interfaces with other dimensions of resilience

  11. Noise-induced stability in dryland plant ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Odorico, Paolo; Laio, Francesco; Ridolfi, Luca

    2005-08-02

    Dryland plant ecosystems tend to exhibit bistable dynamics with two preferential configurations of bare and vegetated soils. Climate fluctuations are usually believed to act as a source of disturbance on these ecosystems and to reduce their stability and resilience. In contrast, this work shows that random interannual fluctuations of precipitation may lead to the emergence of an intermediate statistically stable condition between the two stable states of the deterministic dynamics of vegetation. As a result, there is an enhancement of ecosystem resilience and a decrease in the likelihood of catastrophic shifts to the desert state.

  12. Biological soil crusts: a fundamental organizing agent in global drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, J.; Zhang, Y.

    2013-12-01

    Ecosystem function is profoundly affected by plant community composition, which is ultimately determined by factors that govern seed retention. Dryland ecosystems constitute ~35% of terrestrial surfaces, with most soils in these regions covered by biological soil crusts (biocrusts), a community whose autotrophs are dominated by cyanobacteria, lichens, and mosses. Studies at 550 sites revealed that plant community composition was controlled by the interaction among biocrust type, disturbance regime, and external morphology of seeds. In bare soils (due to disturbance), all seed types were present in the seedbank and plant community. As biocrusts became better developed (i.e., the cover of lichens and mosses increased), they more strongly filtered out seeds with appendages. Thus, soils under late successional biocrusts contained seedbanks dominated by smooth seeds and vascular plants growing in late successional biocrusts were dominated by those with smooth seeds. Therefore, the tension between the removal of biocrusts by soil surface disturbance and their recovery creates a shifting mosaic of plant patch types in both space and time. Because changes in vascular plant communities reverberate throughout both below ground and above ground food webs and thus affect multiple trophic levels, we propose that biocrusts are a fundamental organizing agent in drylands worldwide. Future increased demand for resources will intensify land use both temporally and spatially, resulting in an increased rate of biocrust loss across larger areas. As a result, we can expect shifts in the composition and distribution of plant communities, accompanied by concomitant changes in many aspects of dryland ecosystems. Conceptual model of shifting dryland plant mosaics through space and time. Within the large circles, soil surface type changes with time in the same space, going from bare uncrusted soil (B) to cyanobacterial biocrust (C) to lichen/moss (L/M) biocrust. Disturbance (D) drives the

  13. The impact of dry-land sprint start training on the short track speed skating start.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haug, William B; Drinkwater, Eric J; Cicero, Nicholas J; Barthell, J Anthony; Chapman, Dale W

    2017-05-05

    This investigation sought to determine the effects of dry-land sprint start training on short track speed skating (STSS) start performance. Nine highly trained short track athletes completed a control period of normal STSS training followed by a four-week training intervention. Before and after the control and intervention periods, athletes performed three electronically timed dry-land and on-ice 14.43 m maximal sprint start efforts. The intervention consisted of two sprint sessions per week consisting of nine electronically timed 14.43 m dry-land sprint starts in addition to normal STSS training. The control period resulted in no substantial change in on-ice start performance (Mean Δ: -0.01 s, 95% Confidence Limits (CL): -0.08 to 0.05 s; Effect Size (ES): -0.05; Trivial) however, a small change was observed in dry-land start performance (Mean Δ: -0.07 s, 95% CL: -0.13 to -0.02 s; ES: -0.49). Following brief specific dry-land sprint start training a small improvement was observed in both on-ice (Mean Δ: -0.07 s, 95% CL: -0.13 to -0.01 s; ES: -0.33) and dry-land (Mean Δ: -0.04 s, 95% CL: -0.09 to 0.00 s; ES: -0.29) start performance. This investigation suggests STSS start performance can be improved through a brief dry-land sprint start training program.

  14. Sustainability aspects of biobased applications : comparison of different crops and products from the sugar platform BO-12.05-002-008

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bos, H.L.; Meesters, K.P.H.; Conijn, J.G.; Corre, W.J.; Patel, M.

    2011-01-01

    In this study different uses of biomass are compared. In order to allow for a systematic comparison the study focuses on three different chemicals that can be produced from sugar. In this way it is also, in principle, possible to compare different crops for the production of the same product. The

  15. Alternative crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andreasen, L.M.; Boon, A.D.

    1992-01-01

    Surplus cereal production in the EEC and decreasing product prices, mainly for cereals, has prompted considerable interest for new earnings in arable farming. The objective was to examine whether suggested new crops (fibre, oil, medicinal and alternative grains crops) could be considered as real alternatives. Whether a specific crop can compete economically with cereals and whether there is a market demand for the crop is analyzed. The described possibilities will result in ca. 50,000 hectares of new crops. It is expected that they would not immediately provide increased earnings, but in the long run expected price developments are more positive than for cereals. The area for new crops will not solve the current surplus cereal problem as the area used for new crops is only 3% of that used for cereals. Preconditions for many new crops is further research activities and development work as well as the establishment of processing units and organizational initiatives. Presumably, it is stated, there will then be a basis for a profitable production of new crops for some farmers. (AB) (47 refs.)

  16. Drylands face potential threat under 2 °C global warming target

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Jianping; Yu, Haipeng; Dai, Aiguo; Wei, Yun; Kang, Litai

    2017-06-01

    The Paris Agreement aims to limit global mean surface warming to less than 2 °C relative to pre-industrial levels. However, we show this target is acceptable only for humid lands, whereas drylands will bear greater warming risks. Over the past century, surface warming over global drylands (1.2-1.3 °C) has been 20-40% higher than that over humid lands (0.8-1.0 °C), while anthropogenic CO2 emissions generated from drylands (~230 Gt) have been only ~30% of those generated from humid lands (~750 Gt). For the twenty-first century, warming of 3.2-4.0 °C (2.4-2.6 °C) over drylands (humid lands) could occur when global warming reaches 2.0 °C, indicating ~44% more warming over drylands than humid lands. Decreased maize yields and runoff, increased long-lasting drought and more favourable conditions for malaria transmission are greatest over drylands if global warming were to rise from 1.5 °C to 2.0 °C. Our analyses indicate that ~38% of the world's population living in drylands would suffer the effects of climate change due to emissions primarily from humid lands. If the 1.5 °C warming limit were attained, the mean warming over drylands could be within 3.0 °C therefore it is necessary to keep global warming within 1.5 °C to prevent disastrous effects over drylands.

  17. Sedimentary links between hillslopes and channels in a dryland basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollings, R.

    2016-12-01

    The interface between hillslopes and channels is recognised as playing an important role in basin evolution and functioning. However, this interaction has not been described well in landscapes such as drylands, in which the diffuse process of runoff-driven sediment transport is important for sediment communication to the channel and to the basin outlet. This paper combines field measurements of surface sediment grain sizes in channels and on hillslopes with high resolution topography, >60 years of rainfall and runoff data from the Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed (WGEW) in Arizona, and simple calculations of spatial stress distributions for various hydrologic scenarios to explore the potential for sediment to move from hillslopes to channels and through channels across the entire basin. Here we generalise the net movement of sediment in to or out of channel reaches, at high resolution in WGEW, as the balance between hillslope sediment supply to the channel and channel evacuation, in response to a variety of storms and discharge events. Our results show that downstream of small, unit source area watersheds, the balance in the channel often switches from being supply-dominated to being evacuation dominated for all scenarios. The low frequency but high discharge event in the channel seems to control the long term evolution of the channel, as stress is far greater for this scenario than other scenarios tested. The results draw on the high variability of rainfall characteristics to drive runoff events and so provides a physical explanation for long-term evolution of the channel network in drylands.

  18. 7th International Crop Science Congress Announcement

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2016-01-01

    August 14–19,2016 Beijing,China Crop Science—Innovation and SustainabilityInternational Crop Science Congress(ICSC)is a regular forum for crop scientists from around the world to integrate current knowledge into a global context and international applications.The Congress is organized about every four years beginning in July,1992.The International Crop Science Society has primary oversight for general

  19. The Impact of Field Size on the Environment and Energy Crop Production Efficiency for a Sustainable Indigenous Bioenergy Supply Chain in the Republic of Ireland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rory Deverell

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available This paper investigates, using the GIS platform, the potential impacts of meeting national bioenergy targets using only indigenous sources of feedstock on the habitats and carbon stores that exist within Ireland’s field boundaries. A survey of the Republic of Irelands field was conducted in order to estimate and map the size and geographic distribution of the Republic of Ireland’s field boundaries. The planting and harvesting costs associated with possible bioenergy crop production systems were determined using the relationship between the seasonal operating efficiency and the average field size. The results indicate that Ireland will need a large proportion of its current agricultural area (at least 16.5% in order to its meet national bioenergy targets by 2020. The demand cannot be met by the current area that both has suitable soil type for growing the bioenergy crops and is large enough for the required operating efficiency. The results of this study indicate that implementing and meeting national bioenergy targets using only indigenous feedstock will likely impact the country’s field boundary resources negatively, as crop producers seek to improve production efficiency through field consolidation and field boundary removal. It was found that such boundary removal results in a loss of up to 6 tC/km2 and 0.7 ha/km of previously permanent habitat where average field size is small. The impact of field consolidation on these resources reduces substantially as larger fields become consolidated.

  20. Biotechnology Towards Energy Crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margaritopoulou, Theoni; Roka, Loukia; Alexopoulou, Efi; Christou, Myrsini; Rigas, Stamatis; Haralampidis, Kosmas; Milioni, Dimitra

    2016-03-01

    New crops are gradually establishing along with cultivation systems to reduce reliance on depleting fossil fuel reserves and sustain better adaptation to climate change. These biological assets could be efficiently exploited as bioenergy feedstocks. Bioenergy crops are versatile renewable sources with the potential to alternatively contribute on a daily basis towards the coverage of modern society's energy demands. Biotechnology may facilitate the breeding of elite energy crop genotypes, better suited for bio-processing and subsequent use that will improve efficiency, further reduce costs, and enhance the environmental benefits of biofuels. Innovative molecular techniques may improve a broad range of important features including biomass yield, product quality and resistance to biotic factors like pests or microbial diseases or environmental cues such as drought, salinity, freezing injury or heat shock. The current review intends to assess the capacity of biotechnological applications to develop a beneficial bioenergy pipeline extending from feedstock development to sustainable biofuel production and provide examples of the current state of the art on future energy crops.

  1. Impacts of manure application on soil environment, rainfall use efficiency and crop biomass under dryland farming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiaojuan; Jia, Zhikuan; Liang, Lianyou; Yang, Baoping; Ding, Ruixia; Nie, Junfeng; Wang, Junpeng

    2016-02-12

    Because of inadequate nutrient and water supply, soils are often unproductive in Northwest China. We studied the effects of manure application at low (LM 7.5  t ha(-1)), medium (MM 15 t ha(-1)), and high (HM 22.5 t ha(-1)) rates combined with fixed levels of chemical fertilizers on maize growth and rainfall use efficiency compared with chemical fertilizers (CK) under semi-arid conditions over a three-year period. HM and MM treatments could significantly increase soil water storage (0-120 cm) at tasseling stage of maize compared with LM treatment and CK (P < 0.05). Dry matter accumulation and rainfall use efficiency increased as manure application rate increasing (P < 0.05). HM treatment significantly increased rainfall use efficiency by 6.5-12.7% at big trumpeting - tasseling stage compared with LM and MM treatments. HM and MM treatments increased rainfall use efficiency by 8.6-18.1% at tasseling - grain filling stage compared with CK. There was no significant difference on biomass between HM and MM treatments at grain filling and maturity stages of maize in 2009 and 2010.

  2. Will breeding for nitrogen use efficient crops lead to nitrogen use efficient cropping systems?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dresbøll, Dorte Bodin; Thorup-Kristensen, Kristian

    2014-01-01

    The benefits of improving nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) in crops are typically studied through the performance of the individual crop. However, in order to increase yields in a sustainable way, improving NUE of the cropping systems must be the aim. We did a model simulation study to investigate h...

  3. Vegetation in drylands: Effects on wind flow and aeolian sediment transport

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drylands are characterised by patchy vegetation, erodible surfaces and erosive aeolian processes. Empirical and modelling studies have shown that vegetation elements provide drag on the overlying airflow, thus affecting wind velocity profiles and altering erosive dynamics on desert surfaces. However...

  4. Winter cover crop effect on corn seedling pathogens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cover crops are an excellent management tool to improve the sustainability of agriculture. Winter rye cover crops have been used successfully in Iowa corn-soybean rotations. Unfortunately, winter rye cover crops occasionally reduce yields of the following corn crop. We hypothesize that one potential...

  5. Energy balance and greenhouse gas emissions of dryland camelina as influenced by tillage and nitrogen

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Keshavarz-Afshar, Reza; Mohammed, Yesuf Assen; Chen, Chengci

    2015-01-01

    Despite the great potential of camelina (Camelina sativa L. Crantz) as a promising biofuel feedstock, in-farm energy flow of the crop and its associated environmental impacts has not received sufficient attention from researchers. In order to assess net energy gain and to identify energy saving and environmental friendly production operations, a two year study was conducted at central Montana. We investigated the effects of tillage method (CT (conventional tillage) vs. NT (no-tillage)) and N (nitrogen) fertilizer rate (0, 45, 90 kg N ha −1 ) on energy balance and GHG (greenhouse gas emission) of dryland camelina production. Results indicated that energy input and GHG emission were 5 and 8% lower in NT than in CT. Application of 45 and 90 kg N ha −1 increased camelina energy input by 186 and 365%, while increased energy output by only 21 and 64%, respectively. There was no significant difference in net energy gain in response to N fertilization, but lower energy efficiency in response to higher N inputs. Averaged across tillage systems, the GHG emission was 32.0 kg C eq ha −1 with 0 N applied, and the GHG emission increased by 206 and 389% when 45 and 90 kg N ha −1 was applied. Overall, N fertilizer had the biggest share in total energy input. Averaged over all experimental treatments, 14,945 MJ ha −1 net energy was obtained from camelina crop in this study which shows the potential of this crop as a bioenergy feedstock. Our result showed that implementation of NT is strongly recommendable for camelina production in this region. Moreover, improvement of N use efficiency has the highest priority to improve energy performance and reduce GHG emissions in camelina production. - Highlights: • Camelina produced 14,945 MJ ha −1 of net energy in this study. • No tillage operation reduced 5% energy input and 8% greenhouse gas emission. • Nitrogen fertilizer was the most energy-intensive input in camelina production.

  6. The role of refuges in the persistence of Australian dryland mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavey, Chris R; Addison, Jane; Brandle, Rob; Dickman, Chris R; McDonald, Peter J; Moseby, Katherine E; Young, Lauren I

    2017-05-01

    Irruptive population dynamics are characteristic of a wide range of fauna in the world's arid (dryland) regions. Recent evidence indicates that regional persistence of irruptive species, particularly small mammals, during the extensive dry periods of unpredictable length that occur between resource pulses in drylands occurs as a result of the presence of refuge habitats or refuge patches into which populations contract during dry (bust) periods. These small dry-period populations act as a source of animals when recolonisation of the surrounding habitat occurs during and after subsequent resource pulses (booms). The refuges used by irruptive dryland fauna differ in temporal and spatial scale from the refugia to which species contract in response to changing climate. Refuges of dryland fauna operate over timescales of months and years, whereas refugia operate on timescales of millennia over which evolutionary divergence may occur. Protection and management of refuge patches and refuge habitats should be a priority for the conservation of dryland-dwelling fauna. This urgency is driven by recognition that disturbance to refuges can lead to the extinction of local populations and, if disturbance is widespread, entire species. Despite the apparent significance of dryland refuges for conservation management, these sites remain poorly understood ecologically. Here, we synthesise available information on the refuges of dryland-dwelling fauna, using Australian mammals as a case study to provide focus, and document a research agenda for increasing this knowledge base. We develop a typology of refuges that recognises two main types of refuge: fixed and shifting. We outline a suite of models of fixed refuges on the basis of stability in occupancy between and within successive bust phases of population cycles. To illustrate the breadth of refuge types we provide case studies of refuge use in three species of dryland mammal: plains mouse (Pseudomys australis), central rock

  7. Evaluation of herbacceous biomass crops in the northern Great Plains. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meyer, D.W.; Norby, W.E.; Erickson, D.O.; Johnson, R.G. [North Dakota State Univ., Fargo, ND (United States)

    1994-08-01

    Herbaceous lignocellulose crops are a potential renewable feedstock for biochemical conversion systems second in size to wood products. Several herbaceous crops are utilized as forage crops in the northern Great Plains, but forage quality considerations usually dictates a early harvest. Biomass cropping does not have this constraint; therefore, little information was available on herbaceous crops utilized as energy crops prior to this project. Our primary objectives were to evaluate the biomass yield and select chemical components of several herbaceous crops for energy crops in the northern Great Plains, compare the economic feasibility of energy crops with common competing crops, and evaluate biomass cropping on summer fallow lands. Three good, two marginal, and one irrigated sites were used during 1988 to 1992 for the first component. At least six perennial and four annual biomass species were included at all sites. Three to four nitrogen (N) levels and a crop-recrop comparison (annuals only) were management intensities included. Biomass cropping on idled lands was performed on dryland at Carrington and evaluated the effects of removing leguminous biomass on fallowed lands. This report summarizes results from the 5-year project.

  8. Legacies of flood reduction on a dryland river

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stromberg, J.C.; Shafroth, P.B.; Hazelton, A.F.

    2012-01-01

    The Bill Williams (Arizona) is a regulated dryland river that is being managed, in part, for biodiversity via flow management. To inform management, we contrasted riparian plant communities between the Bill Williams and an upstream free-flowing tributary (Santa Maria). Goals of a first study (1996-1997) were to identify environmental controls on herbaceous species richness and compare richness among forest types. Analyses revealed that herbaceous species richness was negatively related to woody stem density, basal area and litter cover and positively related to light levels. Introduced Tamarix spp. was more frequent at the Bill Williams, but all three main forest types (Tamarix, Salix/Populus, Prosopis) had low understory richness, as well as high stem density and low light, on the Bill Williams as compared to the Santa Maria. The few edaphic differences between rivers (higher salinity at Bill Williams) had only weak connections with richness. A second study (2006-2007) focused on floristic richness at larger spatial scales. It revealed that during spring, and for the study cumulatively (spring and fall samplings combined), the riparian zone of the unregulated river had considerably more plant species. Annuals (vs. herbaceous perennials and woody species) showed the largest between-river difference. Relative richness of exotic (vs. native) species did not differ. We conclude that: (1) The legacy of reduced scouring frequency and extent at the Bill Williams has reduced the open space available for colonization by annuals; and (2) Change in forest biomass structure, more so than change in forest composition, is the major driver of changes in plant species richness along this flow-altered river. Our study informs dryland river management options by revealing trade-offs that exist between forest biomass structure and plant species richness. ?? 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  9. Multifunctional Dryland Forestry: Accumulating Experience From the East-Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osem, Y.; Shachack, M.; Moshe, I.

    2014-12-01

    Although small in size the landscapes of East Mediterranean Israel extend over a wide geo-climatic gradient ranging from dry sub-humid to hyper-arid lands. Thousands of years under intense human exploitation in this region, involving cutting, livestock grazing, agricultural practice and fire have resulted in severe degradation of these water limited ecosystems. The highly degraded state of the native vegetation as found by the new settlers coming to Israel in the beginning of the previous century, has provided the basic motivation for an extensive afforestation enterprise carried out during the last 100 years. This talk will present an overview on the accumulating experience in establishing and managing multifunctional forests in this dryland region. Given their very limited timber value, dryland forests are designed and managed under various goals the important of which are landscape aesthetics, recreation opportunities, grazing land, ecosystem restoration and soil conservation. Being subjected to water scarcity of high temporal and spatial variation, these manmade systems are managed to withstand water deficiency of unpredictable magnitude through the manipulation of both water input and water consumption. In the dry subhumid regions, forest management focuses mainly on controlling water consumption through the manipulation of vegetation structure using thinning and livestock grazing as primary silvicultural tools. Going into the semiarid zone, practices of rainfall redistribution and runoff harvesting become crucial for tree establishment and growth. The implementation of these practices varies depending on topography, rainfall amount and forest goals. The talk will provide a brief description of these unique silvicultural systems, review some of the recent scientific work in them and refer to critical gaps in knowledge. The relevancy to intercrop agroforestry in rainfed ecosystems will be discussed.

  10. Changes in Nitrogen Cycling in a Shrub-Encroached Dryland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turpin-Jelfs, T. C.; Michaelides, K.; Biederman, J. A.; Evershed, R. P.; Anesio, A. M.

    2017-12-01

    Land degradation is estimated to have occurred in 10-20% of Earth's drylands, where the environmental and socioeconomic consequences have affected 250 million people. The prevailing form of land degradation in drylands over the past ca. 150 years has been the encroachment of woody plants into arid and semi-arid grasslands. The density of mesquite (Prosopis spp.), a significant nitrogen (N)-fixing woody encroacher, has increased within the arid and semi-arid grasslands of the southwestern US by >400% over the past 30 years to occupy an area of >38 Mha. However, the impacts of an increasing density of N-fixing shrubs on the cycling and spatial variability of N within these ecosystems remains poorly understood. Here, we quantify how concentrations of N (ammonium-N, nitrate-N, organic N), as well as carbon (C; total C and organic C) and phosphorous (P; loosely-bound P, iron- and aluminium-bound P, apatite P and calcite-bound P, and residual P), and the structure of the microbial community (phospholipid fatty acids), change in the soils underneath and between shrub canopies along a gradient of shrub-encroachment for a semiarid grassland in the Santa Rita Experimental Range (SRER) Arizona, US. This gradient of encroachment was comprised of five sites that ranged from a grass dominated state to a shrub-dominated state characterised by mosaics of shrub patches and bare-soil interspaces. Our results show that the organic C and total N content of soils between shrubs decreased by >50% between grass dominant and shrub dominant end-member sites. Conversely, the organic C and total N content of soils beneath shrub canopies remained relatively constant along the encroachment gradient.

  11. Lights and shadows of sustainable development and combat against desertification: economic rationalities in the eye of the storm. Case study involving goat producers in drylands (Mendoza, Argentina Claroscuros del desarrollo sustentable y la lucha contra la desertificación: las racionalidades económicas en el ojo de la tormenta: Estudio de caso con productores caprinos de tierras secas [Mendoza, Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Torres

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available This work analyses the conflict situation present in the province's drylands between goat producers and programmes to combat desertification regarding production practices and the use producers make of natural resources. The case study tackled comprises the north-eastern extreme of Mendoza province. The , which is the hyperarid spot of the region, severely affected by desertification processes, covering an extent of 10,007 km2, and with 3015 inhabitants, where small goat breeding farms predominate. Previous studies indicate that the major causes of desertification in the area are logging of the native woodland and overgrazing which have led to improper livestock production practices. In response to this, the actions to combat desertification commonly point out the need to "raise awareness" and "build capacities" of the producers by initiating processes of change in the production systems. The proposals insist that, if the current level of pressure on resources is maintained, the already serious poverty conditions will grow worse in the future. Nevertheless, despite the efforts and funds invested, the producers seem to stubbornly persist in their present production strategies and in the dynamics of natural resource use derived from them. How to explain their refusal to consider other production options likely to result in higher profit and better environmental balance? How to explain that they act, at least apparently, against their own benefits? Against the explanations that place the producers' "culture" is the most important problem, the present work seeks to cooperate in clarifying these questions through an analysis of the different rationalities that, held by different actors, converge in the area. By using a mixed methodology, the paper analyse three dimensions: 1- The environmental resource supply, which is the basis of production activities, 2- The income attained by goat production units, and 3- The expenditures they face in terms of

  12. Effects of Genetically Modified Crops on Food Security

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MS Hosseini

    2018-03-01

    CONCLUSION: Therefore, discussing the existing concerns about production of GM crops should be with caution because there is little information on the impact of GM crops on sustainable agriculture. Thus, it requires decision making at national and even international levels.

  13. Systems Biology for Smart Crops and Agricultural Innovation: Filling the Gaps between Genotype and Phenotype for Complex Traits Linked with Robust Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pathak, Rajesh Kumar; Gupta, Sanjay Mohan; Gaur, Vikram Singh; Pandey, Dinesh

    2015-01-01

    Abstract In recent years, rapid developments in several omics platforms and next generation sequencing technology have generated a huge amount of biological data about plants. Systems biology aims to develop and use well-organized and efficient algorithms, data structure, visualization, and communication tools for the integration of these biological data with the goal of computational modeling and simulation. It studies crop plant systems by systematically perturbing them, checking the gene, protein, and informational pathway responses; integrating these data; and finally, formulating mathematical models that describe the structure of system and its response to individual perturbations. Consequently, systems biology approaches, such as integrative and predictive ones, hold immense potential in understanding of molecular mechanism of agriculturally important complex traits linked to agricultural productivity. This has led to identification of some key genes and proteins involved in networks of pathways involved in input use efficiency, biotic and abiotic stress resistance, photosynthesis efficiency, root, stem and leaf architecture, and nutrient mobilization. The developments in the above fields have made it possible to design smart crops with superior agronomic traits through genetic manipulation of key candidate genes. PMID:26484978

  14. Sustainable use of pig slurry, with and without treatment, as an amendment organic in almond crop; Utilizacion sostenible de purines de cerdo, con y sin tratamiento, como enmienda organica en cultivos de almendro

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dominguez Oliver, S. G.; Faz Cano, A.

    2009-07-01

    This study consists in the use of different forms of slurry, as an organic fertilizer, on almond trees located in La Aljorra (Cartegena, Murcia). The slurry used comes from a farm near the area of study, which has a treatment system composed by tree parts: a phase separator, a bioreactor and 5 constructed wetlands of vertical flow. Different phases of slurry are obtained from each part of the system. The results show the reduction of most of the parameters lime salinity, BOD{sub 5} QOD, nitrate, etc. The use of these effluents as an organic amend in different doses, supposes a sustainable way of management of these residues; at the same time it improves the soil properties and the agronomic quality of the almond tree crop. (Author) 4 refs.

  15. Sustainable Table | Welcome to Sustainable Table

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sustainable Seafood Industrial Agriculture Industrial Livestock Production Antibiotics Hormones rBGH Animal , safeguarding animal welfare and supporting local communities. Questions to Ask Asking questions is the best way Livestock Husbandry Sustainable Crop Production Innovative Agriculture New Farmers Organic Agriculture Local

  16. THE POTENTIAL ROLE OF REMOTE SENSING IN TRANSGENIC CROP MONITORING PROGRAMS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sustainable agriculture combines efficient production with wise stewardship of the earth's resources. Development of environmentally benign production techniques is one focus of sustainable agriculture. The new transgenic crops producing toxic proteins that target specific crop p...

  17. BLACK PEPPER: IMPORTANCE OF CROP DEFENSE TO THE SUSTAINABILITY OF THE ACTIVITY IN THE NORTH OF THE ESPÍRITO SANTO

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno Sérgio Oliveira e Silva

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available The fusarium wilt disease is the main crop, whether restricted to Brazil. The disease is caused by the fungus Fusarium solani f. sp. piperis., and in the last years the disease has reduced the life of peppers ranging 12-15 years, for a range of four to six years. Discussing subjects about etiology, symptoms, epidemiology and control, this research is part of a larger project being developed with the Postgraduate Program in Tropical Agriculture in the Centro Universitário Norte do Espírito Santo / UFES. The disease can start from the roots or branches with the evolution of the disease is observed in a drying plant. Conditions of high humidity favor the production of conidia and more efficient control methods to be adopted in the control of fusarium wilt of black pepper are preventive yet.

  18. Canaryseed Crop

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maximiliano Cogliatti

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Canaryseed (Phalaris canariensis L. is a graminaceous crop species with production practices and cycle similar to those of other winter cereal crops such as spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L. and oat (Avena sativa L.. Currently its grains are used almost exclusively as feed for birds, alone or mixed with other grains like millet, sunflower seed, and flaxseed. Canaryseed is a genuine cereal with a unique composition that suggests its potential for food use. P. canariensis is cultivated in many areas of temperate climates. Currently, its production is concentrated in the southwestern provinces of Canada (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and on a smaller scale in Argentina, Thailand and Australia. Globally it is considered to be a minor crop with regional relevance, with a production about of 250000 tonnes per year, which restricts private investment and public research on its genetic and technological improvement. For this reason, the type of crop management that is applied to this species largely depends on innovations made in other similar crops. This work provides an updated summary of the available information on the species: its requirements, distribution, genetic resources, cultivation practices, potential uses, marketing and other topics of interest to researchers and producers.

