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Showing 1 - 200 of 3031 Journals sorted alphabetically
AASRI Procedia     Open Access   (Followers: 15)
Academic Pediatrics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 20, SJR: 1.402, h-index: 51)
Academic Radiology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16, SJR: 1.008, h-index: 75)
Accident Analysis & Prevention     Partially Free   (Followers: 79, SJR: 1.109, h-index: 94)
Accounting Forum     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 22, SJR: 0.612, h-index: 27)
Accounting, Organizations and Society     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27, SJR: 2.515, h-index: 90)
Achievements in the Life Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Acta Anaesthesiologica Taiwanica     Open Access   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.338, h-index: 19)
Acta Astronautica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 303, SJR: 0.726, h-index: 43)
Acta Automatica Sinica     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Acta Biomaterialia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 25, SJR: 2.02, h-index: 104)
Acta Colombiana de Cuidado Intensivo     Full-text available via subscription  
Acta de Investigación Psicológica     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Acta Ecologica Sinica     Open Access   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.172, h-index: 29)
Acta Haematologica Polonica     Free   (SJR: 0.123, h-index: 8)
Acta Histochemica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.604, h-index: 38)
Acta Materialia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 196, SJR: 3.683, h-index: 202)
Acta Mathematica Scientia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.615, h-index: 21)
Acta Mechanica Solida Sinica     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.442, h-index: 21)
Acta Oecologica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.915, h-index: 53)
Acta Otorrinolaringologica (English Edition)     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Acta Otorrinolaringológica Española     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.311, h-index: 16)
Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Acta Poética     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Acta Psychologica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 21, SJR: 1.365, h-index: 73)
Acta Sociológica     Open Access  
Acta Tropica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5, SJR: 1.059, h-index: 77)
Acta Urológica Portuguesa     Open Access  
Actas Dermo-Sifiliograficas     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Actas Dermo-Sifiliográficas (English Edition)     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Actas Urológicas Españolas     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.383, h-index: 19)
Actas Urológicas Españolas (English Edition)     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Actualites Pharmaceutiques     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.141, h-index: 3)
Actualites Pharmaceutiques Hospitalieres     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4, SJR: 0.112, h-index: 2)
Acupuncture and Related Therapies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Ad Hoc Networks     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11, SJR: 0.967, h-index: 57)
Addictive Behaviors     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15, SJR: 1.514, h-index: 92)
Addictive Behaviors Reports     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Additive Manufacturing     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7, SJR: 1.039, h-index: 5)
Additives for Polymers     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 20)
Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 119, SJR: 5.2, h-index: 222)
Advanced Engineering Informatics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11, SJR: 1.265, h-index: 53)
Advanced Powder Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16, SJR: 0.739, h-index: 33)
Advances in Accounting     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.299, h-index: 15)
Advances in Agronomy     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15, SJR: 2.071, h-index: 82)
Advances in Anesthesia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 24, SJR: 0.169, h-index: 4)
Advances in Antiviral Drug Design     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Advances in Applied Mathematics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.054, h-index: 35)
Advances in Applied Mechanics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10, SJR: 0.801, h-index: 26)
Advances in Applied Microbiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 21, SJR: 1.286, h-index: 49)
Advances In Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 16, SJR: 3.31, h-index: 42)
Advances in Biological Regulation     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4, SJR: 2.277, h-index: 43)
Advances in Botanical Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.619, h-index: 48)
Advances in Cancer Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 26, SJR: 2.215, h-index: 78)
Advances in Carbohydrate Chemistry and Biochemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.9, h-index: 30)
Advances in Catalysis     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5, SJR: 2.139, h-index: 42)
Advances in Cellular and Molecular Biology of Membranes and Organelles     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
Advances in Chemical Engineering     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 24, SJR: 0.183, h-index: 23)
Advances in Child Development and Behavior     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10, SJR: 0.665, h-index: 29)
Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8, SJR: 1.268, h-index: 45)
Advances in Clinical Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 28, SJR: 0.938, h-index: 33)
Advances in Colloid and Interface Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 18, SJR: 2.314, h-index: 130)
Advances in Computers     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 16, SJR: 0.223, h-index: 22)
Advances in Developmental Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
Advances in Digestive Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Advances in DNA Sequence-Specific Agents     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Drug Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 22)
Advances in Ecological Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 39, SJR: 3.25, h-index: 43)
Advances in Engineering Software     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 25, SJR: 0.486, h-index: 10)
Advances in Experimental Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
Advances in Experimental Social Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 38, SJR: 5.465, h-index: 64)