  19. Performance of dryland and wetland plant species on extensive green roofs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacIvor, J Scott; Ranalli, Melissa A; Lundholm, Jeremy T

    2011-04-01

    Green roofs are constructed ecosystems where plants perform valuable services, ameliorating the urban environment through roof temperature reductions and stormwater interception. Plant species differ in functional characteristics that alter ecosystem properties. Plant performance research on extensive green roofs has so far indicated that species adapted to dry conditions perform optimally. However, in moist, humid climates, species typical of wetter soils might have advantages over dryland species. In this study, survival, growth and the performance of thermal and stormwater capture functions of three pairs of dryland and wetland plant species were quantified using an extensive modular green roof system. Seedlings of all six species were germinated in a greenhouse and planted into green roof modules with 6 cm of growing medium. There were 34 treatments consisting of each species in monoculture and all combinations of wet- and dryland species in a randomized block design. Performance measures were survival, vegetation cover and roof surface temperature recorded for each module over two growing seasons, water loss (an estimate of evapotranspiration) in 2007, and albedo and water capture in 2008. Over two seasons, dryland plants performed better than wetland plants, and increasing the number of dryland species in mixtures tended to improve functioning, although there was no clear effect of species or habitat group diversity. All species had survival rates >75 % after the first winter; however, dryland species had much greater cover, an important indicator of green roof performance. Sibbaldiopsis tridentata was the top performing species in monoculture, and was included in the best treatments. Although dryland species outperformed wetland species, planting extensive green roofs with both groups decreased performance only slightly, while increasing diversity and possibly habitat value. This study provides further evidence that plant composition and diversity can

  20. Water satisfaction analysis for dryland maize production in Frankfort

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Moeletsi, ME

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available and the atmospheric demand. To assess crop performance based on water available to the crop during the growing season the water requirement satisfaction index (WRSI) was developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as documented in the FAO Plant...

  1. Plant-plant interactions in the restoration of Mediterranean drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valdecantos, Alejandro; Fuentes, David; Smanis, Athanasios

    2014-05-01

    Plant-plant interactions are complex and dependent of both local abiotic features of the ecosystem and biotic relationships with other plants and animals. The net result of these interactions may be positive, negative or neutral resulting in facilitation, competition or neutralism, respectively (role of phylogeny). It has been proposed that competition is stronger between those individuals that share functional traits than between unrelated ones. The relative interaction effect of one plant on a neighbour may change in relation to resource availability - especially water in drylands. In addition, plants develop above and belowground biomass with time increasing the level and, eventually, changing the intensity and/or the direction of the interaction. In the framework of the restoration of degraded drylands, many studies have focused on the positive (nurse) effects of adult trees, shrubs and even grasses on artificially planted seedlings by improving the microclimate or providing protection against herbivores, but little is known about the interactions between seedlings of different life traits planted together under natural field conditions. In 2010 we established planting plots in two contrasted sites under semiarid Mediterranean climate and introduced one year old seedlings in different combinations of three species, two shrubs (Olea europaea and Pistacia lentiscus) and one grass (Stipa tenacissima). Half of the planting holes in each site were implemented with low-cost ecotechnological inputs to increase water availability by forcing runoff production and promoting deep infiltration (small plastic fabric + dry well). This resulted in four levels of abiotic stress. Biotic interactions were assessed by monitoring seedling survival and growth for three years after planting. The Relative Interaction Index (RII) of S. tenacissima on O. europaea was almost flat and close to 0 along the stress gradient since the beginning of the study suggesting limited interaction

  2. Climate variability: Possible changes with climate change and impacts on crop yields

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mearns, L.O.

    1991-01-01

    A pilot study was carried out of the sensitivity of the CERES wheat model, a deterministic crop-climate model, to changes in the interannual variability of temperature and precipitation. The study was designed to determine the effect of changed temperature variance on the mean and variance of the simulated yields, to compare the effect with the effect of mean temperature changes, and to determine the interacting effects of changes in mean and variance of temperature. The CERES model was applied to 29 cropping years (1952-1980), using three different soil types and two different management practices (fully irrigated and dryland). The coefficients of variation of the yields for irrigated and dryland conditions are plotted against variance change. It was found that in both management systems, the yield response is usually greater to increases rather than decreases in variance. The combined effect of mean and variance temperature changes are most striking under irrigated conditions, with a dramatic decrease in yield variability in the high mean climate change scenario with decreased temperature variance. This suggests that the variability decrease might mitigate the effect of a mean increase in temperature. This result is not found with the dryland case, where decreased temperature variability has little impact on yield variability. 12 refs., 4 figs

  3. Biochar: a novel tool to enhance wheat productivity and soil fertility on sustainable basis under wheat-maize-wheat cropping pattern

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ali, K.; Jan, M.T.; Munsif, F.

    2015-01-01

    The application of organic matter is an important element for preserving long-term soil fertility because it is the reservoir of metabolic energy, which drives soil biological processes involved in nutrient availability. Two years field experiments were conducted for the assessment of the interactive effect of biochar with synthetic fertilizer and farmyard manure. Biochar application at the rate of 25 t ha-1 increased spikes m-2 by 6.64%, grains spike-1 by 5.6%, thousand grain weight by 3.73, grain yield by 9.96%, biological yield by 15.36%, phosphorus use efficiency by 29.03% and grain phosphorus uptake by 19.67% in comparison with no biochar treated plots. Likewise, biochar application significantly increased soil carbon (C), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) by 54.02, 61.39 and 18.41%, respectively. Similarly, farmyard manure at the rate of 10 t ha-1 resulted in significantly higher yield components, grain yield, soil C, P and K than 5 t ha-1. Likewise, mineral nitrogen application at the rate of 120 kg ha-1 improved wheat yield and yield components with no significant effect on soil C, P and K contents. It is concluded that application biochar either alone or in combination with FYM or mineral nitrogen improved yield and yield components of wheat and soil quality in wheat-maize cropping pattern. (author)

  4. Albedo feedbacks to future climate via climate change impacts on dryland biocrusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutherford, William A.; Painter, Thomas H.; Ferrenberg, Scott; Belnap, Jayne; Okin, Gregory S.; Flagg, Cody B.; Reed, Sasha C.

    2017-01-01

    Drylands represent the planet’s largest terrestrial biome and evidence suggests these landscapes have large potential for creating feedbacks to future climate. Recent studies also indicate that dryland ecosystems are responding markedly to climate change. Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) ‒ soil surface communities of lichens, mosses, and/or cyanobacteria ‒ comprise up to 70% of dryland cover and help govern fundamental ecosystem functions, including soil stabilization and carbon uptake. Drylands are expected to experience significant changes in temperature and precipitation regimes, and such alterations may impact biocrust communities by promoting rapid mortality of foundational species. In turn, biocrust community shifts affect land surface cover and roughness—changes that can dramatically alter albedo. We tested this hypothesis in a full-factorial warming (+4 °C above ambient) and altered precipitation (increased frequency of 1.2 mm monsoon-type watering events) experiment on the Colorado Plateau, USA. We quantified changes in shortwave albedo via multi-angle, solar-reflectance measurements. Warming and watering treatments each led to large increases in albedo (>30%). This increase was driven by biophysical factors related to treatment effects on cyanobacteria cover and soil surface roughness following treatment-induced moss and lichen mortality. A rise in dryland surface albedo may represent a previously unidentified feedback to future climate.

  5. Albedo feedbacks to future climate via climate change impacts on dryland biocrusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutherford, William A.; Painter, Thomas H.; Ferrenberg, Scott; Belnap, Jayne; Okin, Gregory S.; Flagg, Cody; Reed, Sasha C.

    2017-03-01

    Drylands represent the planet’s largest terrestrial biome and evidence suggests these landscapes have large potential for creating feedbacks to future climate. Recent studies also indicate that dryland ecosystems are responding markedly to climate change. Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) ‒ soil surface communities of lichens, mosses, and/or cyanobacteria ‒ comprise up to 70% of dryland cover and help govern fundamental ecosystem functions, including soil stabilization and carbon uptake. Drylands are expected to experience significant changes in temperature and precipitation regimes, and such alterations may impact biocrust communities by promoting rapid mortality of foundational species. In turn, biocrust community shifts affect land surface cover and roughness—changes that can dramatically alter albedo. We tested this hypothesis in a full-factorial warming (+4 °C above ambient) and altered precipitation (increased frequency of 1.2 mm monsoon-type watering events) experiment on the Colorado Plateau, USA. We quantified changes in shortwave albedo via multi-angle, solar-reflectance measurements. Warming and watering treatments each led to large increases in albedo (>30%). This increase was driven by biophysical factors related to treatment effects on cyanobacteria cover and soil surface roughness following treatment-induced moss and lichen mortality. A rise in dryland surface albedo may represent a previously unidentified feedback to future climate.

  6. Aeolian and fluvial processes in dryland regions: the need for integrated studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Munson, Seth M.; Field, Jason P.

    2011-01-01

    Aeolian and fluvial processes play a fundamental role in dryland regions of the world and have important environmental and ecological consequences from local to global scales. Although both processes operate over similar spatial and temporal scales and are likely strongly coupled in many dryland systems, aeolian and fluvial processes have traditionally been studied separately, making it difficult to assess their relative importance in drylands, as well as their potential for synergistic interaction. Land degradation by accelerated wind and water erosion is a major problem throughout the world's drylands, and although recent studies suggest that these processes likely interact across broad spatial and temporal scales to amplify the transport of soil resources from and within drylands, many researchers and land managers continue to view them as separate and unrelated processes. Here, we illustrate how aeolian and fluvial sediment transport is coupled at multiple spatial and temporal scales and highlight the need for these interrelated processes to be studied from a more integrated perspective that crosses traditional disciplinary boundaries. Special attention is given to how the growing threat of climate change and land-use disturbance will influence linkages between aeolian and fluvial processes in the future. We also present emerging directions for interdisciplinary needs within the aeolian and fluvial research communities that call for better integration across a broad range of traditional disciplines such as ecology, biogeochemistry, agronomy, and soil conservation.

  7. Land Degradation States and Trends in the Northwestern Maghreb Drylands, 1998–2008

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriel del Barrio

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available States of ecological maturity and temporal trends of drylands in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia north of 28°N are reported for 1998–2008. The input data were Normalized Difference Vegetation Index databases and corresponding climate fields, at a spatial resolution of 1 km and a temporal resolution of one month. States convey opposing dynamics of human exploitation and ecological succession. They were identified synchronically for the full period by comparing each location to all other locations in the study area under equivalent aridity. Rain Use Efficiency (RUE at two temporal scales was used to estimate proxies for biomass and turnover rate. Biomass trends were determined for every location by stepwise regression using time and aridity as predictors. This enabled human-induced degradation to be separated from simple responses to interannual climate variation. Some relevant findings include large areas of degraded land, albeit improving over time or fluctuating with climate, but rarely degrading further; smaller, but significant areas of mature and reference vegetation in most climate zones; very low overall active degradation rates throughout the area during the decade observed; biomass accumulation over time exceeding depletion in most zones; and negative feedback between land states and trends suggesting overall landscape persistence. Semiarid zones were found to be the most vulnerable. Those results can be disaggregated by country or province. The combination with existing land cover maps and national forest inventories leads to the information required by the two progress indicators associated with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification strategic objective to improve the conditions of ecosystems and with the Sustainable Development Goal Target 15.3 to achieve land degradation neutrality. Beyond that, the results are also useful as a basis for land management and restoration.

  8. Dust-associated microbiomes from dryland wheat fields differ with tillage practice and biosolids application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlatter, Daniel C.; Schillinger, William F.; Bary, Andy I.; Sharratt, Brenton; Paulitz, Timothy C.

    2018-07-01

    Wind erosion is a significant threat to the productivity and sustainability of agricultural soils. In the dryland winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)-fallow region of Inland Pacific Northwest of the USA (PNW), farmers increasingly use conservation tillage practices to control wind erosion. In addition, some farmers in this dry region apply municipal biosolids to soils as fertilizer and a source of stable organic matter. The impacts of soil management practices on emissions of dust microbiota to the atmosphere are understudied. We used high-throughput DNA sequencing to examine the impacts of conservation tillage and biosolids amendments on the transport of dust-associated fungal and bacterial communities during simulated high-wind events over two years at Lind, WA. The fungal and bacterial communities contained in windblown dust differed significantly with tillage (conservation vs. conventional) and fertilizer (synthetic vs. biosolids) treatments. However, the richness and diversity of fungal and bacterial communities of dust did not vary significantly with tillage or fertilizer treatments. Taxa enriched in dust from fields under conservation tillage represented many plant-associated taxa that likely grow on residue left on the soil surface, whereas taxa that were more abundant with conventional tillage were those that likely grow on buried plant residue. Dust from biosolids-amended fields harbored greater abundances of taxa that likely feed on introduced carbon. Most human-associated taxa that may pose a health risk were not present in dust after biosolids amendment, although members of Clostridiaceae were enriched with this treatment. Results show that tillage and fertilizer management practices impact the composition of bioaerosols emitted during high-wind events and have potential implications for plant and human health.

  9. Fertility Island Formation and Evolution in Dryland Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luca Ridolfi

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Vast dryland regions around the world are affected by the encroachment of woody vegetation, with important environmental and economical implications. Grassland-to-shrubland conversions are often triggered by disturbance of grassland vegetation, and the consequent formation of barren areas prone to erosion-induced nutrient losses. Inhibition of encroachment by erosion-induced depletion of soil nutrients contributes to the emergence of highly heterogeneous landscapes with shrub-dominated fertility islands surrounded by nutrient-poor bare soil. Here, we develop a process-based simplistic model thataccounts for the two competing processes of resource depletion and shrub encroachment by a non-linear diffusion mechanism. The proposed model is able to generate stable vegetation patterns with the same statistical properties as those observed in areas with well-developed fertility islands. We also show how a subsequent disturbance of shrubland vegetation can shift the dynamics toward states with smaller vegetation biomass. The process of land degradation may then occur through a number of irreversible intermediate transitions associated with losses in ecosystem function.

  10. Muscle Activity during Dryland Swimming while Wearing a Triathlon Wetsuit

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ciro Agnelli

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Triathletes typically wear a wetsuit during the swim portion of an event, but it is not clear if muscle activity is influenced by wearing a wetsuit. Purpose: To investigate if shoulder muscle activity was influenced by wearing a full-sleeve wetsuit vs. no wetsuit during dryland swimming. Methods: Participants (n=10 males; 179.1±13.2 cm; 91.2±7.25 kg; 45.6±10.5 years completed two dry land swimming conditions on a swim ergometer: No Wetsuit (NW and with Wetsuit (W. Electromyography (EMG of four upper extremity muscles was recorded (Noraxon telemetry EMG, 500 Hz during each condition: Trapezius (TRAP, Triceps (TRI, Anterior Deltoid (AD and Posterior Deltoid (PD. Each condition lasted 90 seconds with data collected during the last 60 seconds. Resistance setting was self-selected and remained constant for both conditions. Stroke rate was controlled at 60 strokes per minute by having participants match a metronome. Average (AVG and Root Mean Square (RMS EMG were calculated over 45 seconds and each were compared between conditions using a paired t-test (α=0.05 for each muscle. Results: PD and AD AVG and RMS EMG were each greater (on average 40.0% and 66.8% greater, respectively during W vs. NW (p0.05. Conclusion: The greater PD and AD muscle activity while wearing a wetsuit might affect swimming performance and /or stroke technique on long distance event.

  11. Emerging migration flows in a changing climate in dryland Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kniveton, Dominic R.; Smith, Christopher D.; Black, Richard

    2012-06-01

    Fears of the movement of large numbers of people as a result of changes in the environment were first voiced in the 1980s (ref. ). Nearly thirty years later the numbers likely to migrate as a result of the impacts of climate change are still, at best, guesswork. Owing to the high prevalence of rainfed agriculture, many livelihoods in sub-Saharan African drylands are particularly vulnerable to changes in climate. One commonly adopted response strategy used by populations to deal with the resulting livelihood stress is migration. Here, we use an agent-based model developed around the theory of planned behaviour to explore how climate and demographic change, defined by the ENSEMBLES project and the United Nations Statistics Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, combine to influence migration within and from Burkina Faso. The emergent migration patterns modelled support framing the nexus of climate change and migration as a complex adaptive system. Using this conceptual framework, we show that the extent of climate-change-related migration is likely to be highly nonlinear and the extent of this nonlinearity is dependent on population growth; therefore supporting migration policy interventions based on both demographic and climate change adaptation.

  12. Nitrogen fixation in four dryland tree species in central Chile

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ovalle, C.; Arredondo, S.; Aronson, J.; Longeri, L.; Avendano, J.

    1998-01-01

    Results are presented from a 5-year experiment using 15 N-enriched fertilizer to determine N 2 fixation in four tree species on degraded soils in a Mediterranean-climate region of central Chile in which there are 5 months of drought. Species tested included three slow-growing but long-lived savannah trees native to southers South America, (acacia caven, Prosopic alba and P. chilensis; Mimosoideae), and Tagasaste (Chamaecytisus proliferus ssp. palmensis; Papilonoideae), a fast-growing but medium-lived tree from the Canary Islands. Tagasaste produced four- to twenty-fold more biomass than the other species, but showed declining N 2 fixation and biomass accumulation during the 5th year, corresponding to the juvenile-to-adult developmental transition. Nitrogen content was significantly higher in Tagasaste and Acacia caven than in the other species. The data revealed inter-specific differences in resource allocation and phenology of N 2 fixation rarely detailed for woody plants in dryland regions. (author)

  13. Dynamic Hydrological Modeling in Drylands with TRMM Based Rainfall

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Tarnavsky

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper introduces and evaluates DryMOD, a dynamic water balance model of the key hydrological process in drylands that is based on free, public-domain datasets. The rainfall model of DryMOD makes optimal use of spatially disaggregated Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM datasets to simulate hourly rainfall intensities at a spatial resolution of 1-km. Regional-scale applications of the model in seasonal catchments in Tunisia and Senegal characterize runoff and soil moisture distribution and dynamics in response to varying rainfall data inputs and soil properties. The results highlight the need for hourly-based rainfall simulation and for correcting TRMM 3B42 rainfall intensities for the fractional cover of rainfall (FCR. Without FCR correction and disaggregation to 1 km, TRMM 3B42 based rainfall intensities are too low to generate surface runoff and to induce substantial changes to soil moisture storage. The outcomes from the sensitivity analysis show that topsoil porosity is the most important soil property for simulation of runoff and soil moisture. Thus, we demonstrate the benefit of hydrological investigations at a scale, for which reliable information on soil profile characteristics exists and which is sufficiently fine to account for the heterogeneities of these. Where such information is available, application of DryMOD can assist in the spatial and temporal planning of water harvesting according to runoff-generating areas and the runoff ratio, as well as in the optimization of agricultural activities based on realistic representation of soil moisture conditions.

  14. Sensitivity of productivity and deep drainage of wheat cropping systems in a Mediterranean environment to changes in CO2, temperature and precipitation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ittersum, van M.K.; Howden, S.M.; Asseng, S.

    2003-01-01

    Both anticipated climate change and dryland salinity pose a strategic threat to the sustainability of about 6 Mha of agricultural land in Western Australia (WA). These phenomena require an integrated analysis to estimate their potential impacts and initiate strategic thinking about adaptation. Water

  15. Perceived profitability and well-being in Australian dryland farmers and irrigators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peel, Dominic; Berry, Helen L; Schirmer, Jacki

    2015-08-01

    To describe the relationship between self-reported farm profitability and farmer well-being, and to explore potential implications for farmer assistance policy. Cross-sectional analysis of farmers from Regional Wellbeing Survey data (wave 1, 2013) and comparison between groups. Participants were 1172 dryland farmers (35% women) and 707 irrigators (24% women). The Personal Wellbeing Index and the Kessler 10-item measure of general psychological distress. There is a consistent and significant relationship between higher profitability, greater well-being and less distress among dryland farmers and irrigators. The relationship between farm profitability and the well-being of Australian dryland farmers and irrigators has the potential to inform farmer assistance policy. Assistance programs can be more effective if they explicitly incorporate a profitability assessment into their targeting and eligibility requirements and a well-being component into program design and delivery. Rural Australia. Not applicable. © 2015 National Rural Health Alliance Inc.

  16. Biological soil crusts as an organizing principle in drylands: Chapter 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Weber, Bettina; Büdel, Burkhard; Weber, Bettina; Buedel, Burkhard; Belnap, Jayne

    2016-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) have been present on Earth’s terrestrial surfaces for billions of years. They are a critical part of ecosystem processes in dryland regions, as they cover most of the soil surface and thus mediate almost all inputs and outputs from soils in these areas. There are many intriguing, but understudied, roles these communities may play in drylands. These include their function in nutrient capture and transformation, influence on the movement and distribution of nutrients and water within dryland soils, ability to structure vascular plant communities, role in creating biodiversity hotspots, and the possibility that they can be used as indicators of soil health. There are still many fascinating aspects of these communities that need study, and we hope that this chapter will facilitate such efforts.

  17. Production of greenhouse-grown biocrust mosses and associated cyanobacteria to rehabilitate dryland soil function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antoninka, Anita; Bowker, Matthew A.; Reed, Sasha C.; Doherty, Kyle

    2016-01-01

    Mosses are an often-overlooked component of dryland ecosystems, yet they are common members of biological soil crust communities (biocrusts) and provide key ecosystem services, including soil stabilization, water retention, carbon fixation, and housing of N2 fixing cyanobacteria. Mosses are able to survive long dry periods, respond rapidly to precipitation, and reproduce vegetatively. With these qualities, dryland mosses have the potential to be an excellent dryland restoration material. Unfortunately, dryland mosses are often slow growing in nature, and ex situ cultivation methods are needed to enhance their utility. Our goal was to determine how to rapidly produce, vegetatively, Syntrichia caninervis and S. ruralis, common and abundant moss species in drylands of North America and elsewhere, in a greenhouse. We manipulated the length of hydration on a weekly schedule (5, 4, 3, or 2 days continuous hydration per week), crossed with fertilization (once at the beginning, monthly, biweekly, or not at all). Moss biomass increased sixfold for both species in 4 months, an increase that would require years under dryland field conditions. Both moss species preferred short hydration and monthly fertilizer. Remarkably, we also unintentionally cultured a variety of other important biocrust organisms, including cyanobacteria and lichens. In only 6 months, we produced functionally mature biocrusts, as evidenced by high productivity and ecosystem-relevant levels of N2 fixation. Our results suggest that biocrust mosses might be the ideal candidate for biocrust cultivation for restoration purposes. With optimization, these methods are the first step in developing a moss-based biocrust rehabilitation technology.

  18. Enhancing Sustainable Development of Diverse Agriculture in Bangladesh

    OpenAIRE

    Alam, Jahangir

    2005-01-01

    The report presents the current status of some selected CGPRT Crops (secondary crops) and examines their potentials in enhancing the sustainable development of diverse agriculture in Bangladesh. Agriculture in Bangladesh is composed of crop, livestock, fisheries and forestry subsectors. This study deals primarily with crop agriculture and the scope of diversification is limited to crop rather than agricultural diversification.

  19. Pastoral mobility as a response to climate variability in African drylands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Adriansen, Hanne Kirstine

    1999-01-01

    The article outlines aspects of ‘the new paradigm’ for dryland ecosystems and pastoral production systems. Rationality of pastoralism was claimed by parts of the research community for decades, but especially among policy and development planners pastoralism was perceived as an irrational and des...... in West Africa. In an example from Ferlo, Senegal, different types of pastoral mobility are discussed with special focus on the importance of scale. It is concluded that pastoral mobility is a rational response to climate variability and unpredictability in African drylands....

  20. Desertification, salinization, and biotic homogenization in a dryland river ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyazono, Seiji; Patiño, Reynaldo; Taylor, Christopher M

    2015-04-01

    This study determined long-term changes in fish assemblages, river discharge, salinity, and local precipitation, and examined hydrological drivers of biotic homogenization in a dryland river ecosystem, the Trans-Pecos region of the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo del Norte (USA/Mexico). Historical (1977-1989) and current (2010-2011) fish assemblages were analyzed by rarefaction analysis (species richness), nonmetric multidimensional scaling (composition/variability), multiresponse permutation procedures (composition), and paired t-test (variability). Trends in hydrological conditions (1970s-2010s) were examined by Kendall tau and quantile regression, and associations between streamflow and specific conductance (salinity) by generalized linear models. Since the 1970s, species richness and variability of fish assemblages decreased in the Rio Grande below the confluence with the Rio Conchos (Mexico), a major tributary, but not above it. There was increased representation of lower-flow/higher-salinity tolerant species, thus making fish communities below the confluence taxonomically and functionally more homogeneous to those above it. Unlike findings elsewhere, this biotic homogenization was due primarily to changes in the relative abundances of native species. While Rio Conchos discharge was>2-fold higher than Rio Grande discharge above their confluence, Rio Conchos discharge decreased during the study period causing Rio Grande discharge below the confluence to also decrease. Rio Conchos salinity is lower than Rio Grande salinity above their confluence and, as Rio Conchos discharge decreased, it caused Rio Grande salinity below the confluence to increase (reduced dilution). Trends in discharge did not correspond to trends in precipitation except at extreme-high (90th quantile) levels. In conclusion, decreasing discharge from the Rio Conchos has led to decreasing flow and increasing salinity in the Rio Grande below the confluence. This spatially uneven desertification and

  1. Desertification, salinization, and biotic homogenization in a dryland river ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyazono, S.; Patino, Reynaldo; Taylor, C.M.

    2015-01-01

    This study determined long-term changes in fish assemblages, river discharge, salinity, and local precipitation, and examined hydrological drivers of biotic homogenization in a dryland river ecosystem, the Trans-Pecos region of the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo del Norte (USA/Mexico). Historical (1977-1989) and current (2010-2011) fish assemblages were analyzed by rarefaction analysis (species richness), nonmetric multidimensional scaling (composition/variability), multiresponse permutation procedures (composition), and paired t-test (variability). Trends in hydrological conditions (1970s-2010s) were examined by Kendall tau and quantile regression, and associations between streamfiow and specific conductance (salinity) by generalized linear models. Since the 1970s, species richness and variability of fish assemblages decreased in the Rio Grande below the confluence with the Rio Conchos (Mexico), a major tributary, but not above it. There was increased representation of lower-flow/higher-salinity tolerant species, thus making fish communities below the confluence taxonomically and functionally more homogeneous to those above it. Unlike findings elsewhere, this biotic homogenization was due primarily to changes in the relative abundances of native species. While Rio Conchos discharge was > 2-fold higher than Rio Grande discharge above their confluence, Rio Conchos discharge decreased during the study period causing Rio Grande discharge below the confluence to also decrease. Rio Conchos salinity is lower than Rio Grande salinity above their confluence and, as Rio Conchos discharge decreased, it caused Rio Grande salinity below the confluence to increase (reduced dilution). Trends in discharge did not correspond to trends in precipitation except at extreme-high (90th quantile) levels. In conclusion, decreasing discharge from the Rio Conchos has led to decreasing flow and increasing salinity in the Rio Grande below the confluence. This spatially uneven desertification and

  2. Sediment transport by runoff on debris-mantled dryland hillslopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michaelides, Katerina; Martin, Gareth J.

    2012-09-01

    Hillslopes supply sediment to river channels, and therefore impact drainage basin functioning and evolution. The relationship between hillslope attributes and sediment flux forms the basis of geomorphic transport laws used to model the long-term topographic evolution of drainage basins, but their specific interactions during individual storm events are not well understood. Runoff-driven erosion of coarse particles, prevalent in dryland environments, presents a particular set of conditions for sediment transport that is poorly resolved in current models. In order to address this gap, we developed a particle-based, force-balance model for sheetwash sediment transport on coarse, debris-mantled hillslopes within a rainfall-runoff model. We use the model to examine how the interplay between hillslope attributes (gradient, length and grain size distribution) and runoff characteristics affects sediment transport, grain-size changes on the hillslope, and sediment supply to the slope base. The relationship between sediment flux and hillslope gradient was found to transition from linear above a threshold to sigmoidal depending on hillslope length, initial grain sizes, and runoff characteristics. Grain sizes supplied to the slope base vary in a complex manner with hillslope attributes but an overall coarsening of the hillslopes is found to occur with increasing gradient, corroborating previous findings from field measurements. Intense, short duration storms result in within-hillslope sediment redistribution and equifinality in sediment supply for different hillslope characteristics, which explain the lack of field evidence for any systematic relationships. Our model findings provide insights into hillslope responses to climatic forcing and have theoretical implications for modeling hillslope evolution in dry lands.

  3. Yield gap analysis of feed-crop livestock systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Linden, van der Aart; Oosting, Simon J.; Ven, van de Gerrie W.J.; Veysset, Patrick; Boer, de Imke J.M.; Ittersum, van Martin K.

    2018-01-01

    Sustainable intensification is a strategy contributing to global food security. The scope for sustainable intensification in crop sciences can be assessed through yield gap analysis, using crop growth models based on concepts of production ecology. Recently, an analogous cattle production model

  4. Synthetic biology assemblies for sustainable space exploration

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The work utilized synthetic biology to create sustainable food production processes by developing technology to efficiently convert inedible crop waste to...

  5. Transforming Innovation for Sustainability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa Leach

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The urgency of charting pathways to sustainability that keep human societies within a "safe operating space" has now been clarified. Crises in climate, food, biodiversity, and energy are already playing out across local and global scales and are set to increase as we approach critical thresholds. Drawing together recent work from the Stockholm Resilience Centre, the Tellus Institute, and the STEPS Centre, this commentary article argues that ambitious Sustainable Development Goals are now required along with major transformation, not only in policies and technologies, but in modes of innovation themselves, to meet them. As examples of dryland agriculture in East Africa and rural energy in Latin America illustrate, such "transformative innovation" needs to give far greater recognition and power to grassroots innovation actors and processes, involving them within an inclusive, multi-scale innovation politics. The three dimensions of direction, diversity, and distribution along with new forms of "sustainability brokering" can help guide the kinds of analysis and decision making now needed to safeguard our planet for current and future generations.

  6. Greening Kenya’s drylands through climate-smart agriculture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Quevenco, Rodolfo

    2015-01-01

    Arid and semi-arid lands account for almost 80 per cent of Kenya’s land area, and climate change is threatening this fragile ecosystem. In a country where suboptimal agricultural practices already result in poor crop growth, low vegetative cover, low crop yields and serious land degradation, weather conditions resulting from climate change and variability have made drought and water scarcity common. Using nuclear techniques, the IAEA is helping Kenya improve soil fertility and water management technologies, as part of the introduction of Integrated Soil Fertility Management, which can help maintain the right water, nutrient and carbon balance and maximize climate change adaptation in agricultural systems.

  7. Milking drylands : gender networks, pastoral markets and food security in stateless Somalia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nori, M.

    2010-01-01

    The Milking Drylands research initiative addresses the critical issues of food security, market integration, gender roles and governance matters in a peculiar area of the world, the Somali ecosystem. The research aims at exploring interesting dynamics of ongoing social change, in order to stimulate

  8. Assessing woody vegetation trends in Sahelian drylands using MODIS based seasonal metrics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brandt, Martin Stefan; Hiernaux, Pierre; Rasmussen, Kjeld

    2016-01-01

    Woody plants play a major role for the resilience of drylands and in peoples' livelihoods. However, due to their scattered distribution, quantifying and monitoring woody cover over space and time is challenging. We develop a phenology driven model and train/validate MODIS (MCD43A4, 500 m) derived...

  9. Multi-element accumulation near Rumex crispus roots under wetland and dryland conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kissoon, La Toya T.; Jacob, Donna L.; Otte, Marinus L.

    2010-01-01

    Rumex crispus was grown under wet and dry conditions in two-chamber columns such that the roots were confined to one chamber by a 21 μm nylon mesh, thus creating a soil-root interface ('rhizoplane'). Element concentrations at 3 mm intervals below the 'rhizoplane' were measured. The hypothesis was that metals accumulate near plant roots more under wetland than dryland conditions. Patterns in element distribution were different between the treatments. Under dryland conditions Al, Ba, Cu, Cr, Fe, K, La, Mg, Na, Sr, V, Y and Zn accumulated in soil closest to the roots, above the 'rhizoplane' only. Under wetland conditions Al, Fe, Cr, K, V and Zn accumulated above as well as 3 mm below the 'rhizoplane' whereas La, Sr and Y accumulated 3 mm below the 'rhizoplane' only. Plants on average produced 1.5 times more biomass and element uptake was 2.5 times greater under wetland compared to dryland conditions. - Patterns of element accumulation near the roots of plants differ between dryland and wetland conditions.

  10. Impacts of Global Change on Water Resources in Dryland East Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ge Sun; Xiaoming Feng; Jingfeng Xiao; Alex Shiklomanov; Shengping Wang; Zhiqiang Zhang; Nan Lu; Shuai Wang; Liding Chen; Bojie Fu; Yaning Chen; Jiquan Chen

    2013-01-01

    The vast Dryland East Asia (DEA) area consists of several large geographic regions including the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Loess Plateau, and Mongolia Plateau. T he region is of great importance to the functioning of the earth system under a changing climate. In the past three decades, due to the unprecedented land use/land cover change, urbanization, industrialization...

  11. Climate change impacts on yields and soil carbon in dryland agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dryland agroecosystems could be a sizable sink for atmospheric carbon (C) due to their spatial extent and level of degradation, providing climate change mitigation. We examined productivity and soil C dynamics under two IPCC climate change scenarios (RCP 4.5; RCP 8.5), utilizing long-term experiment...

  12. The Effect of Land use/cover change on Biomass Stock in Dryland ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The Effect of Land use/cover change on Biomass Stock in Dryland Areas of Eastern Uganda. ... Journal of Applied Sciences and Environmental Management ... Therefore, there is need for increased use of remote sensing and GIS to quantify change patterns at local scales for essential monitoring and assessment of land ...

  13. Climate and soil attributes determine plant species turnover in global drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maestre, Fernando T.; Gotelli, Nicholas J.; Quero, José L.; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Bowker, Matthew A.; Eldridge, David J.; Ochoa, Victoria; Gozalo, Beatriz; Valencia, Enrique; Berdugo, Miguel; Escolar, Cristina; García-Gómez, Miguel; Escudero, Adrián; Prina, Aníbal; Alfonso, Graciela; Arredondo, Tulio; Bran, Donaldo; Cabrera, Omar; Cea, Alex; Chaieb, Mohamed; Contreras, Jorge; Derak, Mchich; Espinosa, Carlos I.; Florentino, Adriana; Gaitán, Juan; Muro, Victoria García; Ghiloufi, Wahida; Gómez-González, Susana; Gutiérrez, Julio R.; Hernández, Rosa M.; Huber-Sannwald, Elisabeth; Jankju, Mohammad; Mau, Rebecca L.; Hughes, Frederic Mendes; Miriti, Maria; Monerris, Jorge; Muchane, Muchai; Naseri, Kamal; Pucheta, Eduardo; Ramírez-Collantes, David A.; Raveh, Eran; Romão, Roberto L.; Torres-Díaz, Cristian; Val, James; Veiga, José Pablo; Wang, Deli; Yuan, Xia; Zaady, Eli

    2015-01-01

    Aim Geographic, climatic, and soil factors are major drivers of plant beta diversity, but their importance for dryland plant communities is poorly known. This study aims to: i) characterize patterns of beta diversity in global drylands, ii) detect common environmental drivers of beta diversity, and iii) test for thresholds in environmental conditions driving potential shifts in plant species composition. Location 224 sites in diverse dryland plant communities from 22 geographical regions in six continents. Methods Beta diversity was quantified with four complementary measures: the percentage of singletons (species occurring at only one site), Whittake’s beta diversity (β(W)), a directional beta diversity metric based on the correlation in species occurrences among spatially contiguous sites (β(R2)), and a multivariate abundance-based metric (β(MV)). We used linear modelling to quantify the relationships between these metrics of beta diversity and geographic, climatic, and soil variables. Results Soil fertility and variability in temperature and rainfall, and to a lesser extent latitude, were the most important environmental predictors of beta diversity. Metrics related to species identity (percentage of singletons and β(W)) were most sensitive to soil fertility, whereas those metrics related to environmental gradients and abundance ((β(R2)) and β(MV)) were more associated with climate variability. Interactions among soil variables, climatic factors, and plant cover were not important determinants of beta diversity. Sites receiving less than 178 mm of annual rainfall differed sharply in species composition from more mesic sites (> 200 mm). Main conclusions Soil fertility and variability in temperature and rainfall are the most important environmental predictors of variation in plant beta diversity in global drylands. Our results suggest that those sites annually receiving ~ 178 mm of rainfall will be especially sensitive to future climate changes. These

  14. Climate and soil attributes determine plant species turnover in global drylands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulrich, Werner; Soliveres, Santiago; Maestre, Fernando T; Gotelli, Nicholas J; Quero, José L; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Bowker, Matthew A; Eldridge, David J; Ochoa, Victoria; Gozalo, Beatriz; Valencia, Enrique; Berdugo, Miguel; Escolar, Cristina; García-Gómez, Miguel; Escudero, Adrián; Prina, Aníbal; Alfonso, Graciela; Arredondo, Tulio; Bran, Donaldo; Cabrera, Omar; Cea, Alex; Chaieb, Mohamed; Contreras, Jorge; Derak, Mchich; Espinosa, Carlos I; Florentino, Adriana; Gaitán, Juan; Muro, Victoria García; Ghiloufi, Wahida; Gómez-González, Susana; Gutiérrez, Julio R; Hernández, Rosa M; Huber-Sannwald, Elisabeth; Jankju, Mohammad; Mau, Rebecca L; Hughes, Frederic Mendes; Miriti, Maria; Monerris, Jorge; Muchane, Muchai; Naseri, Kamal; Pucheta, Eduardo; Ramírez-Collantes, David A; Raveh, Eran; Romão, Roberto L; Torres-Díaz, Cristian; Val, James; Veiga, José Pablo; Wang, Deli; Yuan, Xia; Zaady, Eli

    2014-12-01

    Geographic, climatic, and soil factors are major drivers of plant beta diversity, but their importance for dryland plant communities is poorly known. This study aims to: i) characterize patterns of beta diversity in global drylands, ii) detect common environmental drivers of beta diversity, and iii) test for thresholds in environmental conditions driving potential shifts in plant species composition. 224 sites in diverse dryland plant communities from 22 geographical regions in six continents. Beta diversity was quantified with four complementary measures: the percentage of singletons (species occurring at only one site), Whittake's beta diversity (β(W)), a directional beta diversity metric based on the correlation in species occurrences among spatially contiguous sites (β(R 2 )), and a multivariate abundance-based metric (β(MV)). We used linear modelling to quantify the relationships between these metrics of beta diversity and geographic, climatic, and soil variables. Soil fertility and variability in temperature and rainfall, and to a lesser extent latitude, were the most important environmental predictors of beta diversity. Metrics related to species identity (percentage of singletons and β(W)) were most sensitive to soil fertility, whereas those metrics related to environmental gradients and abundance ((β(R 2 )) and β(MV)) were more associated with climate variability. Interactions among soil variables, climatic factors, and plant cover were not important determinants of beta diversity. Sites receiving less than 178 mm of annual rainfall differed sharply in species composition from more mesic sites (> 200 mm). Soil fertility and variability in temperature and rainfall are the most important environmental predictors of variation in plant beta diversity in global drylands. Our results suggest that those sites annually receiving ~ 178 mm of rainfall will be especially sensitive to future climate changes. These findings may help to define appropriate

  15. Changing Forestry Policy by Integrating Water Aspects into Forest/Vegetation Restoration in Dryland Areas in China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Yanhui; Mike Bonell; Karl-Heinz Feger; YU Pengtao; XIONG Wei; XU Lihong

    2012-01-01

    Restoration forestry (forest rehabilitation) or re-vegetation is one effective measure to solve environmental problems, notably soil erosion. It may be further stimulated by the Clean Development Mechanism for carbon sequestration. However, there is an intensive and on-going debate about the adverse effects arising from afforestation in dryland areas, such as soil drying up which may cause further damage to the success of forest restoration, and the water yield reduction from watershed which may harm the regional development. On other hand, some preliminary studies showed a possibility that these adverse effects may be diminished more or less by properly designing the system structure and spatial distribution of forest/vegetation in a watershed. However, it is urgent to develop an evidence-based and sustainable new forestry policy for harmonizing forest-water interrelation. As a leading country in afforestation, China is beginning to develop a more trans-disciplinary and cross-sectoral forestry policy for harmonizing forestry development with water management. The main points of the changing new forestry policy should include: (1) Establishing a regional development strategy focusing on harmonized forest-water relations; (2) Taking forest-water interactions as an important part of evaluation; (3) Reducing the 'eco-water' quota of forests through technical advancement; (4) Developing and extending water-adaptive forest management practices; (S) Strengthening forest ecohydrological research and decision support ability.

  16. Relating soil biochemistry to sustainable crop production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amino acids, amino sugars, carbohydrates, phenols, and fatty acids together comprise appreciable proportions of soil organic matter (SOM). Their cycling contribute to soil processes, including nitrogen availability, carbon sequestration and aggregation. For example, soil accumulation of phenols has ...

  17. Yields of crops on a rhodic ferralsol in southern Brazil in relation to ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Even though no-tillage, crop rotation management systems have been accepted as useful for sustaining crop production, there is the need to identify which crops can be used for such rotations. This study evaluated the dry matter and grain yields of eight winter and two summer crops (maize, Zea mays L. and soybean, ...

  18. Achieving sustainable cultivation of potatoes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Every phase of the production cycle impacts the sustainability of potato. Potato physiology determines how genetically encoded developmental attributes interact with local environmental conditions as modified through agricultural practice to produce a perishable crop. In this chapter we highlight ho...

  19. Enhancing productivity of salt affected soils through crops and cropping system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Singh, S.S.; Khan, A.R.

    2002-05-01

    The reclamation of salt affected soils needs the addition of soil amendment and enough water to leach down the soluble salts. The operations may also include other simple agronomic techniques to reclaim soils and to know the crops and varieties that may be grown and other management practices which may be followed on such soils (Khan, 2001). The choice of crops to be grown during reclamation of salt affected soils is very important to obtain acceptable yields. This also decides cropping systems as well as favorable diversification for early reclamation, desirable yield and to meet the other requirements of farm families. In any salt affected soils, the following three measures are adopted for reclamation and sustaining the higher productivity of reclaimed soils. 1. Suitable choice of crops, forestry and tree species; 2. Suitable choice of cropping and agroforestry system; 3. Other measures to sustain the productivity of reclaimed soils. (author)

  20. Sensitivity of potential evapotranspiration estimation to the Thornthwaite and Penman-Monteith methods in the study of global drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Qing; Ma, Zhuguo; Zheng, Ziyan; Duan, Yawen

    2017-12-01

    Drylands are among those regions most sensitive to climate and environmental changes and human-induced perturbations. The most widely accepted definition of the term dryland is a ratio, called the Surface Wetness Index (SWI), of annual precipitation to potential evapotranspiration (PET) being below 0.65. PET is commonly estimated using the Thornthwaite (PET Th) and Penman-Monteith equations (PET PM). The present study compared spatiotemporal characteristics of global drylands based on the SWI with PET Th and PET PM. Results showed vast differences between PET Th and PET PM; however, the SWI derived from the two kinds of PET showed broadly similar characteristics in the interdecadal variability of global and continental drylands, except in North America, with high correlation coefficients ranging from 0.58 to 0.89. It was found that, during 1901-2014, global hyper-arid and semi-arid regions expanded, arid and dry sub-humid regions contracted, and drylands underwent interdecadal fluctuation. This was because precipitation variations made major contributions, whereas PET changes contributed to a much lesser degree. However, distinct differences in the interdecadal variability of semi-arid and dry sub-humid regions were found. This indicated that the influence of PET changes was comparable to that of precipitation variations in the global dry-wet transition zone. Additionally, the contribution of PET changes to the variations in global and continental drylands gradually enhanced with global warming, and the Thornthwaite method was found to be increasingly less applicable under climate change.

  1. Water and Nitrogen Limitations of Ecosystem Processes Across Three Dryland Plant Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beltz, C.; Lauenroth, W. K.; Burke, I. C.

    2017-12-01

    The availability of water and nitrogen (N) play a major role in controlling the distribution of ecosystem types and the rates of ecosystem processes across the globe. Both these resources are being altered by human activity. Anthropogenic fixation of N has increased inputs into the biosphere from 0.5 kg N ha-1 yr-1 to upwards of 10 kg N ha-1 yr-1, while the amount and seasonality of precipitation are expected to continue to change. Within dryland environments, the relationships between increasingly available N and ecosystem processes are especially complex due to dryland's characteristic strong limitation by low and highly variable precipitation. Other experiments have shown that this interplay between N and water can cause temporally complex co-limitation and spatially complex responses with variable effects on ecosystems, such as those to net primary productivity, soil respiration, and plant community composition. Research spanning multiple dryland plant communities is critical for generalizing findings to the 40% of the Earth's terrestrial surface covered in dryland ecosystems. Given IPCC projections in which both N availability and precipitation are altered, examining their interactive effect across multiple plant communities is critical to increasing our understanding of the limitations to ecosystem process in drylands. We are studying a gradient of three plant communities representing a C4 grassland (shortgrass steppe), a C3/C4 grassland (mixed grass prairie), and a shrub-dominated ecosystem with C3 and C4 grasses (sagebrush steppe). We added two levels of N (10 kg N ha-1 and 100 kg N ha-1) and increased summer monthly precipitation by 20%. Sites responded differently to treatments, with the scale of effect varying by treatment. The high-level nitrogen increased soil N availability and soil respiration, while decreasing soil carbon in the labile pool in the upper soil layers. These results will allow for better understanding of increased N in combination with

  2. Local to Global Scale Time Series Analysis of US Dryland Degradation Using Landsat, AVHRR, and MODIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Washington-Allen, R. A.; Ramsey, R. D.; West, N. E.; Kulawardhana, W.; Reeves, M. C.; Mitchell, J. E.; Van Niel, T. G.

    2011-12-01

    Drylands cover 41% of the terrestrial land surface and annually generate $1 trillion in ecosystem goods and services for 38% of the global population, yet estimates of the global extent of Dryland degradation is uncertain with a range of 10 - 80%. It is currently understood that Drylands exhibit topological complexity including self-organization of parameters of different levels-of-organization, e.g., ecosystem and landscape parameters such as soil and vegetation pattern and structure, that gradually or discontinuously shift to multiple basins of attraction in response to herbivory, fire, and climatic drivers at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Our research has shown that at large geographic scales, contemporaneous time series of 10 to 20 years for response and driving variables across two or more spatial scales is required to replicate and differentiate between the impact of climate and land use activities such as commercial grazing. For example, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) is a major driver of Dryland net primary productivity (NPP), biodiversity, and ecological resilience with a 10-year return interval, thus 20 years of data are required to replicate its impact. Degradation is defined here as a change in physiognomic composition contrary to management goals, a persistent reduction in vegetation response, e.g., NPP, accelerated soil erosion, a decline in soil quality, and changes in landscape configuration and structure that lead to a loss of ecosystem function. Freely available Landsat, Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradimeter (MODIS) archives of satellite imagery exist that provide local to global spatial coverage and time series between 1972 to the present from which proxies of land degradation can be derived. This paper presents time series assessments between 1972 and 2011 of US Dryland degradation including early detection of dynamic regime shifts in the Mojave and landscape pattern and

  3. TEKNIK PENGELOLAAN USAHATANI TANAMAN CABAI BERKELANJUTAN DI DATARAN TINGGI KECAMATAN CIKAJANG KABUPATEN GARUT (Management Technique of Sustainable Red Pepper Crop Farming System in Upland Distric of Cikajang Garut Regency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wa Ode Muliastuty

    2016-02-01

    farming on the upland area is the decrease in the crops productivity due to a mismatch between agrotechnology with the land characteristics and the needs of the crops. This condition accelerates the erosion process and increase the loss of top soil, which are more fertile. All of those things has in turn decrease land productivity. This objectives of the study are to gain knowledge about the extension of erosion, to analyze the contribution of farm income to the farmers Need of Decent Living (NDL, and to study alternative technique of soil and water conservation. Erosion is analyzed by USLE equations. Farm income is analyzed by using cash flow budget analysis. NDL is calculated based on amount of family member in one family farmer, which is approached by minimum physical necessities added by additional life necessities. Soil conservation technique were tested in erosion experimental plots with 2 x 20 meters size made at the 40 % slope. Randomized block design is used that are consist of two factors. The first is cropping pattern which are monoculture red pepper (T1 and intercropping red pepper with cabbage (T2. The second is soil conservation technique which are the ridges in the direction of the slope as the control (K1, the ridges in the direction of the slope + the ridges cut off the slopes in every 6.6 meters (K2, the ridges across the slope (K3, and ridges across the slope with 20° tilted (K4. The research result shows that as the slope is getting steeper, the erosion is getting higher and exceeded the TSL and the contribution of farm income to the farmers NDL is getting lower. Monoculture red pepper cropping patterns have a greater erosion and the contribution of farm income to the farmers NDL is smaller than the intercropping. Conservation technique T1K3, T2K3, T1K4 and T2K4 can be applied to the upland area because it is capable to decrease the erosion less than or equal to the TSL (30.92 ton.ha-1.yr-1 and increasing farming income more than or equal to the

  4. Crop-water-environment models; selected papers to the workshop organized by the ICID Working Group on `Sustainable Crops and Water Use' at the occasion of the 16th Congress of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage at Cairo, Egypt

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ragab, R.; El-Din El-Quosy, D.; Broek, van den B.J.; Pereira, L.S.

    1996-01-01

    The main aim of this workshop was to bring individuals and organizations together who contribute to the development and upgrading of crop-water-environment models. Twenty-four model papers were presented in three sessions: pesticides and nitrates, salinity, and crop water balance. Each presentation

  5. Crop residue management in arable cropping systems under a temperate climate. Part 2: Soil physical properties and crop production. A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiel, MP.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Residues of previous crops provide a valuable amount of organic matter that can be used either to restore soil fertility or for external use. A better understanding of the impact of crop residue management on the soil-water-plant system is needed in order to manage agricultural land sustainably. This review focuses on soil physical aspects related to crop residue management, and specifically on the link between soil structure and hydraulic properties and its impact on crop production. Literature. Conservation practices, including crop residue retention and non-conventional tillage, can enhance soil health by improving aggregate stability. In this case, water infiltration is facilitated, resulting in an increase in plant water availability. Conservation practices, however, do not systematically lead to higher water availability for the plant. The influence of crop residue management on crop production is still unclear; in some cases, crop production is enhanced by residue retention, but in others crop residues can reduce crop yield. Conclusions. In this review we discuss the diverse and contrasting effects of crop residue management on soil physical properties and crop production under a temperate climate. The review highlights the importance of environmental factors such as soil type and local climatic conditions, highlighting the need to perform field studies on crop residue management and relate them to specific pedo-climatic contexts.

  6. From Patterns to Function in Living Systems: Dryland Ecosystems as a Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meron, Ehud

    2018-03-01

    Spatial patterns are ubiquitous in animate matter. Besides their intricate structure and beauty they generally play functional roles. The capacity of living systems to remain functional in changing environments is a question of utmost importance, but its intimate relationship to pattern formation is largely unexplored. Here, we address this relationship using dryland vegetation as a case study. Following a brief introduction to pattern-formation theory, we describe a mathematical model that captures several mechanisms of vegetation pattern formation and discuss ecological contexts that showcase different mechanisms. Using this model, we unravel the different vegetation patterns that keep dryland ecosystems viable along the rainfall gradient, identify multistability ranges where fronts separating domains of alternative stable states exist, and highlight the roles of front dynamics in mitigating or reversing desertification. The utility of satellite images in testing model predictions is discussed. An outlook on outstanding open problems concludes this paper.

  7. The potential roles of biological soil crusts in dryland hydrologic cycles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, J.

    2006-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are the dominant living cover in many drylands of the world. They possess many features that can influence different aspects of local hydrologic cycles, including soil porosity, absorptivity, roughness, aggregate stability, texture, pore formation, and water retention. The influence of biological soil crusts on these factors depends on their internal and external structure, which varies with climate, soil, and disturbance history. This paper presents the different types of biological soil crusts, discusses how crust type likely influences various aspects of the hydrologic cycle, and reviews what is known and not known about the influence of biological crusts on sediment production and water infiltration versus runoff in various drylands around the world. Most studies examining the effect of biological soil crusts on local hydrology are done by comparing undisturbed sites with those recently disturbed by the researchers. Unfortunately, this greatly complicates interpretation of the results. Applied disturbances alter many soil features such as soil texture, roughness, aggregate stability, physical crusting, porosity, and bulk density in ways that would not necessarily be the same if crusts were not naturally present. Combined, these studies show little agreement on how biological crusts affect water infiltration or runoff. However, when studies are separated by biological crust type and utilize naturally occurring differences among these types, results indicate that biological crusts in hyperarid regions reduce infiltration and increase runoff, have mixed effects in and regions, and increase infiltration and reduce runoff in semiarid cool and cold drylands. However, more studies are needed before broad generalizations can be made on how biological crusts affect infiltration and runoff. We especially need studies that control for sub-surface soil features such as bulk density, micro- and macropores, and biological crust structure. Unlike

  8. A Correlational Analysis of Tethered Swimming, Swim Sprint Performance and Dry-land Power Assessments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loturco, I; Barbosa, A C; Nocentini, R K; Pereira, L A; Kobal, R; Kitamura, K; Abad, C C C; Figueiredo, P; Nakamura, F Y

    2016-03-01

    Swimmers are often tested on both dry-land and in swimming exercises. The aim of this study was to test the relationships between dry-land, tethered force-time curve parameters and swimming performances in distances up to 200 m. 10 young male high-level swimmers were assessed using the maximal isometric bench-press and quarter-squat, mean propulsive power in jump-squat, squat and countermovement jumps (dry-land assessments), peak force, average force, rate of force development (RFD) and impulse (tethered swimming) and swimming times. Pearson product-moment correlations were calculated among the variables. Peak force and average force were very largely correlated with the 50- and 100-m swimming performances (r=- 0.82 and -0.74, respectively). Average force was very-largely/largely correlated with the 50- and 100-m performances (r=- 0.85 and -0.67, respectively). RFD and impulse were very-largely correlated with the 50-m time (r=- 0.72 and -0.76, respectively). Tethered swimming parameters were largely correlated (r=0.65 to 0.72) with mean propulsive power in jump-squat, squat-jump and countermovement jumps. Finally, mean propulsive power in jump-squat was largely correlated (r=- 0.70) with 50-m performance. Due to the significant correlations between dry-land assessments and tethered/actual swimming, coaches are encouraged to implement strategies able to increase leg power in sprint swimmers. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  9. Land Degradation States and Trends in the Northwestern Maghreb Drylands, 1998–2008

    OpenAIRE

    Gabriel del Barrio; Maria E. Sanjuan; Azziz Hirche; Mohamed Yassin; Alberto Ruiz; Mohamed Ouessar; Jaime Martinez Valderrama; Bouajila Essifi; Juan Puigdefabregas

    2016-01-01

    States of ecological maturity and temporal trends of drylands in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia north of 28°N are reported for 1998–2008. The input data were Normalized Difference Vegetation Index databases and corresponding climate fields, at a spatial resolution of 1 km and a temporal resolution of one month. States convey opposing dynamics of human exploitation and ecological succession. They were identified synchronically for the full period by comparing each location to all other locations...

  10. Phenological response of an Arizona dryland forest to short-term climatic extremes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Jessica; de Beurs, Kirsten; Wynne, Randolph

    2015-01-01

    Baseline information about dryland forest phenology is necessary to accurately anticipate future ecosystem shifts. The overarching goal of our study was to investigate the variability of vegetation phenology across a dryland forest landscape in response to climate alterations. We analyzed the influence of site characteristics and climatic conditions on the phenological patterns of an Arizona, USA, ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forest during a five-year period (2005 to 2009) that encompassed extreme wet and dry precipitation regimes. We assembled 80 synthetic Landsat images by applying the spatial and temporal adaptive reflectance fusion method (STARFM) to 500 m MODIS and 30 m Landsat-5 Thematic Mapper (TM) data. We tested relationships between site characteristics and the timing of peak Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) to assess the effect of climatic stress on the green-up of individual pixels during or after the summer monsoon. Our results show that drought-induced stress led to a fragmented phenological response that was highly dependent on microsite parameters, as both the spatial autocorrelation of peak timing and the number of significant site variables increased during the drought year. Pixels at lower elevations and with higher proportions of herbaceous vegetation were more likely to exhibit dynamic responses to changes in precipitation conditions. Our study demonstrates the complexity of responses within dryland forest ecosystems and highlights the need for standardized monitoring of phenology trends in these areas. The spatial and temporal variability of phenological signals may provide a quantitative solution to the problem of how to evaluate dryland land surface trends across time.

  11. Phenological Response of an Arizona Dryland Forest to Short-Term Climatic Extremes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica Walker

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Baseline information about dryland forest phenology is necessary to accurately anticipate future ecosystem shifts. The overarching goal of our study was to investigate the variability of vegetation phenology across a dryland forest landscape in response to climate alterations. We analyzed the influence of site characteristics and climatic conditions on the phenological patterns of an Arizona, USA, ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa forest during a five-year period (2005 to 2009 that encompassed extreme wet and dry precipitation regimes. We assembled 80 synthetic Landsat images by applying the spatial and temporal adaptive reflectance fusion method (STARFM to 500 m MODIS and 30 m Landsat-5 Thematic Mapper (TM data. We tested relationships between site characteristics and the timing of peak Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI to assess the effect of climatic stress on the green-up of individual pixels during or after the summer monsoon. Our results show that drought-induced stress led to a fragmented phenological response that was highly dependent on microsite parameters, as both the spatial autocorrelation of peak timing and the number of significant site variables increased during the drought year. Pixels at lower elevations and with higher proportions of herbaceous vegetation were more likely to exhibit dynamic responses to changes in precipitation conditions. Our study demonstrates the complexity of responses within dryland forest ecosystems and highlights the need for standardized monitoring of phenology trends in these areas. The spatial and temporal variability of phenological signals may provide a quantitative solution to the problem of how to evaluate dryland land surface trends across time.

  12. Understanding the coupled natural and human systems in Dryland East Asia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Qi Jiaguo; Chen Jiquan; Wan Shiqian; Ai Likun

    2012-01-01

    Stressors including regional climate change, economic development effects upon land use and an increasing demand for food production have resulted in significant impacts on the dryland ecosystems in the East Asia (DEA) region. Ecosystem services, such as its provisional services in providing forage for grazing as well as its functional services in regulating water and carbon fluxes, have been significantly altered over the past three decades. Conversely, changes in the landscape, particularly land cover types, have also been blamed for intensified climatic events such as dust storms and severe and frequent droughts within the region. The interactive nature of climate, ecosystems and society is complex and not fully understood, making it difficult, if not impossible, to develop effective adaptation strategies for the region. A special synthesis workshop on ‘Dryland Ecosystems in East Asia: State, Changes, Knowledge Gaps, and Future’ was held from 18–20 July 2011 in Kaifeng, Henan Province, China, with the aim of identifying knowledge gaps, quantifying impacts and developing a future research agenda for the region. The specific objectives of this workshop were to answer some key socio-environmental questions, including the following. (1) What do we know about the drylands in DEA? (2) What are the knowledge gaps? (3) What are the solutions to these issues? This paper provides a synthesis of the workshop consensus and findings on the state of knowledge and challenges in addressing these science issues for the DEA region. (letter)

  13. Ancient Soils in a Sunburnt Country: Nutrient and Carbon Distributions in an Australian Dryland River System

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIntyre, R. E.; Grierson, P. F.; Adams, M. A.

    2005-05-01

    Riparian systems are hotspots in dryland landscapes for nutrient supply and transformation. Biogeochemical fluxes in riparian systems are closely coupled to hydrological flowpaths, which, in dryland regions, are characterised by catastrophic flooding and long periods of erratic or no flow. Re-wetting of soils stimulates soil microbial processes that drive mineralization of nutrients necessary for plant growth. We present here the first data of a 3-year research project investigating biogeochemical processes in riparian systems in the semi-arid Pilbara region of Western Australia. Spatial patterns of nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon were closely related to topographic zone (across floodplain and channels) and vegetation type. NO3- and PCi concentrations were four-fold higher in channel, bank and riparian soils than in soils of floodplain and riparian-floodplain transition zones. Nitrogen distribution was highly heterogeneous in riparian soils (NO3- CV=102%, NH4+ CV=84%) while phosphorus was particularly heterogeneous in floodplain soils (PCi CV=153%, PCo CV=266%), in comparison to other zones. Phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) and enzymatic profiles will be used to assess microbial functional groups, combined with mineralisation experiments and stable isotope studies (15N and 13C). These data will improve understanding of biogeochemical cycling in dryland riparian systems, and contribute to improved regional management of water resources.

  14. Changes to dryland rainfall result in rapid moss mortality and altered soil fertility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, Sasha C.; Coe, Kirsten K.; Sparks, Jed P.; Housman, David C.; Zelikova, Tamara J.; Belnap, Jayne

    2012-01-01

    Arid and semi-arid ecosystems cover ~40% of Earth’s terrestrial surface, but we know little about how climate change will affect these widespread landscapes. Like many drylands, the Colorado Plateau in southwestern United States is predicted to experience elevated temperatures and alterations to the timing and amount of annual precipitation. We used a factorial warming and supplemental rainfall experiment on the Colorado Plateau to show that altered precipitation resulted in pronounced mortality of the widespread moss Syntrichia caninervis. Increased frequency of 1.2 mm summer rainfall events reduced moss cover from ~25% of total surface cover to fertility. Mosses are important members in many dryland ecosystems and the community changes observed here reveal how subtle modifications to climate can affect ecosystem structure and function on unexpectedly short timescales. Moreover, mortality resulted from increased precipitation through smaller, more frequent events, underscoring the importance of precipitation event size and timing, and highlighting our inadequate understanding of relationships between climate and ecosystem function in drylands.

  15. Energy crops for biogas plants. Bavaria; Energiepflanzen fuer Biogasanlagen. Bayern

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aigner, A.; Biertuempel, A.; Conrad, M. (and others)

    2012-08-15

    For agriculturists in Bavaria (Federal Republic of Germany), the brochure under consideration provides recommendations on alternative crop rotation systems. With the help of these alternative cultivation systems, crop rotation with high yields in combination with high diversity, diversification and sustainability can be realized. Subsequently to the presentation of energy crops for the production of biogas, recommendations for the design of crop rotation are given. Other chapters of this booklet deal with ensilage and gas yields as well as the economics of energy crop cultivation.

  16. Impact of climate change on drylands with a focus on West Africa

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dietz, A.J.; Verhagen, A.; Ruben, R. (eds.) [Impact of Climate Change on Drylands ICCD, Wageningen (Netherlands)

    2001-07-01

    The research effort started with a geographical inventory of all tropical and sub-tropical drylands to map the diversity in aridity, land degradation, population densities and urbanisation of the world's drylands, and to put the drylands of West Africa in perspective. It also guided a choice of in-depth study regions within West Africa. The scenario analysis shows a wide variety of outcomes, but with rather strong suggestions that most of dryland West Africa is expected to become a lot dryer. The consequences of these projections are an increase in high-risk environments for agriculture, including a southward shift of the and and semi-arid zones. Changes in rainfall distribution could mean an additional stress on agricultural production in these areas. Simulation studies clearly reveal a shift of the onset of the growing season and lower yield levels. To understand farmers' behaviour in West African drylands in preparing (Insuring) for dryer conditions and for agro-climatological droughts, in coping with droughts and adverse production conditions, and in adapting to changed conditions afterwards, we looked at their performance before, during and after drought years in the past identifying several adaptation strategies and policy recommendations. The conclusions are not very grim, contrary to the much-painted 'picture of doom' for Africa. West Africa's shock experience in the 1970s and 1980s did have the result that it became much better prepared for possible new drought shocks, and that its agricultural production performance in the 1990s (when rainfall became considerably better) improved. The future for the Sahel is not necessarily gloomy. However, system breakdown can occur during droughts. One may fear that in those situations religion will be used as a major catalyst for political support to exclusive claims (Islam versus Christianity and religious sub-groups versus sub-groups) and may result in massive violence and rapid deterioration

  17. Relationship among soil surface properties, hydrology and nitrogen cycling along a climatological gradient in drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaady, E.; Segoli, M.; Eldridge, D. J.; Groffman, P. M.; Boeken, B.; Shachak, M.

    2009-04-01

    Primary production and nutrient cycling in dryland systems are limited by water supply. There are two groups of primary producers, high biomass production plants and low biomass producing organisms found in biological soil crusts (BSC's), which control energy flow, nutrient cycling and hydrology. Biological or biogenic soil crusts are common in the world's drylands, from dry sub-humid to hyper-arid systems. The crusts are formed by communities of microphytes, mainly cyanobacteria, green algae, mosses, and lichens. The extracellular polysaccharide materials produced by the crust organisms attach soil particles, creating a solid horizontal layer of crust. Biological soil crusts modify soil quality by (1) aggregating soil particles, thereby reducing wind and water erosion; (2) reducing water infiltration, causing overland water run-off; and (3) N fixation and C sequestration. Dryland landscapes are two phase mosaic composed of BSC and high production patches. Development or loss of BSC may trigger changes in the spatial distribution of the patch types and therefore transitions between functional and degraded ecosystem states. We present a conceptual model depicting the function of each patch type and the link between them. Taking into account the contrast between low and high vegetation cover of dryland systems and their role in controlling soil nitrogen and water flows. The model describes the functioning of dryland systems with low biomass producing crust organisms cover, low rainfall, low top soil water and production, which cause low infiltration rate, low N uptake, nitrate accumulation, high evaporation and runoff. This leads to leaching of nitrates, oxygen depletion with high anaerobic conditions, high denitrification rates and N loss, resulting in low plant cover and soil organic matter i.e., degraded soil. It also depicts the functioning of the high production plants under low rainfall regimes resulting in low rates of N and energy flows. The model shows that

  18. Effect of Mixed Systems on Crop Productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senturklu, Songul; Landblom, Douglas; Cihacek, Larry; Brevik, Eric

    2017-04-01

    The goals of this non-irrigated research has been to determine the effect of mixed systems integration on crop, soil, and beef cattle production in the northern Great Plains region of the United States. Over a 5-year period, growing spring wheat (HRSW-C) continuously year after year was compared to a 5-year crop rotation that included spring wheat (HRSW-R), cover crop (dual crop consisting of winter triticale/hairy vetch seeded in the fall and harvested for hay followed by a 7-species cover crop that was seeded in June after hay harvest), forage corn, field pea/barley, and sunflower. Control 5-year HRSW yield was 2690 kg/ha compared to 2757 kg/ha for HRSW grown in rotation. Available soil nitrogen (N) is often the most important limitation for crop production. Expensive fertilizer inputs were reduced in this study due to the mixed system's complementarity in which the rotation system that included beef cattle grazing sustained N availability and increased nutrient cycling, which had a positive effect on all crops grown in the rotation. Growing HRSW continuously requires less intensive management and in this research was 14.5% less profitable. Whereas, when crop management increased and complementing crops were grown in rotation to produce crops and provide feed for grazing livestock, soil nutrient cycling improved. Increased nutrient cycling increased crop rotation yields and yearling beef cattle steers that grazing annual forages in the rotation gain more body weight than similar steers grazing NGP native range. Results of this long-term research will be presented in a PICO format for participant discussion.

  19. Soil and water conservation strategies and impact on sustainable livelihood in Cape Verde - Case study of Ribeira Seca watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baptista, I.; Ferreira, A. D.; Tavares, J.; Querido, A. L. E.; Reis, A. E. A.; Geissen, V.; Ritsema, C.; Varela, A.

    2012-04-01

    Cape Verde, located off the coast of Senegal in western Africa, is a volcanic archipelago where a combination of human, climatic, geomorphologic and pedologic factors has led to extensive degradation of the soils. Like other Sahelian countries, Cape Verde has suffered the effects of desertification through the years, threatening the livelihood of the islands population and its fragile environment. In fact, the steep slopes in the ore agricultural islands, together with semi-arid and arid environments, characterized by an irregular and poorly distributed rainy season, with high intensity rainfall events, make dryland production a challenge. To survive in these fragile conditions, the stabilization of the farming systems and the maintenance of sustainable yields have become absolute priorities, making the islands an erosion control laboratory. Soil and water conservation strategies have been a centerpiece of the government's agricultural policies for the last half century. Aiming to maintain the soil in place and the water inside the soil, the successive governments of Cape Verde have implemented a number of soil and water conservation techniques, the most common ones being terraces, half moons, live barriers, contour rock walls, contour furrows and microcatchments, check dams and reforestation with drought resistant species. The soil and water conservation techniques implemented have contributed to the improvement of the economical and environmental conditions of the treated landscape, making crop production possible, consequently, improving the livelihood of the people living on the islands. In this paper, we survey the existing soil and water conservation techniques, analyze their impact on the livelihood condition of the population through a thorough literature review and field monitoring using a semi-quantitative methodology and evaluate their effectiveness and impact on crop yield in the Ribeira Seca watershed. A brief discussion is given on the cost and

  20. Climate scenarios for semi-arid and sub-humid regions. A comparison of climate scenarios for the dryland regions, in West Africa from 1990 to 2050

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Born GJ; Schaeffer M; Leemans R; NOP

    2001-01-01

    The identification of climate scenarios for dryland areas in Sub-Saharan West Africa is part of a project to assess the impact of climate change on water availability, agriculture and food security in drylands (ICCD-project). The project is financed by Netherlands Research Programme on Global Air

  1. Suppression of soilborne pathogens in mixed cropping systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hiddink, G.A.

    2008-01-01

    Since the green revolution, agricultural production has increased tremendously due to synthetic fertilizers, chemical crop protectants and high yielding plant varieties. However, soilborne pathogens remain yield-limiting factors in agricultural production. Hardly any sustainable solutions are

  2. Energy crops in rotation. A review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zegada-Lizarazu, Walter; Monti, Andrea [Department of Agroenvironmental Science and Technology, University of Bologna, Viale G. Fanin, 44 - 40127, Bologna (Italy)

    2011-01-15

    The area under energy crops has increased tenfold over the last 10 years, and there is large consensus that the demand for energy crops will further increase rapidly to cover several millions of hectares in the near future. Information about rotational systems and effects of energy crops should be therefore given top priority. Literature is poor and fragmentary on this topic, especially about rotations in which all crops are exclusively dedicated to energy end uses. Well-planned crop rotations, as compared to continuous monoculture systems, can be expected to reduce the dependence on external inputs through promoting nutrient cycling efficiency, effective use of natural resources, especially water, maintenance of the long-term productivity of the land, control of diseases and pests, and consequently increasing crop yields and sustainability of production systems. The result of all these advantages is widely known as crop sequencing effect, which is due to the additional and positive consequences on soil physical-chemical and biological properties arising from specific crops grown in the same field year after year. In this context, the present review discusses the potential of several rotations with energy crops and their possibilities of being included alongside traditional agriculture systems across different agro-climatic zones within the European Union. Possible rotations dedicated exclusively to the production of biomass for bioenergy are also discussed, as rotations including only energy crops could become common around bio-refineries or power plants. Such rotations, however, show some limitations related to the control of diseases and to the narrow range of available species with high production potential that could be included in a rotation of such characteristics. The information on best-known energy crops such as rapeseed (Brassica napus) and sunflower (Helianthus annuus) suggests that conventional crops can benefit from the introduction of energy crops in

  3. Investigating an Ethical Approach to Genetically Modified Crops in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Genetically modified (GM) crops gained attention in southern Africa in the context of broader debates about the struggle for food security and poverty alleviation to achieve sustainable development. The prospects of GM crops as a technological innovation have provoked numerous debates and environmental concern ...

  4. Energy crops for biogas plants. Brandenburg; Energiepflanzen fuer Biogasanlagen. Brandenburg

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Adam, L.; Barthelmes, G.; Biertuempfel, A. (and others)

    2012-06-15

    In the brochure under consideration, the Agency for Renewable Resources (Guelzen-Pruezen, Federal Republic of Germany) reported on recommendations on alternative cropping systems for energy crop rotations in order to achieve high yields in combination with high diversity, risk spreading and sustainability. In particular, the natural site conditions in the Federal State of Brandenburg (Federal Republic of Germany) are determined.

  5. (Hordeum Vulgare) Crop Coefficient and Comparative Assessment

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Bheema

    The second prerequisite for sustainable use of water was developing/ ... Following the construction of .... pond capacity, the irrigation method, soil type, major crops grown in the area, and the ... determines the viability of any irrigation project. .... lack of awareness, lack of skill, technology and lack of adequate knowledge in ...

  6. Crop and livestock enterprise integration: Effects of annual crops used for fall forage production on livestock productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diversification of farm enterprises is important to maintain sustainable production systems. Systems that integrate crops and livestock may prove beneficial to each enterprise. Our objectives were to determine the effects of annual crops grazed in the fall and early-winter period on cow and calf gro...

  7. Rainfed intensive crop systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olesen, Jørgen E

    2014-01-01

    This chapter focuses on the importance of intensive cropping systems in contributing to the world supply of food and feed. The impact of climate change on intensive crop production systems is also discussed.......This chapter focuses on the importance of intensive cropping systems in contributing to the world supply of food and feed. The impact of climate change on intensive crop production systems is also discussed....

  8. The benefits of herbicide-resistant crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Jerry M

    2012-10-01

    Since 1996, genetically modified herbicide-resistant crops, primarily glyphosate-resistant soybean, corn, cotton and canola, have helped to revolutionize weed management and have become an important tool in crop production practices. Glyphosate-resistant crops have enabled the implementation of weed management practices that have improved yield and profitability while better protecting the environment. Growers have recognized their benefits and have made glyphosate-resistant crops the most rapidly adopted technology in the history of agriculture. Weed management systems with glyphosate-resistant crops have often relied on glyphosate alone, have been easy to use and have been effective, economical and more environmentally friendly than the systems they have replaced. Glyphosate has worked extremely well in controlling weeds in glyphosate-resistant crops for more than a decade, but some key weeds have evolved resistance, and using glyphosate alone has proved unsustainable. Now, growers need to renew their weed management practices and use glyphosate with other cultural, mechanical and herbicide options in integrated systems. New multiple-herbicide-resistant crops with resistance to glyphosate and other herbicides will expand the utility of existing herbicide technologies and will be an important component of future weed management systems that help to sustain the current benefits of high-efficiency and high-production agriculture. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry.

  9. Impacts of crop insurance on water withdrawals for irrigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deryugina, Tatyana; Konar, Megan

    2017-12-01

    Agricultural production remains particularly vulnerable to weather fluctuations and extreme events, such as droughts, floods, and heat waves. Crop insurance is a risk management tool developed to mitigate some of this weather risk and protect farmer income in times of poor production. However, crop insurance may have unintended consequences for water resources sustainability, as the vast majority of freshwater withdrawals go to agriculture. The causal impact of crop insurance on water use in agriculture remains poorly understood. Here, we determine the empirical relationship between crop insurance and irrigation water withdrawals in the United States. Importantly, we use an instrumental variables approach to establish causality. Our methodology exploits a major policy change in the crop insurance system - the 1994 Federal Crop Insurance Reform Act - which imposed crop insurance requirements on farmers. We find that a 1% increase in insured crop acreage leads to a 0.223% increase in irrigation withdrawals, with most coming from groundwater aquifers. We identify farmers growing more groundwater-fed cotton as an important mechanism contributing to increased withdrawals. A 1% increase in insured crop acreage leads to a 0.624% increase in cotton acreage, or 95,602 acres. These results demonstrate that crop insurance causally leads to more irrigation withdrawals. More broadly, this work underscores the importance of determining causality in the water-food nexus as we endeavor to achieve global food security and water resources sustainability.

  10. The Danish energy crop research and development project - main conclusions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gylling, Morten

    2003-01-01

    Production of energy crops in Denmark is more or less non-existent in Denmark at the time being. However, the need for biomass on the other side of year 2005 exceeds the existing biomass resources and a substantial amount of energy crops will be necessary in order to fulfil the goals in Energy 21. The targeted share of the use of renewable energy sources by year 2030 is approximately 30%. Energy crops are seen as the most important new resource in order to create a balanced input mix of renewable in the energy system. The energy crops are mainly seen as fuel in small and medium sized CHP plants and in the big power plants. The Danish energy crop project consists of three main parts: a demonstration part, a research and development part, and an overall assessment part. Based on the results from the project the following overall conclusions can be made: Seen from a strictly market and production economic point of view energy crops will not be competitive in a foreseeable future, neither as a production for farmers nor as a fuel at the utility companies; The costs per GJ of energy crops are still higher than a GJ of straw; The cost difference between annual and perennial energy crops are slightly in favour of perennials, however the conditions on the individual farms should govern the choice between annual and perennial energy crops; Energy crops must be seen as part of an overall environmental scheme covering both agriculture and the energy sector; Given the right production scheme energy crops can be grown on environmental sensitive areas and on most ground water protection areas; Adding the potential sustainability benefits like reduced nutrient leakage and reduced CO 2 emissions energy crops seem to be a sensible and sustainable solution; Due to different handling, storage and fuel characteristics an all year delivery scheme of energy crops should include a mix of different energy crops to keep overall cost down. (BA)

  11. Landsat 8 and ICESat-2: Performance and potential synergies for quantifying dryland ecosystem vegetation cover and biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glenn, Nancy F.; Neuenschwander, Amy; Vierling, Lee A.; Spaete, Lucas; Li, Aihua; Shinneman, Douglas; Pilliod, David S.; Arkle, Robert; McIlroy, Susan

    2016-01-01

    The Landsat 8 mission provides new opportunities for quantifying the distribution of above-ground carbon at moderate spatial resolution across the globe, and in particular drylands. Furthermore, coupled with structural information from space-based and airborne laser altimetry, Landsat 8 provides powerful capabilities for large-area, long-term studies that quantify temporal and spatial changes in above-ground biomass and cover. With the planned launch of ICESat-2 in 2017 and thus the potential to couple Landsat 8 and ICESat-2 data, we have unprecedented opportunities to address key challenges in drylands, including quantifying fuel loads, habitat quality, biodiversity, carbon cycling, and desertification.

  12. Effects of dry-land vs. resisted- and assisted-sprint exercises on swimming sprint performances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girold, Sébastien; Maurin, Didier; Dugué, Benoit; Chatard, Jean-Claude; Millet, Grégoire

    2007-05-01

    This study was undertaken to compare the effects of dry-land strength training with a combined in-water resisted- and assisted-sprint program in swimmer athletes. Twenty-one swimmers from regional to national level participated in this study. They were randomly assigned to 3 groups: the strength (S) group that was involved in a dry-land strength training program where barbells were used, the resisted- and assisted-sprint (RAS) group that got involved in a specific water training program where elastic tubes were used to generate resistance and assistance while swimming, and the control (C) group which was involved in an aerobic cycling program. During 12 weeks, the athletes performed 6 training sessions per week on separate days. All of them combined the same aerobic dominant work for their basic training in swimming and running with their specific training. Athletes were evaluated 3 times: before the training program started, after 6 weeks of training, and at the end of the training program. The outcome values were the strength of the elbow flexors and extensors evaluated using an isokinetic dynamometer, and the speed, stroke rate, stroke length, and stroke depth observed during a 50-meter sprint. No changes were observed after 6 weeks of training. At the end of the training period, we observed significant increases in swimming velocity, and strength of elbow flexors and extensors both in the S and RAS groups. However, stroke depth decreased both in the S and RAS groups. Stroke rate increased in the RAS but not in the S group. However, no significant differences in the swimming performances between the S and RAS groups were observed. No significant changes occurred in C. Altogether, programs combining swimming with dry-land strength or with in-water resisted- and assisted-sprint exercises led to a similar gain in sprint performance and are more efficient than traditional swimming training methods alone.

  13. Shifting species interactions in terrestrial dryland ecosystems under altered water availability and climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCluney, Kevin E.; Belnap, Jayne; Collins, Scott L.; González, Angélica L.; Hagen, Elizabeth M.; Holland, J. Nathaniel; Kotler, Burt P.; Maestre, Fernando T.; Smith, Stanley D.; Wolf, Blair O.

    2012-01-01

    Species interactions play key roles in linking the responses of populations, communities, and ecosystems to environmental change. For instance, species interactions are an important determinant of the complexity of changes in trophic biomass with variation in resources. Water resources are a major driver of terrestrial ecology and climate change is expected to greatly alter the distribution of this critical resource. While previous studies have documented strong effects of global environmental change on species interactions in general, responses can vary from region to region. Dryland ecosystems occupy more than one-third of the Earth's land mass, are greatly affected by changes in water availability, and are predicted to be hotspots of climate change. Thus, it is imperative to understand the effects of environmental change on these globally significant ecosystems. Here, we review studies of the responses of population-level plant-plant, plant-herbivore, and predator-prey interactions to changes in water availability in dryland environments in order to develop new hypotheses and predictions to guide future research. To help explain patterns of interaction outcomes, we developed a conceptual model that views interaction outcomes as shifting between (1) competition and facilitation (plant-plant), (2) herbivory, neutralism, or mutualism (plant-herbivore), or (3) neutralism and predation (predator-prey), as water availability crosses physiological, behavioural, or population-density thresholds. We link our conceptual model to hypothetical scenarios of current and future water availability to make testable predictions about the influence of changes in water availability on species interactions. We also examine potential implications of our conceptual model for the relative importance of top-down effects and the linearity of patterns of change in trophic biomass with changes in water availability. Finally, we highlight key research needs and some possible broader impacts

  14. Adapting a regularized canopy reflectance model (REGFLEC) for the retrieval challenges of dryland agricultural systems

    KAUST Repository

    Houborg, Rasmus

    2016-08-20

    A regularized canopy reflectance model (REGFLEC) is applied over a dryland irrigated agricultural system in Saudi Arabia for the purpose of retrieving leaf area index (LAI) and leaf chlorophyll content (Chll). To improve the robustness of the retrieved properties, REGFLEC was modified to 1) correct for aerosol and adjacency effects, 2) consider foliar dust effects on modeled canopy reflectances, 3) include spectral information in the red-edge wavelength region, and 4) exploit empirical LAI estimates in the model inversion. Using multi-spectral RapidEye imagery allowed Chll to be retrieved with a Mean Absolute Deviation (MAD) of 7.9 μg cm− 2 (16%), based upon in-situ measurements conducted in fields of alfalfa, Rhodes grass and maize over the course of a growing season. LAI and Chll compensation effects on canopy reflectance were largely avoided by informing the inversion process with ancillary LAI inputs established empirically on the basis of a statistical machine learning technique. As a result, LAI was reproduced with good accuracy, with an overall MAD of 0.42 m2 m− 2 (12.5%). Results highlighted the considerable challenges associated with the translation of at-sensor radiance observations to surface bidirectional reflectances in dryland environments, where issues such as high aerosol loadings and large spatial gradients in surface reflectance from bright desert soils to dark vegetated fields are often present. Indeed, surface reflectances in the visible bands were reduced by up to 60% after correction for such adjacency effects. In addition, dust deposition on leaves required explicit modification of the reflectance sub-model to account for its influence. By implementing these model refinements, REGFLEC demonstrated its utility for within-field characterization of vegetation conditions over the challenging landscapes typical of dryland agricultural regions, offering a means through which improvements can be made in the management of these globally

  15. Abiotic versus biotic controls on soil nitrogen cycling in drylands along a 3200 km transect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Dongwei; Zhu, Weixing; Wang, Xiaobo; Pan, Yuepeng; Wang, Chao; Xi, Dan; Bai, Edith; Wang, Yuesi; Han, Xingguo; Fang, Yunting

    2017-03-01

    Nitrogen (N) cycling in drylands under changing climate is not well understood. Our understanding of N cycling over larger scales to date relies heavily on the measurement of bulk soil N, and the information about internal soil N transformations remains limited. The 15N natural abundance (δ15N) of ammonium and nitrate can serve as a proxy record for the N processes in soils. To better understand the patterns and mechanisms of N cycling in drylands, we collected soils along a 3200 km transect at about 100 km intervals in northern China, with mean annual precipitation (MAP) ranging from 36 to 436 mm. We analyzed N pools and δ15N of ammonium, dual isotopes (15N and 18O) of nitrate, and the microbial gene abundance associated with soil N transformations. We found that N status and its driving factors were different above and below a MAP threshold of 100 mm. In the arid zone with MAP below 100 mm, soil inorganic N accumulated, with a large fraction being of atmospheric origin, and ammonia volatilization was strong in soils with high pH. In addition, the abundance of microbial genes associated with soil N transformations was low. In the semiarid zone with MAP above 100 mm, soil inorganic N concentrations were low and were controlled mainly by biological processes (e.g., plant uptake and denitrification). The preference for soil ammonium over nitrate by the dominant plant species may enhance the possibility of soil nitrate losses via denitrification. Overall, our study suggests that a shift from abiotic to biotic controls on soil N biogeochemistry under global climate changes would greatly affect N losses, soil N availability, and other N transformation processes in these drylands in China.

  16. The Soil Program of the Restoration Seedbank Initiative: addressing knowledge gaps in degraded soils for use in dryland restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Bateman, Amber; Erickson, Todd E.; Turner, Shane; Merritt, David J.

    2017-04-01

    Global environmental changes and other anthropogenic impacts are rapidly transforming the structure and functioning of ecosystems worldwide. These changes are leading to land degradation with an estimated 25 % of the global land surface being affected. Landscape-scale restoration of these degraded ecosystems has therefore been recognised globally as an international priority. In the resource-rich biodiverse semi-arid Pilbara region of north-west Western Australia hundreds of thousands of hectares are disturbed due to established and emerging iron-ore mine operations. At this scale, the need to develop cost-effective large-scale solutions to restore these landscapes becomes imperative to preserve biodiversity and achieve functionality and sustainability of these ecosystems. The Restoration Seedbank Initiative (RSB) (http://www.plants.uwa.edu.au/ research/restoration-seedbank-initiative) is a five-year multidisciplinary research project that aims to build knowledge and design strategies to restore mine-impacted landscapes in the Pilbara and other arid and semi-arid landscapes worldwide (Kildiseheva et al., 2016). The RSB comprises four research programs that focus on seedbank management and curation, seed storage, seed enhancement, and the use of alternative soil substrates (soil or growing medium program) respectively. These multi-disciplinary programs address the significant challenges of landscape scale restoration in arid systems. In the soil program we follow an integrated approach that includes the characterization of undisturbed ecosystems, assessment of restored soils with the use of soil quality indicators, and design of alternative soil substrates to support the establishment of native plant communities. A series of glasshouse studies and field trials have been conducted in the last three years to advance our knowledge on soil limitations and to provide solutions to effectively overcome these challenges in arid ecosystem restoration. These studies include

  17. Studies on the Effects of Climatic Factors on Dryland Wheat Grain Yield in Maragheh Region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Feiziasl

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract In order to study the effects of climate variables on rainfed wheat grain yield, climate data and wheat yield for 10 years (1995-2005 collected from Dryland Agricultural Research Institute (DARI in Maragheh as the main station in cold and semi-cold areas. Collected data were analyzed by correlation coefficient, simple regression, stepwise regression and path analysis. The results showed that relationships between grain yield with average relative humidity and total rainfall of growing season was positive and significant at 5% and 1% probabilities, respectively. However, evaluation between grain yield with sunny hours and class A pan evaporation was negative and significant (p

  18. Impact of Climate Change on Drylands. Climate variability, livelihood strategies and policy options

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Verhagen, A. [Plant Research International, Wageningen (Netherlands); Dietz, A.J. [Amsterdam Research Institute for Global Issues and Development Studies AGIDS, University of Amsterdam UvA, Amsterdam (Netherlands)

    2001-09-01

    The findings of the Impact of Climate Change on Drylands (ICCD) project were discussed during a workshop held on 26 and 27 April 2001. The aims of the workshop were to disseminate the findings of the ICCD project, create awareness of the possible effects of climate change and contribute to the dialogue on climate change research in West Africa. Both the workshop and the project were financed by the National Research Programme on Global Air Pollution and Climate Change (NRP), Centre Technique de Cooperation de Agricole et Rurale (CTA), Wageningen University (INREF), and Amsterdam Research Institute for Global Issues and Development Studies (AGIDS)

  19. Modeling the impacts of dryland agricultural reclamation on groundwater resources in Northern Egypt using sparse data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Switzman, Harris; Coulibaly, Paulin; Adeel, Zafar

    2015-01-01

    Demand for freshwater in many dryland environments is exerting negative impacts on the quality and availability of groundwater resources, particularly in areas where demand is high due to irrigation or industrial water requirements to support dryland agricultural reclamation. Often however, information available to diagnose the drivers of groundwater degradation and assess management options through modeling is sparse, particularly in low and middle-income countries. This study presents an approach for generating transient groundwater model inputs to assess the long-term impacts of dryland agricultural land reclamation on groundwater resources in a highly data-sparse context. The approach was applied to the area of Wadi El Natrun in Northern Egypt, where dryland reclamation and the associated water use has been aggressive since the 1960s. Statistical distributions of water use information were constructed from a variety of sparse field and literature estimates and then combined with remote sensing data in spatio-temporal infilling model to produce the groundwater model inputs of well-pumping and surface recharge. An ensemble of groundwater model inputs were generated and used in a 3D groundwater flow (MODFLOW) of Wadi El Natrun's multi-layer aquifer system to analyze trends in water levels and water budgets over time. Validation of results against monitoring records, and model performance statistics demonstrated that despite the extremely sparse data, the approach used in this study was capable of simulating the cumulative impacts of agricultural land reclamation reasonably well. The uncertainty associated with the groundwater model itself was greater than that associated with the ensemble of well-pumping and surface recharge estimates. Water budget analysis of the groundwater model output revealed that groundwater recharge has not changed significantly over time, while pumping has. As a result of these trends, groundwater was estimated to be in a deficit of

  20. High precipitation and seeded species competition reduce seeded shrub establishment during dryland restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinella, Matthew J; Hammond, Darcy H; Bryant, Ana-Elisa M; Kozar, Brian J

    2015-06-01

    Drylands comprise 40% of Earth's land mass and are critical to food security, carbon sequestration, and threatened and endangered wildlife. Exotic weed invasions, overgrazing, energy extraction, and other factors have degraded many drylands, and this has placed an increased emphasis on dryland restoration. The increased restoration focus has generated a wealth of experience, innovations and empirical data, yet the goal of restoring diverse, native, dryland plant assemblages composed of grasses, forbs, and shrubs has generally proven beyond reach. Of particular concern are shrubs, which often fail to establish or establish at trivially low densities. We used data from two Great Plains, USA coal mines to explore factors regulating shrub establishment. Our predictor data related to weather and restoration (e.g., seed rates, rock cover) variables, and our response data described shrub abundances on fields of the mines. We found that seeded non-shrubs, especially grasses, formed an important competitive barrier to shrub establishment: With every one standard deviation increase in non-shrub seed rate, the probability shrubs were present decreased ~0.1 and shrub cover decreased ~35%. Since new fields were seeded almost every year for > 20 years, the data also provided a unique opportunity to explore effects of stochastic drivers (i.e., precipitation, year effects). With every one standard deviation increase in precipitation the first growing season following seeding, the probability shrubs were present decreased ~0.07 and shrub cover decreased ~47%. High precipitation appeared to harm shrubs by increasing grass growth/competition. Also, weak evidence suggested shrub establishment was better in rockier fields where grass abundance/competition was lower. Multiple lines of evidence suggest reducing grass seed rates below levels typically used in Great Plains restoration would benefit shrubs without substantially impacting grass stand development over the long term. We used

  1. Dryland soil hydrological processes and their impacts on the nitrogen balance in a soil-maize system of a freeze-thawing agricultural area.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Ouyang

    Full Text Available Understanding the fates of soil hydrological processes and nitrogen (N is essential for optimizing the water and N in a dryland crop system with the goal of obtaining a maximum yield. Few investigations have addressed the dynamics of dryland N and its association with the soil hydrological process in a freeze-thawing agricultural area. With the daily monitoring of soil water content and acquisition rates at 15, 30, 60 and 90 cm depths, the soil hydrological process with the influence of rainfall was identified. The temporal-vertical soil water storage analysis indicated the local albic soil texture provided a stable soil water condition for maize growth with the rainfall as the only water source. Soil storage water averages at 0-20, 20-40 and 40-60 cm were observed to be 490.2, 593.8, and 358 m3 ha-1, respectively, during the growing season. The evapo-transpiration (ET, rainfall, and water loss analysis demonstrated that these factors increased in same temporal pattern and provided necessary water conditions for maize growth in a short period. The dry weight and N concentration of maize organs (root, leaf, stem, tassel, and grain demonstrated the N accumulation increased to a peak in the maturity period and that grain had the most N. The maximum N accumulative rate reached about 500 mg m-2d-1 in leaves and grain. Over the entire growing season, the soil nitrate N decreased by amounts ranging from 48.9 kg N ha-1 to 65.3 kg N ha-1 over the 90 cm profile and the loss of ammonia-N ranged from 9.79 to 12.69 kg N ha-1. With soil water loss and N balance calculation, the N usage efficiency (NUE over the 0-90 cm soil profile was 43%. The soil hydrological process due to special soil texture and the temporal features of rainfall determined the maize growth in the freeze-thawing agricultural area.

  2. Forest Landscape Restoration in the Drylands of Latin America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrian C. Newton

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR involves the ecological restoration of degraded forest landscapes, with the aim of benefiting both biodiversity and human well-being. We first identify four fundamental principles of FLR, based on previous definitions. We then critically evaluate the application of these principles in practice, based on the experience gained during an international, collaborative research project conducted in six dry forest landscapes of Latin America. Research highlighted the potential for FLR; tree species of high socioeconomic value were identified in all study areas, and strong dependence of local communities on forest resources was widely encountered, particularly for fuelwood. We demonstrated that FLR can be achieved through both passive and active restoration approaches, and can be cost-effective if the increased provision of ecosystem services is taken into account. These results therefore highlight the potential for FLR, and the positive contribution that it could make to sustainable development. However, we also encountered a number of challenges to FLR implementation, including the difficulty of achieving strong engagement in FLR activities among local stakeholders, lack of capacity for community-led initiatives, and the lack of an appropriate institutional and regulatory environment to support restoration activities. Successful implementation of FLR will require new collaborative alliances among stakeholders, empowerment and capacity building of local communities to enable them to fully engage with restoration activities, and an enabling public policy context to enable local people to be active participants in the decision making process.

  3. Responsive Polymers for Crop Protection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serban F. Peteu

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available This review outlines the responsive polymer methods currently in use with their potential application to plant protection and puts forward plant-specific mechanisms as stimuli in newly devised methods for smart release of crop protection agents (CPAs. CPAs include chemicals (fungicides, insecticides, herbicides, biochemicals (antibiotics, RNA-based vaccines for plant viruses, semiochemicals (pheromones, repellents, allomones, microbial pesticides, growth regulators (insect and plant or micronutrients, all with crop protection effects. This appraisal focuses on emerging uses of polymer nano-encapsulated CPAs. Firstly, the most interesting advances in controlled release methods are critically discussed with their advantages and drawbacks. Secondly, several plant-specific stimuli-based smart methods are anticipated for use alongside the polymer nano- or micro-capsules. These new CPA release methods are designed to (i protect plants against infection produced by fungi or bacteria, and (ii apply micro-nutrients when the plants need it the most. Thus, we foresee (i the responsive release of nano- encapsulated bio-insecticides regulated by plant stress enzymes, and (ii the delivery of micro-nutrients synchronized by the nature or intensity of plant root exudates. Such continued advances of nano-scale smart polymer-based CPAs for the protection of crops herald a “small revolution” for the benefit of sustainable agriculture.

  4. The CSAICLAWPS project: a multi-scalar, multi-data source approach to providing climate services for both modelling of climate change impacts on crop yields and development of community-level adaptive capacity for sustainable food security

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forsythe, N. D.; Fowler, H. J.

    2017-12-01

    The "Climate-smart agriculture implementation through community-focused pursuit of land and water productivity in South Asia" (CSAICLAWPS) project is a research initiative funded by the (UK) Royal Society through its Challenge Grants programme which is part of the broader UK Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). CSAICLAWPS has three objectives: a) development of "added-value" - bias assessed, statistically down-scaled - climate projections for selected case study sites across South Asia; b) investigation of crop failure modes under both present (observed) and future (projected) conditions; and c) facilitation of developing local adaptive capacity and resilience through stakeholder engagement. At AGU we will be presenting both next steps and progress to date toward these three objectives: [A] We have carried out bias assessments of a substantial multi-model RCM ensemble (MME) from the CORDEX South Asia (CORDEXdomain for case studies in three countries - Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka - and (stochastically) produced synthetic time-series for these sites from local observations using a Python-based implementation of the principles underlying the Climate Research Unit Weather Generator (CRU-WG) in order to enable probabilistic simulation of current crop yields. [B] We have characterised present response of local crop yields to climate variability in key case study sites using AquaCrop simulations parameterised based on input (agronomic practices, soil conditions, etc) from smallholder farmers. [C] We have implemented community-based hydro-climatological monitoring in several case study "revenue villages" (panchayats) in the Nainital District of Uttarakhand. The purpose of this is not only to increase availability of meteorological data, but also has the aspiration of, over time, leading to enhanced quantitative awareness of present climate variability and potential future conditions (as projected by RCMs). Next steps in our work will include: 1) future crop yield

  5. The scientific grand challenges of the 21st century for the Crop Science Society of America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crop science is a highly integrative science field employing expertise from multiple disciplines to broaden our understanding of agronomic, turf, and forage crops. A major goal of crop science is to ensure an adequate and sustainable production of food, feed, fuel, and fiber for our world’s growing ...

  6. Combining Sustainable Land Management Technologies to Combat Land Degradation and Improve Rural Livelihoods in Semi-arid Lands in Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mganga, K Z; Musimba, N K R; Nyariki, D M

    2015-12-01

    Drylands occupy more than 80% of Kenya's total land mass and contribute immensely to the national economy and society through agriculture, livestock production, tourism, and wild product harvesting. Dryland ecosystems are areas of high climate variability making them vulnerable to the threats of land degradation. Consequently, agropastoralists inhabiting these ecosystems develop mechanisms and technologies to cope with the impacts of climate variability. This study is aimed to; (1) determine what agropastoralists inhabiting a semi-arid ecosystem in Kenya attribute to be the causes and indicators of land degradation, (2) document sustainable land management (SLM) technologies being undertaken to combat land degradation, and (3) identify the factors that influence the choice of these SLM technologies. Vegetation change from preferred indigenous forage grass species to woody vegetation was cited as the main indicator of land degradation. Land degradation was attributed to recurrent droughts and low amounts of rainfall, overgrazing, and unsustainable harvesting of trees for fuelwood production. However, despite the challenges posed by climate variability and recurrent droughts, the local community is engaging in simple SLM technologies including grass reseeding, rainwater harvesting and soil conservation, and dryland agroforestry as a holistic approach combating land degradation and improving their rural livelihoods. The choice of these SLM technologies was mainly driven by their additional benefits to combating land degradation. In conclusion, promoting such simple SLM technologies can help reverse the land degradation trend, improve agricultural production, food security including access to food, and subsequently improve livelihoods of communities inhabiting dryland ecosystems.

  7. Combining Sustainable Land Management Technologies to Combat Land Degradation and Improve Rural Livelihoods in Semi-arid Lands in Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mganga, K. Z.; Musimba, N. K. R.; Nyariki, D. M.

    2015-12-01

    Drylands occupy more than 80 % of Kenya's total land mass and contribute immensely to the national economy and society through agriculture, livestock production, tourism, and wild product harvesting. Dryland ecosystems are areas of high climate variability making them vulnerable to the threats of land degradation. Consequently, agropastoralists inhabiting these ecosystems develop mechanisms and technologies to cope with the impacts of climate variability. This study is aimed to; (1) determine what agropastoralists inhabiting a semi-arid ecosystem in Kenya attribute to be the causes and indicators of land degradation, (2) document sustainable land management (SLM) technologies being undertaken to combat land degradation, and (3) identify the factors that influence the choice of these SLM technologies. Vegetation change from preferred indigenous forage grass species to woody vegetation was cited as the main indicator of land degradation. Land degradation was attributed to recurrent droughts and low amounts of rainfall, overgrazing, and unsustainable harvesting of trees for fuelwood production. However, despite the challenges posed by climate variability and recurrent droughts, the local community is engaging in simple SLM technologies including grass reseeding, rainwater harvesting and soil conservation, and dryland agroforestry as a holistic approach combating land degradation and improving their rural livelihoods. The choice of these SLM technologies was mainly driven by their additional benefits to combating land degradation. In conclusion, promoting such simple SLM technologies can help reverse the land degradation trend, improve agricultural production, food security including access to food, and subsequently improve livelihoods of communities inhabiting dryland ecosystems.

  8. Identification of research needs for quantification of nutrient dynamics in integrated crop/livestock systems in East Asia and Latin America with a focus on conservation and sustainability issues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blair, Graeme

    2002-01-01

    Between 1979/81 and 1999 livestock numbers increased throughout S.E. Asia and Tropical America despite the increasing human population density in these regions Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand dominate the large ruminant population in S.E. Asia. . The large ruminant population in these countries is dwarfed by that in China. In tropical America Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela have the largest large ruminant populations . In S.E. Asia, between 1979/81 and 1999, cattle numbers increased by 91% but buffalo numbers decreased by 3%. The cattle population in Tropical America has increased by 19%. The largest small ruminant population in S. E. Asia occurs in Indonesia and, in Tropical America, in Brazil and Mexico. There has been a very significant (90%) increase in small ruminants in S.E. Asia. The major needs of the largely cut and carry systems used in much of S E Asia and Africa is to provide a year-round supply of high quality forages to supplement low quality crop residues and forages cut from roadsides and wastelands. Because of the reluctance of farmers to fertilise forages in these systems it is an imperative that the flow of nutrients from the soil to the plant and then to the animal be as efficient as possible. In the past legumes, particularly tree and shrub legumes, have been the preferred supplementary forage supply but as systems become more intensive increased attention needs to be paid to N fertilised grasses and direct supplementation of animals with N, P, and other nutrients. The research to be undertaken needs to trace the flow and balance of nutrients (particularly N,P,K,S,Zn and C) through the plant production cycle, particularly the recycling of nutrients when associated with carbon in crop residues and specialist supplementary fodder crops. Studies are also needed on the efficiency of animal feeding and nutrient utilisation, especially in the re- utilisation of manure, urine and bedding material in subsequent crop production. Additional research is

  9. Crop and livestock enterprise integration: Livestock impacts on forage, stover, and grain production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enterprise diversity is the key to ensure productive and sustainable agriculture for the future. Integration of crops and livestock enterprises is one way to improve agricultural sustainability, and take advantage of beneficial enterprise synergistic effects. Our objectives were to develop cropping ...

  10. Importance of pollinators in changing landscapes for world crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Vaissière, Bernard E; Cane, James H; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Cunningham, Saul A; Kremen, Claire; Tscharntke, Teja

    2007-02-07

    The extent of our reliance on animal pollination for world crop production for human food has not previously been evaluated and the previous estimates for countries or continents have seldom used primary data. In this review, we expand the previous estimates using novel primary data from 200 countries and found that fruit, vegetable or seed production from 87 of the leading global food crops is dependent upon animal pollination, while 28 crops do not rely upon animal pollination. However, global production volumes give a contrasting perspective, since 60% of global production comes from crops that do not depend on animal pollination, 35% from crops that depend on pollinators, and 5% are unevaluated. Using all crops traded on the world market and setting aside crops that are solely passively self-pollinated, wind-pollinated or parthenocarpic, we then evaluated the level of dependence on animal-mediated pollination for crops that are directly consumed by humans. We found that pollinators are essential for 13 crops, production is highly pollinator dependent for 30, moderately for 27, slightly for 21, unimportant for 7, and is of unknown significance for the remaining 9. We further evaluated whether local and landscape-wide management for natural pollination services could help to sustain crop diversity and production. Case studies for nine crops on four continents revealed that agricultural intensification jeopardizes wild bee communities and their stabilizing effect on pollination services at the landscape scale.

  11. Pastoralism in the drylands of Latin America: Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grünwaldt, J M; Castellaro, G; Flores, E R; Morales-Nieto, C R; Valdez-Cepeda, R D; Guevera, J C; Grünwaldt, E G

    2016-11-01

    This article discusses various aspects of pastoralism in the Latin American countries with the largest dryland areas. The topics covered include: social, economic and institutional issues; grasslands and their carrying capacity; production systems and productivity rates; competition for forage resources between domestic livestock and wildlife; and the health status of livestock and wildlife. Most grasslands exhibit some degree of degradation. The percentage of offspring reaching weaning age is low: 47-66% of calves and 40-80% of lambs. Some pastoralists adopt patterns of transhumance. In the main, pastoralists experience a high poverty rate and have poor access to social services. For many pastoralists, wildlife is a source of food and by-products. Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Peru have animal health control agencies, are members of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and have signed the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. Pastoral systems subsist mainly on income unrelated to pastoral farming. The OIE recognises all four countries as free from infection with peste des petits ruminants virus, and from rinderpest and African horse sickness. It is difficult to predict the future of pastoralism in Latin America because the situation differs from country to country. For instance, pastoralism is more important in Peru than in Argentina, where it is a more marginal activity. In the future, lack of promotion and protection policies could lead to a decline in pastoralism or to an adverse environmental impact on drylands.

  12. The visibility of using water boxes and mulch in dryland revegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alhamad, Mohammad Noor; Alrababah, Mohammad; Athamneh, Hanaa

    2017-04-01

    Drylands cover more than 41% of the world's surface area and are homeland for about one-third of the world's population, 90% of them in developing countries. Land degradation in the drylands is hot environmental topic as it impacts environmental quality and jeopardizes food security in developing countries. The climate of Jordan varies from dry sub-humid Mediterranean in northwestern areas to desert conditions over a distance of 100 km, where more than 90 % of the county's area receives annual rainfall of less than 200 mm. In Jordan revegetation programs are rainfed; rainfall in Jordan is characterized by variable nature, thus, these programs faces a major challenge of the low survival rate of transplanted seedlings. The present study ought to explore the visibility of using water boxes and plastic mulch as an innovative approach to enhance seedling survival and establishment of four forest tress species ( Carob, Cupressus, Quercus, and Pinus). The experiment results showed that Cupressus, and Pinus seedlings expressed the highest survival rate of 88% and 84 % respectively, flowed by Crob (64%) and Querrcus (16%). The plastic mulch significantly enhanced the seedling survival rate b y40 % over the control while the water boxes resulted in an increase of 32 % over the control.

  13. Dryland Winter Wheat Yield, Grain Protein, and Soil Nitrogen Responses to Fertilizer and Biosolids Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard T. Koenig

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Applications of biosolids were compared to inorganic nitrogen (N fertilizer for two years at three locations in eastern Washington State, USA, with diverse rainfall and soft white, hard red, and hard white winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cultivars. High rates of inorganic N tended to reduce yields, while grain protein responses to N rate were positive and linear for all wheat market classes. Biosolids produced 0 to 1400 kg ha−1 (0 to 47% higher grain yields than inorganic N. Wheat may have responded positively to nutrients other than N in the biosolids or to a metered N supply that limited vegetative growth and the potential for moisture stress-induced reductions in grain yield in these dryland production systems. Grain protein content with biosolids was either equal to or below grain protein with inorganic N, likely due to dilution of grain N from the higher yields achieved with biosolids. Results indicate the potential to improve dryland winter wheat yields with biosolids compared to inorganic N alone, but perhaps not to increase grain protein concentration of hard wheat when biosolids are applied immediately before planting.

  14. Phenology of Succession: Tracking the Recovery of Dryland Forests after Wildfire Events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, J.; Brown, J. F.; Sankey, J. B.; Wallace, C.; Weltzin, J. F.

    2016-12-01

    The frequency, size, and intensity of forest wildfires in the U.S. Southwest have increased over the past 30 years. In the coming decades, burn effects and altered climatic conditions may increasingly divert vegetation recovery trajectories from pre-disturbance forested ecosystems toward grassland or shrub woodlands. Dryland herbaceous and woody vegetation species exhibit different phenological responses to precipitation, resulting in temporal and spatial shifts in landscape phenology patterns as the proportions of plant functional groups change over time. We have developed time series of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Soil-Adjusted Vegetation Index (SAVI) greenness measures derived from satellite imagery from 1984 - 2015 to record the phenological signatures that characterize recovery trajectories towards predominantly grassland, shrubland, or forest land cover types. We leveraged the data and computational resources available through the Google Earth Engine cloud-based platform to analyze time series of Landsat Thematic Mapper and Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus imagery collected over maturing (40 years or more post-fire) dryland forests in Arizona and New Mexico, USA. These time series provided the basis for long-term comparisons of phenology behavior in different successional trajectories and enabled the assessment of climatic influence on the eventual outcomes.

  15. Individualized dry-land intervention program for an élite Paralympic swimmer: a case report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavaggioni, Luca; Trecroci, Athos; Tosin, Massimiliano; Iaia, F Marcello; Alberti, Giampietro

    2018-03-01

    The aim of this retrospective case study is the longitudinal description of the physical and functional parameters of a top-level Paralympic swimmer class S9-SB8-SM9 during four swimming seasons of training, from the Paralympic games in London 2012 to the Paralympic games in Rio 2016. A 22-year-old male swimmer underwent a specific preventive dry-land training based on diaphragmatic breathing, postural alignment, and slow-velocity resistance training aimed to improve his muscle strength. He was tested by using the Functional Movement ScreenTM, photographic postural assessment and vertical jump. The swimmer improved his functional, postural and strength parameters indicating a better functional movement and muscular power. These results shows that a four-year specific dry-land intervention could be capable of enhancing the functional and physical requirements of a top-level Paralympic swimmer. This approach might be a suitable novel alternative for physical therapists and athletic trainers to integrate their training protocols for athletes with similar impairments.

  16. Identifying optimal remotely-sensed variables for ecosystem monitoring in Colorado Plateau drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poitras, Travis; Villarreal, Miguel; Waller, Eric K.; Nauman, Travis; Miller, Mark E.; Duniway, Michael C.

    2018-01-01

    Water-limited ecosystems often recover slowly following anthropogenic or natural disturbance. Multitemporal remote sensing can be used to monitor ecosystem recovery after disturbance; however, dryland vegetation cover can be challenging to accurately measure due to sparse cover and spectral confusion between soils and non-photosynthetic vegetation. With the goal of optimizing a monitoring approach for identifying both abrupt and gradual vegetation changes, we evaluated the ability of Landsat-derived spectral variables to characterize surface variability of vegetation cover and bare ground across a range of vegetation community types. Using three year composites of Landsat data, we modeled relationships between spectral information and field data collected at monitoring sites near Canyonlands National Park, UT. We also developed multiple regression models to assess improvement over single variables. We found that for all vegetation types, percent cover bare ground could be accurately modeled with single indices that included a combination of red and shortwave infrared bands, while near infrared-based vegetation indices like NDVI worked best for quantifying tree cover and total live vegetation cover in woodlands. We applied four models to characterize the spatial distribution of putative grassland ecological states across our study area, illustrating how this approach can be implemented to guide dryland ecosystem management.

  17. Dryland soil microbial communities display spatial biogeographic patterns associated with soil depth and soil parent material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven, Blaire; Gallegos-Graves, La Verne; Belnap, Jayne; Kuske, Cheryl R.

    2013-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are common to drylands worldwide. We employed replicated, spatially nested sampling and 16S rRNA gene sequencing to describe the soil microbial communities in three soils derived from different parent material (sandstone, shale, and gypsum). For each soil type, two depths (biocrusts, 0–1 cm; below-crust soils, 2–5 cm) and two horizontal spatial scales (15 cm and 5 m) were sampled. In all three soils, Cyanobacteria and Proteobacteria demonstrated significantly higher relative abundance in the biocrusts, while Chloroflexi and Archaea were significantly enriched in the below-crust soils. Biomass and diversity of the communities in biocrusts or below-crust soils did not differ with soil type. However, biocrusts on gypsum soil harbored significantly larger populations of Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria and lower populations of Cyanobacteria. Numerically dominant operational taxonomic units (OTU; 97% sequence identity) in the biocrusts were conserved across the soil types, whereas two dominant OTUs in the below-crust sand and shale soils were not identified in the gypsum soil. The uniformity with which small-scale vertical community differences are maintained across larger horizontal spatial scales and soil types is a feature of dryland ecosystems that should be considered when designing management plans and determining the response of biocrusts to environmental disturbances.

  18. Impact of cash cropping and perennial crops on food crop ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    significant effects on food crop production and productivity. ... 2 Department of Economics and Resource management, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway ... food markets work well, the problem of imperfect markets does not allow ..... prices at the time of purchase with the remaining balance due at the end of the.

  19. Ecological thresholds as a basis for defining management triggers for National Park Service vital signs: case studies for dryland ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowker, Matthew A.; Miller, Mark E.; Belote, R. Travis; Garman, Steven L.

    2013-01-01

    Threshold concepts are used in research and management of ecological systems to describe and interpret abrupt and persistent reorganization of ecosystem properties (Walker and Meyers, 2004; Groffman and others, 2006). Abrupt change, referred to as a threshold crossing, and the progression of reorganization can be triggered by one or more interactive disturbances such as land-use activities and climatic events (Paine and others, 1998). Threshold crossings occur when feedback mechanisms that typically absorb forces of change are replaced with those that promote development of alternative equilibria or states (Suding and others, 2004; Walker and Meyers, 2004; Briske and others, 2008). The alternative states that emerge from a threshold crossing vary and often exhibit reduced ecological integrity and value in terms of management goals relative to the original or reference system. Alternative stable states with some limited residual properties of the original system may develop along the progression after a crossing; an eventual outcome may be the complete loss of pre-threshold properties of the original ecosystem. Reverting to the more desirable reference state through ecological restoration becomes increasingly difficult and expensive along the progression gradient and may eventually become impossible. Ecological threshold concepts have been applied as a heuristic framework and to aid in the management of rangelands (Bestelmeyer, 2006; Briske and others, 2006, 2008), aquatic (Scheffer and others, 1993; Rapport and Whitford 1999), riparian (Stringham and others, 2001; Scott and others, 2005), and forested ecosystems (Allen and others, 2002; Digiovinazzo and others, 2010). These concepts are also topical in ecological restoration (Hobbs and Norton 1996; Whisenant 1999; Suding and others, 2004; King and Hobbs, 2006) and ecosystem sustainability (Herrick, 2000; Chapin and others, 1996; Davenport and others, 1998). Achieving conservation management goals requires the

  20. Biocrust-forming mosses mitigate the impact of aridity on soil microbial communities in drylands: observational evidence from three continents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Maestre, Fernando T; Eldridge, David J; Bowker, Matthew A; Jeffries, Thomas C; Singh, Brajesh K

    2018-04-02

    Recent research indicates that increased aridity linked to climate change will reduce the diversity of soil microbial communities and shift their community composition in drylands, Earth's largest biome. However, we lack both a theoretical framework and solid empirical evidence of how important biotic components from drylands, such as biocrust-forming mosses, will regulate the responses of microbial communities to expected increases in aridity with climate change. Here we report results from a cross-continental (North America, Europe and Australia) survey of 39 locations from arid to humid ecosystems, where we evaluated how biocrust-forming mosses regulate the relationship between aridity and the community composition and diversity of soil bacteria and fungi in dryland ecosystems. Increasing aridity was negatively related to the richness of fungi, and either positively or negatively related to the relative abundance of selected microbial phyla, when biocrust-forming mosses were absent. Conversely, we found an overall lack of relationship between aridity and the relative abundance and richness of microbial communities under biocrust-forming mosses. Our results suggest that biocrust-forming mosses mitigate the impact of aridity on the community composition of globally distributed microbial taxa, and the diversity of fungi. They emphasize the importance of maintaining biocrusts as a sanctuary for soil microbes in drylands. © 2018 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2018 New Phytologist Trust.

  1. Biological soil crust effects must be included to accurately model infiltration and erosion in drylands : an example from Tabernas Badlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rodriguez-Caballero, E.; Canton, Y.; Jetten, V.G.

    2015-01-01

    In dryland ecosystems, runoff is mainly generated in bare areas, which are also more susceptible to water erosion than vegetated areas. These bare areas are often covered and protected by biological soil crusts (BSCs), which modify numerous physicochemical surface properties involved in runoff and

  2. Armed conflict distribution in global drylands through the lens of a typology of socio-ecological vulnerability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sterzel, T.; Lüdeke, M.; Kok, M.; Soysa, De I.; Walther, C.; Sietz, D.; Lucas, P.; Janssen, P.

    2014-01-01

    Motivated by an inconclusive debate over implications of resource scarcity for violent conflict, and common reliance on national data and linear models, we investigate the relationship between socio-ecological vulnerability and armed conflict in global drylands on a subnational level. Our study

  3. Agricultural investments and farmer-fulani pastoralist conflict in West African drylands : A northern Ghanaian case study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Soeters, Sebastiaan; Weesie, Ruben; Zoomers, Annelies

    2017-01-01

    In the Global South, there is a push to drive agricultural modernisation processes through private sector investments. In West African drylands, land concessions are required for such agri-businesses are often negotiated through customary authorities, and inject large amounts of money into localised

  4. A House Full of Trap Doors. Identifying barriers to resilient drylands in the toolbox of pastoral development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krätli, Saverio; Kaufmann, Brigitte; Roba, Hassan; Hiernaux, Pierre; Li, Wenjun; Easdale, Marcos H.; Huelsebusch, Christian

    2016-04-01

    The theoretical understanding of drylands and pastoral systems has long undergone a U-turn from the initial perspective rooted in classical ecology. The shift has hinged on the way to represent asymmetric variability, from a disturbance in an ecosystem that naturally tends towards uniformity and stability, to a constitutive part of a dynamic ecosystem. Operationalising the new reversed perspective, including the need to update the methodological infrastructure to plan around drylands and pastoral development, remains a challenge. Underlying assumptions about stability and uniformity, that are a legacy of equilibrium thinking, remain embedded in the toolbox of pastoral development, starting from the technical language to talk about the subject. This effectively gets in the way of operationalizing state of the art understanding of pastoral systems and the drylands. Unless these barriers are identified, unpacked and managed, even the present calls for increasing the rigour and intensity of data collection - for example as part of the ongoing global process to revise and improve agricultural data - cannot deliver a realistic representation of pastoral systems in statistics and policy making. This contribution presents the case for understanding variability as an asset, and provides a range of examples of methodological barriers, including classifications of livestock systems, scale of observation, key parameters in animal production, indicators in the measurement of ecological efficiency, concepts of ecological fragility, natural resources, and pastoral risk. The need to update this legacy is a pressing challenge for policy makers concerned with both modernisation and resilience in the drylands.

  5. Gender in crop agriculture

    OpenAIRE

    Food and Agriculture Organization; The World Bank; IFAD

    2008-01-01

    Metadata only record This is a module in the "Gender in Agriculture Sourcebook" published by the World Bank, UN Food and Agriculture Organization, and International Fund for Agricultural Development. This module examines the role of gender in crop agriculture as an essential component of development and poverty reduction. Gender is an integral aspect of crop agriculture because women's roles in crop production and household subsistence, as well as their knowledge of complex production syst...

  6. Advancing environmental risk assessment for transgenic biofeedstock crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolt Jeffrey D

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Transgenic modification of plants is a key enabling technology for developing sustainable biofeedstocks for biofuels production. Regulatory decisions and the wider acceptance and development of transgenic biofeedstock crops are considered from the context of science-based risk assessment. The risk assessment paradigm for transgenic biofeedstock crops is fundamentally no different from that of current generation transgenic crops, except that the focus of the assessment must consider the unique attributes of a given biofeedstock crop and its environmental release. For currently envisioned biofeedstock crops, particular emphasis in risk assessment will be given to characterization of altered metabolic profiles and their implications relative to non-target environmental effects and food safety; weediness and invasiveness when plants are modified for abiotic stress tolerance or are domesticated; and aggregate risk when plants are platforms for multi-product production. Robust risk assessments for transgenic biofeedstock crops are case-specific, initiated through problem formulation, and use tiered approaches for risk characterization.

  7. Variation of Bacterial Community Diversity in Rhizosphere Soil of Sole-Cropped versus Intercropped Wheat Field after Harvest

    OpenAIRE

    Yang, Zhenping; Yang, Wenping; Li, Shengcai; Hao, Jiaomin; Su, Zhifeng; Sun, Min; Gao, Zhiqiang; Zhang, Chunlai

    2016-01-01

    As the major crops in north China, spring crops are usually planted from April through May every spring and harvested in fall. Wheat is also a very common crop traditionally planted in fall or spring and harvested in summer year by year. This continuous cropping system exhibited the disadvantages of reducing the fertility of soil through decreasing microbial diversity. Thus, management of microbial diversity in the rhizosphere plays a vital role in sustainable crop production. In this study, ...

  8. Molecular, Genetic and Agronomic Approaches to Utilizing Pulses as Cover Crops and Green Manure into Cropping Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tani, Eleni; Abraham, Eleni; Chachalis, Demosthenis; Travlos, Ilias

    2017-06-05

    Cover crops constitute one of the most promising agronomic practices towards a more sustainable agriculture. Their beneficial effects on main crops, soil and environment are many and various, while risks and disadvantages may also appear. Several legumes show a high potential but further research is required in order to suggest the optimal legume cover crops for each case in terms of their productivity and ability to suppress weeds. The additional cost associated with cover crops should also be addressed and in this context the use of grain legumes such as cowpea, faba bean and pea could be of high interest. Some of the aspects of these grain legumes as far as their use as cover crops, their genetic diversity and their breeding using conventional and molecular approaches are discussed in the present review. The specific species seem to have a high potential for use as cover crops, especially if their noticeable genetic diversity is exploited and their breeding focuses on several desirable traits.

  9. Energy potential of agricultural crops in Kosovo

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sahiti, Naser; Sfishta, Avni; Gramatikov, Plamen

    2015-01-01

    Primary energy mix in Kosovo with 98 % consisting of lignite and only 2 % of water is far from portfolio of primary energy sources which could contribute to a sustainable and environmental friendly energy supply of the country. In order to improve the situation, government is supporting activities in favor of upgrading of electricity production capacities based on Renewable Energy Sources. Corresponding action plans and feed in tariffs are already in place. However, prior to any investment, one needs specific results on available potential. Current study provides results of the analysis of Kosovo potential for energy production by using of agricultural crops. Study is based on national statistics on available agricultural crops in Kosovo and provides results on biomass potential of crops, corresponding energy potential and an assessment of financial cost of energy produced.

  10. Numerical simulation of cropping

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tvergaard, Viggo; Hutchinson, John W.

    2014-01-01

    Cropping is a cutting process whereby opposing aligned blades create a shearing failure by exerting opposing forces normal to the surfaces of a metal sheet or plate. Building on recent efforts to quantify cropping, this paper formulates a plane strain elastic-plastic model of a plate subject to s...

  11. Applied Crop Protection 2017

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Lise Nistrup; Nielsen, Bent Jørgen; Mathiassen, Solvejg Kopp

    Linket til højre henviser til rapporten i trykt format til download. This publication contains results from crop protection trials which were carried out at the Department of Agroecology within the area of gricultural crops. Most of the results come from field trials, but results from greenhouse...

  12. Applied Crop Protection 2017

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Lise Nistrup; Nielsen, Bent Jørgen; Mathiassen, Solvejg Kopp

    Linket til højre henviser til rapporten i trykt format til download. This publication contains results from crop protection trials which were carried out at the Department of Agroecology within the area of gricultural crops. Most of the results come from field trials, but results from greenhouse ...

  13. Applied crop protection 2016

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Lise Nistrup; Nielsen, Bent Jørgen; Jensen, Peter Kryger

    This publication contains results from crop protection trials which were carried out at the Department of Agroecology within the area of agricultural crops. Most of the results come from field trials, but results from greenhouse and semi-field trials are also included. The report contains results...

  14. Shifting species interactions in terrestrial dryland ecosystems under altered water availability and climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCluney, Kevin E; Belnap, Jayne; Collins, Scott L; González, Angélica L; Hagen, Elizabeth M; Nathaniel Holland, J; Kotler, Burt P; Maestre, Fernando T; Smith, Stanley D; Wolf, Blair O

    2012-08-01

    Species interactions play key roles in linking the responses of populations, communities, and ecosystems to environmental change. For instance, species interactions are an important determinant of the complexity of changes in trophic biomass with variation in resources. Water resources are a major driver of terrestrial ecology and climate change is expected to greatly alter the distribution of this critical resource. While previous studies have documented strong effects of global environmental change on species interactions in general, responses can vary from region to region. Dryland ecosystems occupy more than one-third of the Earth's land mass, are greatly affected by changes in water availability, and are predicted to be hotspots of climate change. Thus, it is imperative to understand the effects of environmental change on these globally significant ecosystems. Here, we review studies of the responses of population-level plant-plant, plant-herbivore, and predator-prey interactions to changes in water availability in dryland environments in order to develop new hypotheses and predictions to guide future research. To help explain patterns of interaction outcomes, we developed a conceptual model that views interaction outcomes as shifting between (1) competition and facilitation (plant-plant), (2) herbivory, neutralism, or mutualism (plant-herbivore), or (3) neutralism and predation (predator-prey), as water availability crosses physiological, behavioural, or population-density thresholds. We link our conceptual model to hypothetical scenarios of current and future water availability to make testable predictions about the influence of changes in water availability on species interactions. We also examine potential implications of our conceptual model for the relative importance of top-down effects and the linearity of patterns of change in trophic biomass with changes in water availability. Finally, we highlight key research needs and some possible broader impacts

  15. Biological soil crusts emit large amounts of NO and HONO affecting the nitrogen cycle in drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamm, Alexandra; Wu, Dianming; Ruckteschler, Nina; Rodríguez-Caballero, Emilio; Steinkamp, Jörg; Meusel, Hannah; Elbert, Wolfgang; Behrendt, Thomas; Sörgel, Matthias; Cheng, Yafang; Crutzen, Paul J.; Su, Hang; Pöschl, Ulrich; Weber, Bettina

    2016-04-01

    Dryland systems currently cover ˜40% of the world's land surface and are still expanding as a consequence of human impact and global change. In contrast to that, information on their role in global biochemical processes is limited, probably induced by the presumption that their sparse vegetation cover plays a negligible role in global balances. However, spaces between the sparse shrubs are not bare, but soils are mostly covered by biological soil crusts (biocrusts). These biocrust communities belong to the oldest life forms, resulting from an assembly between soil particles and cyanobacteria, lichens, bryophytes, and algae plus heterotrophic organisms in varying proportions. Depending on the dominating organism group, cyanobacteria-, lichen-, and bryophyte-dominated biocrusts are distinguished. Besides their ability to restrict soil erosion they fix atmospheric carbon and nitrogen, and by doing this they serve as a nutrient source in strongly depleted dryland ecosystems. In this study we show that a fraction of the nitrogen fixed by biocrusts is metabolized and subsequently returned to the atmosphere in the form of nitric oxide (NO) and nitrous acid (HONO). These gases affect the radical formation and oxidizing capacity within the troposphere, thus being of particular interest to atmospheric chemistry. Laboratory measurements using dynamic chamber systems showed that dark cyanobacteria-dominated crusts emitted the largest amounts of NO and HONO, being ˜20 times higher than trace gas fluxes of nearby bare soil. We showed that these nitrogen emissions have a biogenic origin, as emissions of formerly strongly emitting samples almost completely ceased after sterilization. By combining laboratory, field, and satellite measurement data we made a best estimate of global annual emissions amounting to ˜1.1 Tg of NO-N and ˜0.6 Tg of HONO-N from biocrusts. This sum of 1.7 Tg of reactive nitrogen emissions equals ˜20% of the soil release under natural vegetation according

  16. Big agronomic data validates an oxymoron: Sustainable intensification under climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crop science is increasingly embracing big data to reconcile the apparent rift between intensification of food production and sustainability of a steadily stressed production base. A strategy based on long-term agroecosystem research and modeling simulation of crops, crop rotations and cropping sys...

  17. Grassland Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah U. Potter; Paulette L. Ford

    2004-01-01

    In this chapter we discuss grassland sustainability in the Southwest, grassland management for sustainability, national and local criteria and indicators of sustainable grassland ecosystems, and monitoring for sustainability at various scales. Ecological sustainability is defined as: [T]he maintenance or restoration of the composition, structure, and processes of...

  18. Protein crop production at the northern margin of farming: to boost or not to boost

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pirjo Peltonen-Sainio

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Global changes in food demand resulting from population growth and more meat-intensive diets require an increase in global protein crop production, not least as climate change and increasing scarcity of fresh water could restrict future production. In contrast to many other regions, in Finland climate change could open new opportunities through enabling more diverse cropping systems. It is justified to re-enquire whether the extent and intensity of protein crop production are optimized, resources are used efficiently and sustainably, cropping systems are built to be resilient and whether ecological services that protein crops provide are utilized appropriately. This paper aims to analyze in a descriptive manner the biological grounds for sustainable intensification of protein crop production in Finland. Production security is considered by evaluating the effects of and likelihood for constraints typical for northern conditions, examining historical and recent crop failures and estimating ecosystem services that more extensive introduction of protein crops potentially provide for northern cropping systems now and in a changing climate. There is an evident potential to expand protein crop production sustainably to a couple of times its current area. In general, variability in protein yields tends to be higher for protein crops than spring cereals. Nevertheless, protein yield variability was not necessarily systematically higher for Finland, when compared with other European regions, as it was for cereals. Protein crops provide significant ecological services that further support their expanded production. By this means protein self-sufficiency remains unrealistic, but increased production of protein crops can be achieved. The expansion of rapeseed and legumes areas also seems to be economically feasible. From the economic viewpoint, an increase in domestic protein supply requires that farmers have economic incentives to a cultivate protein

  19. The Role of Different Plant Soil-Water Feedbacks in Models of Dryland Vegetation Patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silber, M.; Bonetti, S.; Gandhi, P.; Gowda, K.; Iams, S.; Porporato, A. M.

    2017-12-01

    Understanding the processes underlying the formation of regular vegetation patterns in arid and semi-arid regions is important to assessing desertification risk under increasing anthropogenic pressure. Various modeling frameworks have been proposed, which are all capable of generating similar patterns through self-organizing mechanisms that stem from assumptions about plant feedbacks on surface/subsurface water transport. We critically discuss a hierarchy of hydrology-vegetation models for the coupled dynamics of surface water, soil moisture, and vegetation biomass on a hillslope. We identify distinguishing features and trends for the periodic traveling wave solutions when there is an imposed idealized topography and make some comparisons to satellite images of large-scale banded vegetation patterns in drylands of Africa, Australia and North America. This work highlights the potential for constraining models by considerations of where the patterns may lie on a landscape, such as whether on a ridge or in a valley.

  20. UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE (UAV) HYPERSPECTRAL REMOTE SENSING FOR DRYLAND VEGETATION MONITORING

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nancy F. Glenn; Jessica J. Mitchell; Matthew O. Anderson; Ryan C. Hruska

    2012-06-01

    UAV-based hyperspectral remote sensing capabilities developed by the Idaho National Lab and Idaho State University, Boise Center Aerospace Lab, were recently tested via demonstration flights that explored the influence of altitude on geometric error, image mosaicking, and dryland vegetation classification. The test flights successfully acquired usable flightline data capable of supporting classifiable composite images. Unsupervised classification results support vegetation management objectives that rely on mapping shrub cover and distribution patterns. Overall, supervised classifications performed poorly despite spectral separability in the image-derived endmember pixels. Future mapping efforts that leverage ground reference data, ultra-high spatial resolution photos and time series analysis should be able to effectively distinguish native grasses such as Sandberg bluegrass (Poa secunda), from invasives such as burr buttercup (Ranunculus testiculatus) and cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum).

  1. Effect of resource conserving techniques on crop productivity in rice-wheat cropping system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mann, R.A.; Munir, M.; Haqqani, A.M.

    2004-01-01

    Rice-wheat cropping system is the most important one in Pakistan. The system provides food and livelihood for more than 15 million people in the country. The productivity of the system is much lower than the potential yields of both rice and wheat crops. With the traditional methods, rice-wheat system is not a profitable one to many farmers. Hence, Cost of cultivation must be reduced and at the same time, efficiency of resources like irrigation water, fuel, and fertilizers must be improved to make the crop production system more viable and eco- friendly. Resource conserving technology (RCT) must figure highly in this equation, since they play a major role in achieving the above goals. The RCT include laser land leveling, zero-tillage, bed furrow irrigation method and crop residue management. These technologies were evaluated in irrigated areas of Punjab where rice follows wheat. The results showed that paddy yield was not affected by the new methods. Direct seeding of rice crop saved irrigation water by 13% over the conventionally planted crop. Weeds were the major problem indirect seeded crop, which could be eliminated through cultural, mechanical and chemical means. Wheat crop on beds produced the highest yield but cost of production was minimum in the zero-till wheat crop. Planting of wheat on raised beds in making headway in low- lying and poorly drained areas. Thus, resource conserving tillage technology provides a tool for making progress towards improving and sustaining wheat production system, helping with food security and poverty alleviation in Pakistan in the next few decades. (author)

  2. Response of double cropping suitability to climate change in the United States

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seifert, Christopher A; Lobell, David B

    2015-01-01

    In adapting US agriculture to the climate of the 21st century, a key unknown is whether cropping frequency may increase, helping to offset projected negative yield impacts in major production regions. Combining daily weather data and crop phenology models, we find that cultivated area in the US suited to dryland winter wheat–soybeans, the most common double crop (DC) system, increased by up to 28% from 1988 to 2012. Changes in the observed distribution of DC area over the same period agree well with this suitability increase, evidence consistent with climate change playing a role in recent DC expansion in phenologically constrained states. We then apply the model to projections of future climate under the RCP45 and RCP85 scenarios and estimate an additional 126–239% increase, respectively, in DC area. Sensitivity tests reveal that in most instances, increases in mean temperature are more important than delays in fall freeze in driving increased DC suitability. The results suggest that climate change will relieve phenological constraints on wheat–soy DC systems over much of the United States, though it should be recognized that impacts on corn and soybean yields in this region are expected to be negative and larger in magnitude than the 0.4–0.75% per decade benefits we estimate here for double cropping. (letter)

  3. Ecohydrological implications of aeolian sediment trapping by sparse vegetation in drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzales, Howell B.; Ravi, Sujith; Li, Junran; Sankey, Joel B.

    2018-01-01

    Aeolian processes are important drivers of ecosystem dynamics in drylands, and important feedbacks exist among aeolian – hydrological processes and vegetation. The trapping of wind-borne sediments by vegetation may result in changes in soil properties beneath the vegetation, which, in turn, can alter hydrological and biogeochemical processes. Despite the relevance of aeolian transport to ecosystem dynamics, the interactions between aeolian transport and vegetation in shaping dryland landscapes where sediment distribution is altered by relatively rapid changes in vegetation composition such as shrub encroachment, is not well understood. Here, we used a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling framework to investigate the sediment trapping efficiencies of vegetation canopies commonly found in a shrub-grass ecotone in the Chihuahuan Desert (New Mexico, USA) and related the results to spatial heterogeneity in soil texture and infiltration measured in the field. A CFD open-source software package was used to simulate aeolian sediment movement through three-dimensional architectural depictions of Creosote shrub (Larrea tridentata) and Black Grama grass (Bouteloua eriopoda) vegetation types. The vegetation structures were created using a computer-aided design software (Blender), with inherent canopy porosities, which were derived using LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) measurements of plant canopies. Results show that considerable heterogeneity in infiltration and soil grain size distribution exist between the microsites, with higher infiltration and coarser soil texture under shrubs. Numerical simulations also indicate that the differential trapping of canopies might contribute to the observed heterogeneity in soil texture. In the early stages of encroachment, the shrub canopies, by trapping coarser particles more efficiently, might maintain higher infiltration rates leading to faster development of the microsites (among other factors) with enhanced ecological

  4. Society and Ecosystem Carbon Budget through Life Cycle Assessment: Results from Asian Drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, J.

    2017-12-01

    Land use, land cover changes, and ecosystem-specific management practices are recognized for their roles in mediating the climatic effects on ecosystem structure and function. A major challenge is that our understanding and forecasting of ecosystem functions, such as C fluxes, cannot rely solely on conventional biophysical regulations from the local ecosystem to the global scale. A second challenge lies in quantifying the magnitude of the C fluxes from managed ecosystems and landscapes over the lifetime of the C cycle, and to deduct the various energy inputs during management. Our specific challenge here is to quantify the landscape-scale C footprint of both managed agricultural-forest landscapes and people - the societal input and engagement in ecosystem studies. Using the East Asia Drylands (Chen et al., 2013) and an agricultural watershed in southwestern Michigan as a test bed, the mechanisms (carbon as an example) from both human activities and biophysical changes on ecosystem C dynamics at different temporal and spatial scales are proposed to be explored by modeling total net ecosystem C production (physical and social C fluxes), performing a spatially-explicit life cycle assessment (LCA) on the total C production. Remote sensing technology, available geospatial data, records of management practices, surveys of historical practices, a land surface model, and in situ measurements of C fluxes are all needed to achieve our objectives. Our case study calls for direct involvement of society as both the driver and beneficiary of ecosystem dynamics. Reference Chen, J., Wan, S., Henebry, G., Qi, J., Gutman, G., Sun, G., and Kappas, M. (Eds.) 2013. Dryland East Asia (DEA): Land Dynamics Amid Social And Climate Change. HEP and De Gruyter, 470 pp.

  5. Biological soil crusts accelerate the nitrogen cycle through large NO and HONO emissions in drylands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Bettina; Wu, Dianming; Tamm, Alexandra; Ruckteschler, Nina; Rodríguez-Caballero, Emilio; Steinkamp, Jörg; Meusel, Hannah; Elbert, Wolfgang; Behrendt, Thomas; Sörgel, Matthias; Cheng, Yafang; Crutzen, Paul J; Su, Hang; Pöschl, Ulrich

    2015-12-15

    Reactive nitrogen species have a strong influence on atmospheric chemistry and climate, tightly coupling the Earth's nitrogen cycle with microbial activity in the biosphere. Their sources, however, are not well constrained, especially in dryland regions accounting for a major fraction of the global land surface. Here, we show that biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are emitters of nitric oxide (NO) and nitrous acid (HONO). Largest fluxes are obtained by dark cyanobacteria-dominated biocrusts, being ∼20 times higher than those of neighboring uncrusted soils. Based on laboratory, field, and satellite measurement data, we obtain a best estimate of ∼1.7 Tg per year for the global emission of reactive nitrogen from biocrusts (1.1 Tg a(-1) of NO-N and 0.6 Tg a(-1) of HONO-N), corresponding to ∼20% of global nitrogen oxide emissions from soils under natural vegetation. On continental scales, emissions are highest in Africa and South America and lowest in Europe. Our results suggest that dryland emissions of reactive nitrogen are largely driven by biocrusts rather than the underlying soil. They help to explain enigmatic discrepancies between measurement and modeling approaches of global reactive nitrogen emissions. As the emissions of biocrusts strongly depend on precipitation events, climate change affecting the distribution and frequency of precipitation may have a strong impact on terrestrial emissions of reactive nitrogen and related climate feedback effects. Because biocrusts also account for a large fraction of global terrestrial biological nitrogen fixation, their impacts should be further quantified and included in regional and global models of air chemistry, biogeochemistry, and climate.

  6. Cumulative drought and land-use impacts on perennial vegetation across a North American dryland region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munson, Seth M.; Long, A. Lexine; Wallace, Cynthia; Webb, Robert H.

    2016-01-01

    Question The decline and loss of perennial vegetation in dryland ecosystems due to global change pressures can alter ecosystem properties and initiate land degradation processes. We tracked changes of perennial vegetation using remote sensing to address the question of how prolonged drought and land-use intensification have affected perennial vegetation cover across a desert region in the early 21st century? Location Mojave Desert, southeastern California, southern Nevada, southwestern Utah and northwestern Arizona, USA. Methods We coupled the Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer Enhanced Vegetation Index (MODIS-EVI) with ground-based measurements of perennial vegetation cover taken in about 2000 and about 2010. Using the difference between these years, we determined perennial vegetation changes in the early 21st century and related these shifts to climate, soil and landscape properties, and patterns of land use. Results We found a good fit between MODIS-EVI and perennial vegetation cover (2000: R2 = 0.83 and 2010: R2 = 0.74). The southwestern, far southeastern and central Mojave Desert had large declines in perennial vegetation cover in the early 21st century, while the northeastern and southeastern portions of the desert had increases. These changes were explained by 10-yr precipitation anomalies, particularly in the cool season and during extreme dry or wet years. Areas heavily impacted by visitor use or wildfire lost perennial vegetation cover, and vegetation in protected areas increased to a greater degree than in unprotected areas. Conclusions We find that we can extrapolate previously documented declines of perennial plant cover to an entire desert, and demonstrate that prolonged water shortages coupled with land-use intensification create identifiable patterns of vegetation change in dryland regions.

  7. A Statistical Method to Predict Flow Permanence in Dryland Streams from Time Series of Stream Temperature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Arismendi

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Intermittent and ephemeral streams represent more than half of the length of the global river network. Dryland freshwater ecosystems are especially vulnerable to changes in human-related water uses as well as shifts in terrestrial climates. Yet, the description and quantification of patterns of flow permanence in these systems is challenging mostly due to difficulties in instrumentation. Here, we took advantage of existing stream temperature datasets in dryland streams in the northwest Great Basin desert, USA, to extract critical information on climate-sensitive patterns of flow permanence. We used a signal detection technique, Hidden Markov Models (HMMs, to extract information from daily time series of stream temperature to diagnose patterns of stream drying. Specifically, we applied HMMs to time series of daily standard deviation (SD of stream temperature (i.e., dry stream channels typically display highly variable daily temperature records compared to wet stream channels between April and August (2015–2016. We used information from paired stream and air temperature data loggers as well as co-located stream temperature data loggers with electrical resistors as confirmatory sources of the timing of stream drying. We expanded our approach to an entire stream network to illustrate the utility of the method to detect patterns of flow permanence over a broader spatial extent. We successfully identified and separated signals characteristic of wet and dry stream conditions and their shifts over time. Most of our study sites within the entire stream network exhibited a single state over the entire season (80%, but a portion of them showed one or more shifts among states (17%. We provide recommendations to use this approach based on a series of simple steps. Our findings illustrate a successful method that can be used to rigorously quantify flow permanence regimes in streams using existing records of stream temperature.

  8. A statistical method to predict flow permanence in dryland streams from time series of stream temperature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arismendi, Ivan; Dunham, Jason B.; Heck, Michael; Schultz, Luke; Hockman-Wert, David

    2017-01-01

    Intermittent and ephemeral streams represent more than half of the length of the global river network. Dryland freshwater ecosystems are especially vulnerable to changes in human-related water uses as well as shifts in terrestrial climates. Yet, the description and quantification of patterns of flow permanence in these systems is challenging mostly due to difficulties in instrumentation. Here, we took advantage of existing stream temperature datasets in dryland streams in the northwest Great Basin desert, USA, to extract critical information on climate-sensitive patterns of flow permanence. We used a signal detection technique, Hidden Markov Models (HMMs), to extract information from daily time series of stream temperature to diagnose patterns of stream drying. Specifically, we applied HMMs to time series of daily standard deviation (SD) of stream temperature (i.e., dry stream channels typically display highly variable daily temperature records compared to wet stream channels) between April and August (2015–2016). We used information from paired stream and air temperature data loggers as well as co-located stream temperature data loggers with electrical resistors as confirmatory sources of the timing of stream drying. We expanded our approach to an entire stream network to illustrate the utility of the method to detect patterns of flow permanence over a broader spatial extent. We successfully identified and separated signals characteristic of wet and dry stream conditions and their shifts over time. Most of our study sites within the entire stream network exhibited a single state over the entire season (80%), but a portion of them showed one or more shifts among states (17%). We provide recommendations to use this approach based on a series of simple steps. Our findings illustrate a successful method that can be used to rigorously quantify flow permanence regimes in streams using existing records of stream temperature.

  9. Anticipating Vulnerability to Climate Change in Dryland Pastoral Systems: Using Dynamic Systems Models for the Kalahari

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J. Dougill

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available It is vitally important to identify agroecosystems that may cease functioning because of changing climate or land degradation. However, identifying such systems is confounded on both conceptual and methodological grounds, especially in systems that are moving toward thresholds, a common trait of dryland environments. This study explores these challenges by analyzing how a range of external pressures affect the vulnerability of dryland pastoral systems in the Kalahari. This is achieved by employing dynamic systems modeling approaches to understand the pathways by which communities became vulnerable to drought. Specifically, we evaluate how external pressures have changed: (1 different agroecosystems' abilities to tolerate drought, i.e., ecosystem resilience; (2 rural communities' abilities to adapt to drought, mediated via their access to assets; and (3 the ability of institutions and policy interventions to play a role in mediating drought-related crises, i.e., socio-political governance. This is done by reanalyzing ecological and participatory research findings along with farm-scale livestock offtake data from across the Kalahari in Botswana. An iterative process was followed to establish narratives exploring how external drivers led to changes in agroecosystem resilience, access to assets, and the institutional capacity to buffer the system. We use "causal loop diagrams" and statistical dynamic system models to express key quantitative relationships and establish future scenarios to help define where uncertainties lie by showing where the system is most sensitive to change. We highlight how that greater sharing of land management knowledge and practices between private and communal land managers can provide 'win-win-win' benefits of reducing system vulnerability, increasing economic income, and building social capital. We use future scenario analyses to identify key areas for future studies of climate change adaptation across the Kalahari.

  10. Climatic sensitivity of dryland soil CO2 fluxes differs dramatically with biological soil crust successional state

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker, Colin; Ferrenberg, Scott; Reed, Sasha C.

    2018-01-01

    Arid and semiarid ecosystems make up approximately 41% of Earth’s terrestrial surface and are suggested to regulate the trend and interannual variability of the global terrestrial carbon (C) sink. Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are common dryland soil surface communities of bryophytes, lichens, and/or cyanobacteria that bind the soil surface together and that may play an important role in regulating the climatic sensitivity of the dryland C cycle. Major uncertainties exist in our understanding of the interacting effects of changing temperature and moisture on CO2 uptake (photosynthesis) and loss (respiration) from biocrust and sub-crust soil, particularly as related to biocrust successional state. Here, we used a mesocosm approach to assess how biocrust successional states related to climate treatments. We subjected bare soil (Bare), early successional lightly pigmented cyanobacterial biocrust (Early), and late successional darkly pigmented moss-lichen biocrust (Late) to either ambient or + 5°C above ambient soil temperature for 84 days. Under ambient temperatures, Late biocrust mesocosms showed frequent net uptake of CO2, whereas Bare soil, Early biocrust, and warmed Late biocrust mesocosms mostly lost CO2 to the atmosphere. The inhibiting effect of warming on CO2 exchange was a result of accelerated drying of biocrust and soil. We used these data to parameterize, via Bayesian methods, a model of ecosystem CO2 fluxes, and evaluated the model with data from an autochamber CO2 system at our field site on the Colorado Plateau in SE Utah. In the context of the field experiment, the data underscore the negative effect of warming on fluxes both biocrust CO2 uptake and loss—which, because biocrusts are a dominant land cover type in this ecosystem, may extend to ecosystem-scale C cycling.

  11. Assessing the benefits and costs of dryland forest restoration in central Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiappacasse, Ignacio; Nahuelhual, Laura; Vásquez, Felipe; Echeverría, Cristian

    2012-04-30

    Investment in natural capital restoration is increasing as a response to the widespread ecological degradation of dryland forests. However, finding efficient mechanisms to promote restoration among private landowners is a significant challenge for policy makers with limited financial resources. Furthermore, few attempts have been made to evaluate the costs and benefits of restoration interventions even though this information is relevant to orient decision making. Hence, our goal was to estimate the benefits and costs of dryland forest restoration by means of reforestation with native trees in a study area in central Chile. To determine benefits we applied a Contingent Valuation questionnaire that allowed for the calculation of willingness to pay measures. Restoration costs were calculated based on market prices following existing technical recommendations developed for the study area. The results showed that the restoration project had a negative NPV irrespective of the discount rate applied in the analysis. Thus, the NPV varied between -US$71,000 and -US$258,000. The NPV attained positive results only for negative discount rates (US$15,039 for -2%) and only when the national subsidy available for forest restoration was taken into account. This shows that landowners in Colliguay do not have incentives for carrying out restoration interventions due to a classic market failure: that in which ecosystems are mismanaged because many of their benefits are externalities from the perspective of landowners. Overall, these results stress the need for developing new compensation mechanisms and enhancing those in existence, with the aim of making restoration competitive with other land uses. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Expanding dryland ecosystem flux datasets enable novel quantification of water availability and carbon exchange in Southwestern North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biederman, J. A.; Scott, R. L.; Smith, W. K.; Litvak, M. E.; MacBean, N.

    2017-12-01

    Global-scale studies suggest that water-limited dryland ecosystems dominate the increasing trend in magnitude and interannual variability of the land CO2 sink. However, the terrestrial biosphere models and remote sensing models used in large-scale analyses are poorly constrained by flux measurements in drylands, which are under-represented in global datasets. In this talk, I will address this gap with eddy covariance data from 30 ecosystems across the Southwest of North America with observed ranges in annual precipitation of 100 - 1000 mm, annual temperatures of 2 - 25 °C, and records of 3 - 10 years each (160 site-years). This extensive dryland dataset enables new approaches including 1) separation of temporal and spatial patterns to infer fast and slow ecosystem responses to change, and 2) partitioning of precipitation into hydrologic losses, evaporation, and ecosystem-available water. I will then compare direct flux measurements with models and remote sensing used to scale fluxes regionally. Combining eddy covariance and streamflow measurements, I will show how evapotranspiration (ET), which is the efflux of soil moisture remaining after hydrologic losses, is a better metric than precipitation of water available to drive ecosystem CO2 exchange. Furthermore, I will present a novel method to partition ET into evaporation and transpiration using the tight coupling of transpiration and photosynthesis. In contrast with typical carbon sink function in wetter, more-studied regions, dryland sites express an annual net carbon uptake varying from -350 to +330 gC m-2. Due to less respiration losses relative to photosynthesis gains during winter, declines in winter precipitation across the Southwest since 1999 are reducing annual net CO2 uptake. Interannual variability of net uptake is larger than for wetter regions, and half the sites pivot between sinks in wet years to sources in dry years. Biospheric and remote sensing models capture only 20-30 % of interannual

  13. Experimental evidence that wildflower strips increase pollinator visits to crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feltham, Hannah; Park, Kirsty; Minderman, Jeroen; Goulson, Dave

    2015-08-01

    Wild bees provide a free and potentially diverse ecosystem service to farmers growing pollination-dependent crops. While many crops benefit from insect pollination, soft fruit crops, including strawberries are highly dependent on this ecosystem service to produce viable fruit. However, as a result of intensive farming practices and declining pollinator populations, farmers are increasingly turning to commercially reared bees to ensure that crops are adequately pollinated throughout the season. Wildflower strips are a commonly used measure aimed at the conservation of wild pollinators. It has been suggested that commercial crops may also benefit from the presence of noncrop flowers; however, the efficacy and economic benefits of sowing flower strips for crops remain relatively unstudied. In a study system that utilizes both wild and commercial pollinators, we test whether wildflower strips increase the number of visits to adjacent commercial strawberry crops by pollinating insects. We quantified this by experimentally sowing wildflower strips approximately 20 meters away from the crop and recording the number of pollinator visits to crops with, and without, flower strips. Between June and August 2013, we walked 292 crop transects at six farms in Scotland, recording a total of 2826 pollinators. On average, the frequency of pollinator visits was 25% higher for crops with adjacent flower strips compared to those without, with a combination of wild and commercial bumblebees (Bombus spp.) accounting for 67% of all pollinators observed. This effect was independent of other confounding effects, such as the number of flowers on the crop, date, and temperature. Synthesis and applications. This study provides evidence that soft fruit farmers can increase the number of pollinators that visit their crops by sowing inexpensive flower seed mixes nearby. By investing in this management option, farmers have the potential to increase and sustain pollinator populations over time.

  14. Crop Biometric Maps: The Key to Prediction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Rovira-Más

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The sustainability of agricultural production in the twenty-first century, both in industrialized and developing countries, benefits from the integration of farm management with information technology such that individual plants, rows, or subfields may be endowed with a singular “identity.” This approach approximates the nature of agricultural processes to the engineering of industrial processes. In order to cope with the vast variability of nature and the uncertainties of agricultural production, the concept of crop biometrics is defined as the scientific analysis of agricultural observations confined to spaces of reduced dimensions and known position with the purpose of building prediction models. This article develops the idea of crop biometrics by setting its principles, discussing the selection and quantization of biometric traits, and analyzing the mathematical relationships among measured and predicted traits. Crop biometric maps were applied to the case of a wine-production vineyard, in which vegetation amount, relative altitude in the field, soil compaction, berry size, grape yield, juice pH, and grape sugar content were selected as biometric traits. The enological potential of grapes was assessed with a quality-index map defined as a combination of titratable acidity, sugar content, and must pH. Prediction models for yield and quality were developed for high and low resolution maps, showing the great potential of crop biometric maps as a strategic tool for vineyard growers as well as for crop managers in general, due to the wide versatility of the methodology proposed.

  15. Crop biometric maps: the key to prediction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rovira-Más, Francisco; Sáiz-Rubio, Verónica

    2013-09-23

    The sustainability of agricultural production in the twenty-first century, both in industrialized and developing countries, benefits from the integration of farm management with information technology such that individual plants, rows, or subfields may be endowed with a singular "identity." This approach approximates the nature of agricultural processes to the engineering of industrial processes. In order to cope with the vast variability of nature and the uncertainties of agricultural production, the concept of crop biometrics is defined as the scientific analysis of agricultural observations confined to spaces of reduced dimensions and known position with the purpose of building prediction models. This article develops the idea of crop biometrics by setting its principles, discussing the selection and quantization of biometric traits, and analyzing the mathematical relationships among measured and predicted traits. Crop biometric maps were applied to the case of a wine-production vineyard, in which vegetation amount, relative altitude in the field, soil compaction, berry size, grape yield, juice pH, and grape sugar content were selected as biometric traits. The enological potential of grapes was assessed with a quality-index map defined as a combination of titratable acidity, sugar content, and must pH. Prediction models for yield and quality were developed for high and low resolution maps, showing the great potential of crop biometric maps as a strategic tool for vineyard growers as well as for crop managers in general, due to the wide versatility of the methodology proposed.

  16. Dryland Agrivoltaics: A novel approach to collocating food production and solar renewable energy to maximize food production, water savings, and energy generation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barron-Gafford, G.; Escobedo, E. B.; Smith, J.; Raub, H.; Jimenez, J. R.; Sutter, L., Jr.; Barnett-Moreno, I.; Blackett, D. T.; Thompson, M. S.; Minor, R. L.; Pavao-Zuckerman, M.

    2017-12-01

    Conventional understanding of land use asserts an inherent "zero-sum-game" of competition between renewable energy and agricultural food production. This discourse is so fundamentally entrenched that it drives most current policy around conservation practices, land and water allotments for agriculture, and permitting for large-scale renewable energy installations. We are investigating a novel approach to solve a problem key to our environment and economy in drylands by creating a hybrid of collocated "green" agriculture and "grey" solar photovoltaic (PV) infrastructure to maximize agricultural production while improving renewable energy production. We are monitoring atmospheric microclimatic conditions, soil moisture, plant ecophysiological function, and biomass production within both this novel "agrivoltaics" ecosystem and in traditional PV installations and agricultural settings (control plot) to quantify tradeoffs associated with this approach. We have found that levels of soil moisture remained higher after each irrigation event within the soils under the agrivoltaics installation than the traditional agricultural setting due to the shading provided by the PV panels overhead. We initiated a drought treatment, which underscored the water-savings under the agrivoltaics installation and increased water use efficiency in this system. We hypothesized that we will see more temperature and drought stresses on photosynthetic capacity and water use efficiency in the control plants relative to the agrivoltaic installation, and we found that several food crops either experienced significantly more production within the agrivoltaics area, whereas others resulted in nearly equal production but at significant water savings. Combined with localized cooling of the PV panels resulting from the transpiration from the vegetative "understory", we are finding a win-win-win at the food-water-energy nexus. photo credit: Bob Demers/UANews

  17. Dryland systems

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Wessels, Konrad J

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available to overall moisture deficit but also to other environmental variables, such as soils and geomorphological and landscape features. Furthermore, a greater degree of species richness and diversity of ecosystem services is observed as aridity declines... of sealing and crus- ting (Hoogmoed 1999). Water regulation may be augmented by landscape management (terraces, small dams, and so on), which slows down surface runoff, thereby promoting water infiltration and flood avoidance. PAGE 630 22.2.2.2 Climate...

  18. African Crop Science Journal

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    AFRICAN JOURNALS ONLINE (AJOL) · Journals · Advanced Search · USING AJOL ... The African Crop Science Journal, a quarterly publication, publishes original ... interactions, information science, environmental science and soil science.

  19. African Crop Science Journal

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    African Crop Science Journal. Journal Home · ABOUT THIS JOURNAL · Advanced Search · Current Issue · Archives · Journal Home > Vol 1, No 2 (1993) >. Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads.

  20. African Crop Science Journal

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    African Crop Science Journal. Journal Home · ABOUT THIS JOURNAL · Advanced Search · Current Issue · Archives · Journal Home > Vol 22 (2014) >. Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads.

  1. Evaluation of oilseed crop rotations with agro-environmental indicators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pouzet André

    2003-05-01

    Full Text Available The European Common Agricultural Policy is shifting an increasing part of the subsidies to eco-conditionality. Henceforth, it becomes essential to evaluate the environmental effect of agricultural practices, and more generally performances of cropping and farming systems, in order to design and to develop more sustainable systems. This assessment is being implemented for the main cropping systems of some French regions, using environmental indicators. Eleven exposure indicators were chosen in order to represent a wide range of specific sustainability objectives dealing with water, soil, air, non-renewable resources, biodiversity, and landscape. The results present the sustainability assessment for the crop rotations of Champagne Berrichonne region in the Centre of France.

  2. Crop Depredation by Birds in Deccan Plateau, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manoj Ashokrao Kale

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Extent of crop depredation in agricultural fields of groundnut, pearl millet, peas, sorghum and sunflower was assessed in Pune, Akola and Amravati, the three productive districts of Maharashtra, India. The study included interviews with the farmers, identification of the bird species responsible for the crop depredation and actual field assessment of damage. The problem of crop depredation is severe for the crops mostly during harvesting season. Most farmers were not satisfied with the conventional bird repelling techniques. A maximum depredation was observed by Sorghum crops by house sparrows Passer domesticus, baya weavers Ploceus philippinus, and rose-ringed parakeets Psittacula krameri, accounting to 52% of the total damage. Blue rock pigeons Columba livia damaged 42% of the peas crop (chick peas and pigeon peas, while house sparrows and baya weaver damaged the groundnut crop by 26% in the sampling plots. House sparrow Passer domesticus and baya weaver Ploceus philippinus damaged the groundnut crop in the sampling plots just after the sowing period. The sustainable solution for reducing crop depredation is a need for the farmers and also such techniques will help avoid direct or indirect effects of use of lethal bird control techniques on bird species.

  3. Sustainable Biofuels Development Center

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reardon, Kenneth F. [Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO (United States)

    2015-03-01

    The mission of the Sustainable Bioenergy Development Center (SBDC) is to enhance the capability of America’s bioenergy industry to produce transportation fuels and chemical feedstocks on a large scale, with significant energy yields, at competitive cost, through sustainable production techniques. Research within the SBDC is organized in five areas: (1) Development of Sustainable Crops and Agricultural Strategies, (2) Improvement of Biomass Processing Technologies, (3) Biofuel Characterization and Engine Adaptation, (4) Production of Byproducts for Sustainable Biorefining, and (5) Sustainability Assessment, including evaluation of the ecosystem/climate change implication of center research and evaluation of the policy implications of widespread production and utilization of bioenergy. The overall goal of this project is to develop new sustainable bioenergy-related technologies. To achieve that goal, three specific activities were supported with DOE funds: bioenergy-related research initiation projects, bioenergy research and education via support of undergraduate and graduate students, and Research Support Activities (equipment purchases, travel to attend bioenergy conferences, and seminars). Numerous research findings in diverse fields related to bioenergy were produced from these activities and are summarized in this report.

  4. Genomics of crop wild relatives: expanding the gene pool for crop improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brozynska, Marta; Furtado, Agnelo; Henry, Robert J

    2016-04-01

    Plant breeders require access to new genetic diversity to satisfy the demands of a growing human population for more food that can be produced in a variable or changing climate and to deliver the high-quality food with nutritional and health benefits demanded by consumers. The close relatives of domesticated plants, crop wild relatives (CWRs), represent a practical gene pool for use by plant breeders. Genomics of CWR generates data that support the use of CWR to expand the genetic diversity of crop plants. Advances in DNA sequencing technology are enabling the efficient sequencing of CWR and their increased use in crop improvement. As the sequencing of genomes of major crop species is completed, attention has shifted to analysis of the wider gene pool of major crops including CWR. A combination of de novo sequencing and resequencing is required to efficiently explore useful genetic variation in CWR. Analysis of the nuclear genome, transcriptome and maternal (chloroplast and mitochondrial) genome of CWR is facilitating their use in crop improvement. Genome analysis results in discovery of useful alleles in CWR and identification of regions of the genome in which diversity has been lost in domestication bottlenecks. Targeting of high priority CWR for sequencing will maximize the contribution of genome sequencing of CWR. Coordination of global efforts to apply genomics has the potential to accelerate access to and conservation of the biodiversity essential to the sustainability of agriculture and food production. © 2015 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. The Balance of N, P, and Manure Fertilizer Dosage on Growth and Yield of Peanuts in Alfisols Dryland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suryono

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Peanuts cultivation in Alfisols dryland limited by low levels of soil fertility. An agricultural intensification that could be done is application of organic and inorganic fertilizer. This research aimed to study the balance of N, P, and manure fertilizer dosage on growth and yield of peanuts in alfisols dryland. The research was done in April 2014 - September 2014 in Sukosari, Jumantono, Karanganyar. This research was compiled using a Randomized Completely Block Design (RCBD factorial with three factors, there are dose of urea, SP-36 and cow manure fertilizer. The results showed that the dose combinations of urea, SP-36, and cow manure fertilizer have no interaction affected all of variable plant. The application of 300 kg ha-1 SP-36 fertilizer increased the number of pods and weight of pods, while the weight of 1000 seeds was improved by application of 150 kg ha-1 urea fertilizer.

  6. Radioactivity in food crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Drury, J.S.; Baldauf, M.F.; Daniel, E.W.; Fore, C.S.; Uziel, M.S.

    1983-05-01

    Published levels of radioactivity in food crops from 21 countries and 4 island chains of Oceania are listed. The tabulation includes more than 3000 examples of 100 different crops. Data are arranged alphabetically by food crop and geographical origin. The sampling date, nuclide measured, mean radioactivity, range of radioactivities, sample basis, number of samples analyzed, and bibliographic citation are given for each entry, when available. Analyses were reported most frequently for 137 Cs, 40 K, 90 Sr, 226 Ra, 228 Ra, plutonium, uranium, total alpha, and total beta, but a few authors also reported data for 241 Am, 7 Be, 60 Co, 55 Fe, 3 H, 131 I, 54 Mn, 95 Nb, 210 Pb, 210 Po, 106 Ru, 125 Sb, 228 Th, 232 Th, and 95 Zr. Based on the reported data it appears that radioactivity from alpha emitters in food crops is usually low, on the order of 0.1 Bq.g -1 (wet weight) or less. Reported values of beta radiation in a given crop generally appear to be several orders of magnitude greater than those of alpha emitters. The most striking aspect of the data is the great range of radioactivity reported for a given nuclide in similar food crops with different geographical origins

  7. Radioactivity in food crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Drury, J.S.; Baldauf, M.F.; Daniel, E.W.; Fore, C.S.; Uziel, M.S.

    1983-05-01

    Published levels of radioactivity in food crops from 21 countries and 4 island chains of Oceania are listed. The tabulation includes more than 3000 examples of 100 different crops. Data are arranged alphabetically by food crop and geographical origin. The sampling date, nuclide measured, mean radioactivity, range of radioactivities, sample basis, number of samples analyzed, and bibliographic citation are given for each entry, when available. Analyses were reported most frequently for /sup 137/Cs, /sup 40/K, /sup 90/Sr, /sup 226/Ra, /sup 228/Ra, plutonium, uranium, total alpha, and total beta, but a few authors also reported data for /sup 241/Am, /sup 7/Be, /sup 60/Co, /sup 55/Fe, /sup 3/H, /sup 131/I, /sup 54/Mn, /sup 95/Nb, /sup 210/Pb, /sup 210/Po, /sup 106/Ru, /sup 125/Sb, /sup 228/Th, /sup 232/Th, and /sup 95/Zr. Based on the reported data it appears that radioactivity from alpha emitters in food crops is usually low, on the order of 0.1 Bq.g/sup -1/ (wet weight) or less. Reported values of beta radiation in a given crop generally appear to be several orders of magnitude greater than those of alpha emitters. The most striking aspect of the data is the great range of radioactivity reported for a given nuclide in similar food crops with different geographical origins.

  8. Addressing crop interactions within cropping systems in LCA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Goglio, Pietro; Brankatschk, Gerhard; Knudsen, Marie Trydeman

    2018-01-01

    objectives of this discussion article are as follows: (i) to discuss the characteristics of cropping systems which might affect the LCA methodology, (ii) to discuss the advantages and the disadvantages of the current available methods for the life-cycle assessment of cropping systems, and (iii) to offer...... management and emissions, and (3) functional unit issues. The LCA approaches presented are as follows: cropping system, allocation approaches, crop-by-crop approach, and combined approaches. The various approaches are described together with their advantages and disadvantages, applicability...... considers cropping system issues if they are related to multiproduct and nutrient cycling, while the crop-by-crop approach is highly affected by assumptions and considers cropping system issues only if they are related to the analyzed crop. Conclusions Each LCA approach presents advantages and disadvantages...

  9. Sustainable Food & Sustainable Economics

    OpenAIRE

    Alvarez, Mavis Dora

    2012-01-01

    Cuba today is immersed in a very intense process of perfecting its agricultural production structures with the goal of making them more efficient and sustainable in their economic administration and in their social and environmental management. Agricultural cooperatives in Cuba have the responsibility of producing on 73% of the country's farmland. Their contributions are decisive to developing agricultural production and to ensuring more and better food for the population, in addition to redu...

  10. Sustainability considerations for electricity generation from biomass

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Evans, Annette; Strezov, Vladimir; Evans, Tim J.

    2010-01-01

    The sustainability of electricity generation from biomass has been assessed in this work according to the key indicators of price, efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions, availability, limitations, land use, water use and social impacts. Biomass produced electricity generally provides favourable price, efficiency, emissions, availability and limitations but often has unfavorably high land and water usage as well as social impacts. The type and growing location of the biomass source are paramount to its sustainability. Hardy crops grown on unused or marginal land and waste products are more sustainable than dedicated energy crops grown on food producing land using high rates of fertilisers. (author)

  11. Soil Fertility Evaluation and Land Management of Dryland Farming at Tegallalang Sub-District, Gianyar Regency, Bali, Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sardiana, I. K.; Susila, D.; Supadma, A. A.; Saifulloh, M.

    2017-12-01

    The landuse of Tegallalang Subdistrict is dominated by dryland farming. The practice of cultivation on agricultural dryland that ignores the carrying capacity of the environment can lead to land degradation that makes the land vulnerable to the deterioration of soil fertility. Soil fertility evaluation and land management of dryland farming in Tegallalang Sub-district, Gianyar Regency were aimed at (1) identifying the soil fertility and it’s respective limiting factors, (2) mapping the soil fertility using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and (3) developing land management for dryland farming in Tegallalang Sub-district. This research implementing explora-tory method which followed by laboratory analysis. Soil samples were taken on each homogene-ous land units which developed by overlay of slope, soil type, and land use maps. The following soil fertility were measured, such as CEC, base saturation, P2O5, K- Total and C-Organic. The values of soil fertility were mapping using QGIS 2.18.7 and refer to land management evaluation. The results showed that the soil fertility in the research area considered high, and low level. The High soil fertility presents on land units at the flat to undulating slope with different land management systems (fertilizer, without fertilizer, soil tillage and without soil tillage). The low soil fertility includes land units that present on steep slope, and without land managements. The limiting factors of soil fertility were texture, C-Organic, CEC, P2O5, and K- total. It was recommended to applying organic fertilizer, Phonska, and dolomite on the farming area.

  12. Biomass production of 12 winter cereal cover crop cultivars and their effect on subsequent no-till corn yield

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cover crops can improve the sustainability and resilience of corn and soybean production systems. However, there have been isolated reports of corn yield reductions following winter rye cover crops. Although there are many possible causes of corn yield reductions following winter cereal cover crops,...

  13. Increasing crop diversity mitigates weather variations and improves yield stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaudin, Amélie C M; Tolhurst, Tor N; Ker, Alan P; Janovicek, Ken; Tortora, Cristina; Martin, Ralph C; Deen, William

    2015-01-01

    Cropping sequence diversification provides a systems approach to reduce yield variations and improve resilience to multiple environmental stresses. Yield advantages of more diverse crop rotations and their synergistic effects with reduced tillage are well documented, but few studies have quantified the impact of these management practices on yields and their stability when soil moisture is limiting or in excess. Using yield and weather data obtained from a 31-year long term rotation and tillage trial in Ontario, we tested whether crop rotation diversity is associated with greater yield stability when abnormal weather conditions occur. We used parametric and non-parametric approaches to quantify the impact of rotation diversity (monocrop, 2-crops, 3-crops without or with one or two legume cover crops) and tillage (conventional or reduced tillage) on yield probabilities and the benefits of crop diversity under different soil moisture and temperature scenarios. Although the magnitude of rotation benefits varied with crops, weather patterns and tillage, yield stability significantly increased when corn and soybean were integrated into more diverse rotations. Introducing small grains into short corn-soybean rotation was enough to provide substantial benefits on long-term soybean yields and their stability while the effects on corn were mostly associated with the temporal niche provided by small grains for underseeded red clover or alfalfa. Crop diversification strategies increased the probability of harnessing favorable growing conditions while decreasing the risk of crop failure. In hot and dry years, diversification of corn-soybean rotations and reduced tillage increased yield by 7% and 22% for corn and soybean respectively. Given the additional advantages associated with cropping system diversification, such a strategy provides a more comprehensive approach to lowering yield variability and improving the resilience of cropping systems to multiple environmental

  14. Impact of Corn Residue Removal on Crop and Soil Productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, J. M.; Wilhelm, W. W.; Hatfield, J. L.; Voorhees, W. B.; Linden, D.

    2003-12-01

    Over-reliance on imported fuels, increasing atmospheric levels of greenhouses and sustaining food production for a growing population are three of the most important problems facing society in the mid-term. The US Department of Energy and private enterprise are developing technology necessary to use high cellulose feedstock, such as crop residues, for ethanol production. Based on production levels, corn (Zea mays L.) residue has potential as a biofuel feedstock. Crop residues are a renewable and domestic fuel source, which can reduce the rate of fossil fuel use (both imported and domestic) and provide an additional farm commodity. Crop residues protect the soil from wind and water erosion, provide inputs to form soil organic matter (a critical component determining soil quality) and play a role in nutrient cycling. Crop residues impact radiation balance and energy fluxes and reduce evaporation. Therefore, the benefits of using crop residues as fuel, which removes crop residues from the field, must be balanced against negative environmental impacts (e.g. soil erosion), maintaining soil organic matter levels, and preserving or enhancing productivity. All ramifications of new management practices and crop uses must be explored and evaluated fully before an industry is established. There are limited numbers of long-term studies with soil and crop responses to residue removal that range from negative to negligible. The range of crop and soil responses to crop residue removal was attributed to interactions with climate, management and soil type. Within limits, corn residue can be harvested for ethanol production to provide a renewable, domestic source of energy feedstock that reduces greenhouse gases. Removal rates must vary based on regional yield, climatic conditions and cultural practices. Agronomists are challenged to develop a protocol (tool) for recommending maximum permissible removal rates that ensure sustained soil productivity.

  15. Geomorphic and vegetation changes in a meandering dryland river regulated by a large dam, Sauce Grande River, Argentina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casado, Ana; Peiry, Jean-Luc; Campo, Alicia M.

    2016-09-01

    This paper investigates post-dam geomorphic and vegetation changes in the Sauce Grande River, a meandering dryland river impounded by a large water-conservation dam. As the dam impounds a river section with scarce influence of tributaries, sources for fresh water and sediment downstream are limited. Changes were inspected based on (i) analysis of historical photographs/imagery spanning pre- (1961) and post-dam (1981, 2004) channel conditions for two river segments located above and below the dam, and (ii) field survey of present channel conditions for a set of eight reference reaches along the river segments. Whilst the unregulated river exhibited active lateral migration with consequent adjustments of the channel shape and size, the river section below the dam was characterized by (i) marked planform stability (93 to 97%), and by (ii) vegetation encroachment leading to alternating yet localized contraction of the channel width (up to 30%). The present river displays a moribund, stable channel where (i) redistribution of sediment along the river course no longer occurs and (ii) channel forms constitute a remnant of a fluvial environment created before closing the dam, under conditions of higher energy. In addition to providing new information on the complex geomorphic response of dryland rivers to impoundment, this paper represents the very first geomorphic assessment of the regulated Sauce Grande and therefore provides an important platform to underpin further research assessing the geomorphic state of this highly regulated dryland river.

  16. Soil microbial communities drive the resistance of ecosystem multifunctionality to global change in drylands across the globe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Eldridge, David J; Ochoa, Victoria; Gozalo, Beatriz; Singh, Brajesh K; Maestre, Fernando T

    2017-10-01

    The relationship between soil microbial communities and the resistance of multiple ecosystem functions linked to C, N and P cycling (multifunctionality resistance) to global change has never been assessed globally in natural ecosystems. We collected soils from 59 dryland ecosystems worldwide to investigate the importance of microbial communities as predictor of multifunctionality resistance to climate change and nitrogen fertilisation. Multifunctionality had a lower resistance to wetting-drying cycles than to warming or N deposition. Multifunctionality resistance was regulated by changes in microbial composition (relative abundance of phylotypes) but not by richness, total abundance of fungi and bacteria or the fungal: bacterial ratio. Our results suggest that positive effects of particular microbial taxa on multifunctionality resistance could potentially be controlled by altering soil pH. Together, our work demonstrates strong links between microbial community composition and multifunctionality resistance in dryland soils from six continents, and provides insights into the importance of microbial community composition for buffering effects of global change in drylands worldwide. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  17. Grand challenges for crop science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crop science is a highly integrative science using the disciplines of conventional plant breeding, transgenic crop improvement, plant physiology, and cropping system sciences to develop improved varieties of agronomic, turf, and forage crops to produce feed, food, fuel, and fiber for our world's gro...

  18. Biotechnology: herbicide-resistant crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Transgenic, herbicide-resistant (HR) crops are planted on about 80% of the land covered by transgenic crops. More than 90% of HR crios are glyphosate-resistant (GR) crops, the others being resistant to glufosinate. The wide-scale adoption of HR crops, largely for economic reasons, has been the mos...

  19. Water footprint of crop production for different crop structures in the Hebei southern plain, North China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, Yingmin; Shen, Yanjun; Yuan, Zaijian

    2017-06-01

    The North China Plain (NCP) has a serious shortage of freshwater resources, and crop production consumes approximately 75 % of the region's water. To estimate water consumption of different crops and crop structures in the NCP, the Hebei southern plain (HSP) was selected as a study area, as it is a typical region of groundwater overdraft in the NCP. In this study, the water footprint (WF) of crop production, comprised of green, blue and grey water footprints, and its annual variation were analyzed. The results demonstrated the following: (1) the WF from the production of main crops was 41.8 km3 in 2012. Winter wheat, summer maize and vegetables were the top water-consuming crops in the HSP. The water footprint intensity (WFI) of cotton was the largest, and for vegetables, it was the smallest; (2) the total WF, WFblue, WFgreen and WFgrey for 13 years (2000-2012) of crop production were 604.8, 288.5, 141.3 and 175.0 km3, respectively, with an annual downtrend from 2000 to 2012; (3) winter wheat, summer maize and vegetables consumed the most groundwater, and their blue water footprint (WFblue) accounted for 74.2 % of the total WFblue in the HSP; (4) the crop structure scenarios analysis indicated that, with approximately 20 % of arable land cultivated with winter wheat-summer maize in rotation, 38.99 % spring maize, 10 % vegetables and 10 % fruiters, a sustainable utilization of groundwater resources can be promoted, and a sufficient supply of food, including vegetables and fruits, can be ensured in the HSP.

  20. Water footprint of crop production for different crop structures in the Hebei southern plain, North China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Chu

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The North China Plain (NCP has a serious shortage of freshwater resources, and crop production consumes approximately 75 % of the region's water. To estimate water consumption of different crops and crop structures in the NCP, the Hebei southern plain (HSP was selected as a study area, as it is a typical region of groundwater overdraft in the NCP. In this study, the water footprint (WF of crop production, comprised of green, blue and grey water footprints, and its annual variation were analyzed. The results demonstrated the following: (1 the WF from the production of main crops was 41.8 km3 in 2012. Winter wheat, summer maize and vegetables were the top water-consuming crops in the HSP. The water footprint intensity (WFI of cotton was the largest, and for vegetables, it was the smallest; (2 the total WF, WFblue, WFgreen and WFgrey for 13 years (2000–2012 of crop production were 604.8, 288.5, 141.3 and 175.0 km3, respectively, with an annual downtrend from 2000 to 2012; (3 winter wheat, summer maize and vegetables consumed the most groundwater, and their blue water footprint (WFblue accounted for 74.2 % of the total WFblue in the HSP; (4 the crop structure scenarios analysis indicated that, with approximately 20 % of arable land cultivated with winter wheat–summer maize in rotation, 38.99 % spring maize, 10 % vegetables and 10 % fruiters, a sustainable utilization of groundwater resources can be promoted, and a sufficient supply of food, including vegetables and fruits, can be ensured in the HSP.

  1. Hands-On Crops! How Long-Term Activities Improve Students' Knowledge of Crop Species. A Pretest-Posttest Study of the Greenhouse Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritsch, Eva-Maria; Lechner-Walz, Cornelia; Dreesmann, Daniel C.

    2015-01-01

    In terms of sustainability, renewable resources, nourishment and healthy diet, crops are important to the public. Thus, knowledge of crops is needed in order to enable people to participate in public discussions and take responsibility. This is in contrast to former surveys showing that students' knowledge of and interest in plants in general,…

  2. Energy from field crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zubr, J.

    1990-04-15

    At the Research Station of Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Copenhagen, Denmark, investigation concerning cultivation and exploitation of field crops for production of fuels was carried out during the period 1986-1989. High yielding crops, such as sugar beet - BETA VULGARIS, jerusalem artichoke - HELIANTHUS TUBEROSUS, rhubarb - RHEUM RHAPONTICUM, and comfrey - SYMPHYTUM ASPERUM, were grown experimentally in the field. Different cultivation methods for the crops were used and evaluated. Simultaneously with the field experiment, laboratory investigation was carried out to determine the energy potential of different products and by-products from the crops processes, such as alcoholic and methanogenic fermantation. Production expenses for the crops were determined, and cost of the fuels was estimated. The experimental results show that beet is a superior crop for the climatic conditions of Northern Europe. In the season 1986, yields exceeded 20 t TS/ha in the form of roots and tops, where achieved. A combined exploitation of beet roots and tops via alcoholic and methanogenic fermantation gave a gross energy corresponding to 80 hl OE/ha/yr. Using methanogenic fermentation exclusively, from ensiled beet roots and tops, gross energy yield corresponding to 85 hl IE/ha/yr, was achieved. The cost of energy in the form of alcohol from beet roots was estimated to be 5.17 DKK/1 OE (0.64 ECU/l OE). The cost of energy in the form of methane from ensiled beet tops, was estimated to be 2.68 DKK/l OE (0.33 ECU/l OE). At the present time, methane produced on the basis of ensiled beet roots and tops appears to be competitive with fossil fuels. Irrespective of the cost, however, the possibility of producing clean energy from field crops remains of interest for the future. (author) 27 refs.

  3. Experimental warming in a dryland community reduced plant photosynthesis and soil CO2 efflux although the relationship between the fluxes remained unchanged

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wertin, Timothy M.; Belnap, Jayne; Reed, Sasha C.

    2016-01-01

    1. Drylands represent our planet's largest terrestrial biome and, due to their extensive area, maintain large stocks of carbon (C). Accordingly, understanding how dryland C cycling will respond to climate change is imperative for accurately forecasting global C cycling and future climate. However, it remains difficult to predict how increased temperature will affect dryland C cycling, as substantial uncertainties surround the potential responses of the two main C fluxes: plant photosynthesis and soil CO2 efflux. In addition to a need for an improved understanding of climate effects on individual dryland C fluxes, there is also notable uncertainty regarding how climate change may influence the relationship between these fluxes.2. To address this important knowledge gap, we measured a growing season's in situphotosynthesis, plant biomass accumulation, and soil CO2 efflux of mature Achnatherum hymenoides (a common and ecologically important C3 bunchgrass growing throughout western North America) exposed to ambient or elevated temperature (+2°C above ambient, warmed via infrared lamps) for three years.3. The 2°C increase in temperature caused a significant reduction in photosynthesis, plant growth, and soil CO2 efflux. Of important note, photosynthesis and soil respiration appeared tightly coupled and the relationship between these fluxes was not altered by the elevated temperature treatment, suggesting C fixation's strong control of both above-ground and below-ground dryland C cycling. Leaf water use efficiency was substantially increased in the elevated temperature treatment compared to the control treatment.4. Taken together, our results suggest notable declines in photosynthesis with relatively subtle warming, reveal strong coupling between above- and below-ground C fluxes in this dryland, and highlight temperature's strong effect on fundamental components of dryland C and water cycles.

  4. Abiotic and biotic controls over biogeochemical cycles in drylands: Insights from climate change and nitrogen deposition experiments on the Colorado Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, S.; Ferrenberg, S.; Tucker, C.; Rutherford, W. A.; Wertin, T. M.; McHugh, T. A.; Morrissey, E.; Kuske, C.; Mueller, R.; Belnap, J.

    2016-12-01

    As for all ecosystems, biogeochemical cycling in drylands represents numerous intricate connections between biotic and abiotic controls. However, patterns of many fundamental ecosystem processes that generally hold across global gradients fall apart at the arid and semiarid end of the spectrum, and data point to an exceptionally strong role for abiotic controls in explaining these patterns. Further, there are multiple dryland characteristics - such as extreme aridity and high UV radiation, as well as specialized biological communities - which can point to a conclusion that "drylands are different". Indeed, drylands are often characterized by their harsh environment, by the diverse classes of biota representing a range of traits aimed at surviving such harsh conditions, and, more recently, by the suggestion of dramatic biotic responses to seemingly subtle changes in abiotic factors. In this talk, we will explore a range of biotic and abiotic controls over fundamental biogeochemical cycling in drylands using data from a suite of manipulation experiments on the Colorado Plateau, USA. We will present results from field treatments that speak to the effects of increasing temperature, altered precipitation regimes, increased nitrogen availability via deposition, and the effects of altered litterfall inputs. Biogeochemical processes we explore will include plant photosynthesis, soil photosynthesis and respiration (with a focus on biological soil crusts), litter decomposition, and nutrient cycling. In addition, we will assess how treatments alter dryland community composition, as well as the resultant feedbacks of community shifts to environmental change. Taken together we will use these diverse datasets to ask questions about what makes drylands different or, instead, if a holistic joining of biotic and abiotic perspectives suggests they are not so different after all. These data will not only lend insight into the partitioning of and balance between biotic and abiotic

  5. Environmental effects of growing short-rotation woody crops on former agricultural lands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tolbert, V.R.; Thornton, F.C.; Joslin, J.D.

    1997-01-01

    Field-scale studies in the Southeast have been addressing the environmental effects of converting agricultural lands to biomass crop production since 1994. Erosion, surface water quality and quantity and subsurface movement of water and nutrients from woody crops, switchgrass and agricultural crops are being compared. Nutrient cycling, soil physical changes, and crop productivity are also being monitored at the three sites. Maximum sediment losses occurred in the spring and fall. Losses were greater from sweetgum planted without a cover crop than with a cover crop. Nutrient losses of N and P in runoff and subsurface water occurred primarily after spring fertilizer application. These field plot studies are serving as the basis for a water shed study initiated in 1997. Results from the two studies will be used to develop and model nutrient and hydrologic budgets for woody crop plantings to identify potential constraints to sustainable deployment of short-rotation woody crops in the southeastern United States. (author)

  6. Energy crops for biogas plants. Saxony-Anhalt; Energiepflanzen fuer Biogasanlagen. Sachsen-Anhalt

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boese, L.; Buttlar, C. von; Boettcher, K. (and others)

    2012-07-15

    For agriculturists in Saxony-Anhalt (Federal Republic of Germany), the brochure under consideration provides recommendations on alternative crop rotation systems. With the help of these alternative cultivation systems, crop rotation with high yields in combination with high diversity, diversification and sustainability can be realized. Subsequently to the presentation of energy crops for the production of biogas, recommendations for the design of crop rotation are given. Other chapters of this booklet deal with ensilage and gas yields as well as the economics of energy crop cultivation.

  7. Energy crops for biogas plants. Baden-Wuerttemberg; Energiepflanzen fuer Biogasanlagen. Baden-Wuerttemberg

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Butz, A.; Heiermann, M.; Herrmann, C. [and others

    2013-05-01

    For agriculturists in Baden-Wuerttemberg (Federal Republic of Germany), the brochure under consideration provides recommendations on alternative crop rotation systems. With the help of these alternative cultivation systems, crop rotation with high yields in combination with high diversity, diversification and sustainability can be realized. Subsequently to the presentation of energy crops for the production of biogas, recommendations for the design of crop rotation are given. Other chapters of this booklet deal with ensilage and gas yields as well as the economics of energy crop cultivation.

  8. Energy crops for biogas plants. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania; Energiepflanzen fuer Biogasanlagen. Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aurbacher, J.; Bull, I.; Formowitz, B. (and others)

    2012-06-15

    For agriculturists in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (Federal Republic of Germany), the brochure under consideration provides recommendations on alternative crop rotation systems. With the help of these alternative cultivation systems, crop rotation with high yields in combination with high diversity, diversification and sustainability can be realized. Subsequently to the presentation of energy crops for the production of biogas, recommendations for the design of crop rotation are given. Other chapters of this booklet deal with ensilage and gas yields as well as the economics of energy crop cultivation.

  9. SMALLHOLDER FARMERS’ WILLINGNESS TO INCORPORATE BIOFUEL CROPS INTO CROPPING SYSTEMS IN MALAWI

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beston Bille Maonga

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Using cross-sectional data, this study analysed the critical and significant socioeconomic factors with high likelihood to determine smallholder farmers’ decision and willingness to adopt jatropha into cropping systems in Malawi. Employing desk study and multi-stage random sampling technique a sample of 592 households was drawn from across the country for analysis. A probit model was used for the analysis of determinants of jatropha adoption by smallholder farmers. Empirical findings show that education, access to loan, bicycle ownership and farmers’ expectation of raising socioeconomic status are major significant factors that would positively determine probability of smallholder farmers’ willingness to adopt jatropha as a biofuel crop on the farm. Furthermore, keeping of ruminant herds of livestock, long distance to market and fears of market unavailability have been revealed to have significant negative influence on farmers’ decision and willingness to adopt jatropha. Policy implications for sustainable crop diversification drive are drawn and discussed.

  10. Climate protection and energy crops. Potential for greenhouse gas emission reduction through crop rotation and crop planning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eckner, Jens; Peter, Christiane; Vetter, Armin

    2015-01-01

    The EVA project compares nationwide energy crops and crop rotations on site-specific productivity. In addition to agronomic suitability for cultivation economic and environmental benefits and consequences are analyzed and evaluated. As part of sustainability assessment of the tested cultivation options LCAs are established. The model MiLA developed in the project uses empirical test data and site parameters to prepare the inventory balances. At selected locations different cultivation and fertilization regimes are examined comparatively. In the comparison of individual crops and crop rotation combinations cultivation of W.Triticale-GPS at the cereals favor location Dornburg causes the lowest productrelated GHG-emissions. Due to the efficient implementation of nitrogen and the substrate properties of maize is the cultivation despite high area-related emissions and N-expenses at a low level of emissions. Because of the intensity the two culture systems offer lower emissions savings potentials with high area efficiency. Extensification with perennial alfalfagrass at low nitrogen effort and adequate yield performance show low product-related emissions. Closing the nutrient cycles through a recirculation of digestates instead of using mineral fertilization has a climate-friendly effect. Adapted intensifies of processing or reduced tillage decrease diesel consumption and their related emissions.

  11. Magnetopriming - an alternate strategy for crop stress management of field crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anand, Anjali

    2014-01-01

    Abiotic stresses are major deterrent to sustainable crop production worldwide. Seed germination and early seedling growth are considered as the most critical stages of plant growth under stress conditions. Maximising stress tolerance of crop species by breeding is an integral part of development of strategies for improving sustainable food production under stressed environment but the unprecedented rate at which stress is increasing vis-a-vis the time taken for development of a tolerant variety, necessitates exploring alternate strategies of crop stress management. Seed priming has emerged as a promising crop stress management technique that increases the speed of germination thus ensuring synchronized field emergence of the crop. Magnetopriming (exposure of seeds to magnetic field) is a non invasive physical stimulant used for improving seedling vigour that helps in establishment of crop stand under stress. In our experiments on maize; chickpea and wheat under water deficit and salinity, respectively, improved seed water absorption characteristics resulted in faster hydration of enzymes (amylases, protease and dehydrogenase) leading to early germination and enhanced vigour of seedlings under stress. Increased levels of hydrogen peroxide in faster germinating - magnetoprimed seeds, under both the growing conditions, suggested its role in oxidative signaling during seed germination process. An 'oxidative window' for reactive oxygen species ensured that faster germination rate in magnetoprimed seeds led to vigourous seedlings. Improved root system integrated with higher photosynthetic efficiency and efficient partitioning of Na + increased yield from magnetoprimed seeds under salinity in controlled experiments. Magnetopriming can be effectively used as a pre-sowing treatment for mitigating adverse effects of water deficit and salinity at seed germination and early seedling growth. Unlike other conventional priming techniques it avoids seed hydration and

  12. Increased nutritional value in food crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goicoechea, Nieves; Antolín, M Carmen

    2017-09-01

    Modern agriculture and horticulture must combine two objectives that seem to be almost mutually exclusive: to satisfy the nutritional needs of an increasing human population and to minimize the negative impact on the environment. These two objectives are included in the Goal 2 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations: 'End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture'. Enhancing the nutritional levels of vegetables would improve nutrient intake without requiring an increase in consumption. In this context, the use of beneficial rhizospheric microorganisms for improving, not only growth and yield, but also the nutrient quality of crops represents a promising tool that may respond to the challenges for modern agriculture and horticulture and represents an alternative to the genetic engineering of crops. This paper summarizes the state of the art, the current difficulties associated to the use of rhizospheric microorganisms as enhancers of the nutritional quality of food crops as well as the future prospects. © 2017 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  13. Dryland ecosystem responses to precipitation extremes and wildfire at a long-term rainfall manipulation experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, R. F.; Collins, S. L.

    2017-12-01

    Climate is becoming increasingly more variable due to global environmental change, which is evidenced by fewer, but more extreme precipitation events, changes in precipitation seasonality, and longer, higher severity droughts. These changes, combined with a rising incidence of wildfire, have the potential to strongly impact net primary production (NPP) and key biogeochemical cycles, particularly in dryland ecosystems where NPP is sequentially limited by water and nutrient availability. Here we utilize a ten-year dataset from an ongoing long-term field experiment established in 2007 in which we experimentally altered monsoon rainfall variability to examine how our manipulations, along with naturally occurring events, affect NPP and associated biogeochemical cycles in a semi-arid grassland in central New Mexico, USA. Using long-term regional averages, we identified extremely wet monsoon years (242.8 mm, 2013), and extremely dry monsoon years (86.0 mm, 2011; 80.0 mm, 2015) and water years (117.0 mm, 2011). We examined how changes in precipitation variability and extreme events affected ecosystem processes and function particularly in the context of ecosystem recovery following a 2009 wildfire. Response variables included above- and below-ground plant biomass (ANPP & BNPP) and abundance, soil nitrogen availability, and soil CO2 efflux. Mean ANPP ranged from 3.6 g m-2 in 2011 to 254.5 g m-2 in 2013, while BNPP ranged from 23.5 g m-2 in 2015 to 194.2 g m-2 in 2013, demonstrating NPP in our semi-arid grassland is directly linked to extremes in both seasonal and annual precipitation. We also show increased nitrogen deposition positively affects NPP in unburned grassland, but has no significant impact on NPP post-fire except during extremely wet monsoon years. While soil respiration rates reflect lower ANPP post-fire, patterns in CO2 efflux have not been shown to change significantly in that efflux is greatest following large precipitation events preceded by longer drying

  14. Adjustment and Optimization of the Cropping Systems under Water Constraint

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pingli An

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The water constraint on agricultural production receives growing concern with the increasingly sharp contradiction between demand and supply of water resources. How to mitigate and adapt to potential water constraint is one of the key issues for ensuring food security and achieving sustainable agriculture in the context of climate change. It has been suggested that adjustment and optimization of cropping systems could be an effective measure to improve water management and ensure food security. However, a knowledge gap still exists in how to quantify potential water constraint and how to select appropriate cropping systems. Here, we proposed a concept of water constraint risk and developed an approach for the evaluation of the water constraint risks for agricultural production by performing a case study in Daxing District, Beijing, China. The results show that, over the whole growth period, the order of the water constraint risks of crops from high to low was wheat, rice, broomcorn, foxtail millet, summer soybean, summer peanut, spring corn, and summer corn, and the order of the water constraint risks of the cropping systems from high to low was winter wheat-summer grain crops, rice, broomcorn, foxtail millet, and spring corn. Our results are consistent with the actual evolving process of cropping system. This indicates that our proposed method is practicable to adjust and optimize the cropping systems to mitigate and adapt to potential water risks. This study provides an insight into the adjustment and optimization of cropping systems under resource constraints.

  15. Aerobic rice mechanization: techniques for crop establishment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khusairy, K. M.; Ayob, H.; Chan, C. S.; Fauzi, M. I. Mohamed; Mohamad Fakhrul, Z. O.; Shahril Shah, G. S. M.; Azlan, O.; Rasad, M. A.; Hashim, A. M.; Arshad, Z.; E, E. Ibrahim; Saifulizan, M. N.

    2015-12-01

    Rice being the staple food crops, hundreds of land races in it makes the diversity of rice crops. Aerobic rice production was introduced which requires much less water input to safeguard and sustain the rice production and conserve water due to decreasing water resources, climatic changes and competition from urban and industrial users. Mechanization system plays an important role for the success of aerobic rice cultivation. All farming activities for aerobic rice production are run on aerobic soil conditions. Row seeder mechanization system is developed to replace conventional seeding technique on the aerobic rice field. It is targeted for small and the large scale aerobic rice farmers. The aero - seeder machine is used for the small scale aerobic rice field, while the accord - seeder is used for the large scale aerobic rice field. The use of this mechanization machine can eliminate the tedious and inaccurate seeding operations reduce labour costs and increases work rate. The machine is easy to operate and it can increase crop establishment rate. It reduce missing hill, increasing planting and crop with high yield can be produce. This machine is designed for low costs maintenance and it is easy to dismantle and assemble during maintenance and it is safe to be used.

  16. Effects of Weather Variability on Crop Abandonment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelvin Mulungu

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available In Zambia, every year some parts of the maize fields are abandoned post-planting. Reasons for this are not clearly known. In this paper, we examine the influence of soil and climatic factors on crop abandonment using a six-year (2007–2012 panel data by modeling the planted-to-harvested ratio (a good indicator of crop abandonment using a fractional and linear approach. Therefore, for the first time, our study appropriately (as supported by the model specification tests that favour fractional probit over linear models the fractional nature of crop abandonment. Regression results, which are not very different between the two specifications, indicate that, more than anything, high rainfall immediately after planting and inadequate fertilizer are the leading determinants of crop abandonment. In the agro-ecological region where dry planting takes place, low temperature during planting months negatively affects the harvested area. The results have implications on the sustainability of farming systems in the face of a changing climate.

  17. Proteomics: A Biotechnology Tool for Crop Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moustafa eEldakak

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available A sharp decline in the availability of arable land and sufficient supply of irrigation water along with a continuous steep increase in food demands have exerted a pressure on farmers to produce more with fewer resources. A viable solution to release this pressure is to speed up the plant breeding process by employing biotechnology in breeding programs. The majority of biotechnological applications rely on information generated from various -omic technologies. The latest outstanding improvements in proteomic platforms and many other but related advances in plant biotechnology techniques offer various new ways to encourage the usage of these technologies by plant scientists for crop improvement programs. A combinatorial approach of accelerated gene discovery through genomics, proteomics, and other associated -omic branches of biotechnology, as an applied approach, is proving to be an effective way to speed up the crop improvement programs worldwide. In the near future, swift improvements in -omic databases are becoming critical and demand immediate attention for the effective utilization of these techniques to produce next-generation crops for the progressive farmers. Here, we have reviewed the recent advances in proteomics, as tools of biotechnology, which are offering great promise and leading the path towards crop improvement for sustainable agriculture.

  18. Plant biotechnology: transgenic crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shewry, Peter R; Jones, Huw D; Halford, Nigel G

    2008-01-01

    Transgenesis is an important adjunct to classical plant breeding, in that it allows the targeted manipulation of specific characters using genes from a range of sources. The current status of crop transformation is reviewed, including methods of gene transfer, the selection of transformed plants and control of transgene expression. The application of genetic modification technology to specific traits is then discussed, including input traits relating to crop production (herbicide tolerance and resistance to insects, pathogens and abiotic stresses) and output traits relating to the composition and quality of the harvested organs. The latter include improving the nutritional quality for consumers as well as the improvement of functional properties for food processing.

  19. Sustainable reclaimation of alkali land

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Singh, S.S.; Khan, A.R.

    2002-05-01

    The development of sodicity in pilot project area is secondary in nature due to high water table. A pilot project for reclamation of 500 ha of alkaline land was taken in Bihar, India. Due to very high content of sodium and other soluble salts physical, chemical and biological environment of soil have deteriorated, which gave poor crop yield. The application of pyrite improved the physical, chemical, biological and soil properties and provided a conducive environment for plant growth and resulted in higher crop yields. For the sustainability of reclamation work apart from other precautions, a well-planned drainage system is a basic requirement for this area. (author)

  20. Cover crops support ecological intensification of arable cropping systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wittwer, Raphaël A.; Dorn, Brigitte; Jossi, Werner; van der Heijden, Marcel G. A.

    2017-02-01

    A major challenge for agriculture is to enhance productivity with minimum impact on the environment. Several studies indicate that cover crops could replace anthropogenic inputs and enhance crop productivity. However, so far, it is unclear if cover crop effects vary between different cropping systems, and direct comparisons among major arable production systems are rare. Here we compared the short-term effects of various cover crops on crop yield, nitrogen uptake, and weed infestation in four arable production systems (conventional cropping with intensive tillage and no-tillage; organic cropping with intensive tillage and reduced tillage). We hypothesized that cover cropping effects increase with decreasing management intensity. Our study demonstrated that cover crop effects on crop yield were highest in the organic system with reduced tillage (+24%), intermediate in the organic system with tillage (+13%) and in the conventional system with no tillage (+8%) and lowest in the conventional system with tillage (+2%). Our results indicate that cover crops are essential to maintaining a certain yield level when soil tillage intensity is reduced (e.g. under conservation agriculture), or when production is converted to organic agriculture. Thus, the inclusion of cover crops provides additional opportunities to increase the yield of lower intensity production systems and contribute to ecological intensification.