Advances in Exploration Geophysics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Advances in Fluorine Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Advances in Food and Nutrition Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 41, SJR: 0.674, h-index: 38)
Advances in Fuel Cells     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14)
Advances in Genetics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15, SJR: 2.558, h-index: 54)
Advances in Genome Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
Advances in Geophysics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 2.325, h-index: 20)
Advances in Heat Transfer     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 18, SJR: 0.906, h-index: 24)
Advances in Heterocyclic Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.497, h-index: 31)
Advances in Human Factors/Ergonomics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 22)
Advances in Imaging and Electron Physics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.396, h-index: 27)
Advances in Immunology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 33, SJR: 4.152, h-index: 85)
Advances in Inorganic Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9, SJR: 1.132, h-index: 42)
Advances in Insect Physiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 1.274, h-index: 27)
Advances in Integrative Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Advances in Intl. Accounting     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Advances in Life Course Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.764, h-index: 15)
Advances in Lipobiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Advances in Magnetic and Optical Resonance     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Advances in Marine Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 16, SJR: 1.645, h-index: 45)
Advances in Mathematics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10, SJR: 3.261, h-index: 65)
Advances in Medical Sciences     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.489, h-index: 25)
Advances in Medicinal Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Microbial Physiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4, SJR: 1.44, h-index: 51)
Advances in Molecular and Cell Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 21)
Advances in Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Advances in Molecular Toxicology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.324, h-index: 8)
Advances in Nanoporous Materials     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Advances in Oncobiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Advances in Organometallic Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15, SJR: 2.885, h-index: 45)
Advances in Parallel Computing     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.148, h-index: 11)
Advances in Parasitology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7, SJR: 2.37, h-index: 73)
Advances in Pediatrics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 20, SJR: 0.4, h-index: 28)
Advances in Pharmaceutical Sciences     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14)
Advances in Pharmacology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 13, SJR: 1.718, h-index: 58)
Advances in Physical Organic Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.384, h-index: 26)
Advances in Phytomedicine     Full-text available via subscription  
Advances in Planar Lipid Bilayers and Liposomes     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.248, h-index: 11)
Advances in Plant Biochemistry and Molecular Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Advances in Plant Pathology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Porous Media     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Advances in Protein Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 18)
Advances in Protein Chemistry and Structural Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 17, SJR: 1.5, h-index: 62)
Advances in Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 56)
Advances in Quantum Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.478, h-index: 32)
Advances in Radiation Oncology     Open Access  
Advances in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.1, h-index: 2)
Advances in Space Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 332, SJR: 0.606, h-index: 65)
Advances in Structural Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
Advances in Surgery     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.823, h-index: 27)
Advances in the Study of Behavior     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 28, SJR: 1.321, h-index: 56)
Advances in Veterinary Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14)
Advances in Veterinary Science and Comparative Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
Advances in Virus Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5, SJR: 1.878, h-index: 68)
Advances in Water Resources     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 42, SJR: 2.408, h-index: 94)
Aeolian Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.973, h-index: 22)
Aerospace Science and Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 303, SJR: 0.816, h-index: 49)
AEU - Intl. J. of Electronics and Communications     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.318, h-index: 36)
African J. of Emergency Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 4, SJR: 0.344, h-index: 6)
Ageing Research Reviews     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7, SJR: 3.289, h-index: 78)
Aggression and Violent Behavior     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 388, SJR: 1.385, h-index: 72)
Agri Gene     Hybrid Journal  
Agricultural and Forest Meteorology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15, SJR: 2.18, h-index: 116)
Agricultural Systems     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 29, SJR: 1.275, h-index: 74)
Agricultural Water Management     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 36, SJR: 1.546, h-index: 79)
Agriculture and Agricultural Science Procedia     Open Access  
Agriculture and Natural Resources     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 48, SJR: 1.879, h-index: 120)
Ain Shams Engineering J.     Open Access   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.434, h-index: 14)
Air Medical J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.234, h-index: 18)
AKCE Intl. J. of Graphs and Combinatorics     Open Access   (SJR: 0.285, h-index: 3)
Alcohol     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.922, h-index: 66)
Alcoholism and Drug Addiction     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Alergologia Polska : Polish J. of Allergology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Alexandria Engineering J.     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.436, h-index: 12)
Alexandria J. of Medicine     Open Access  
Algal Research     Partially Free   (Followers: 7, SJR: 2.05, h-index: 20)
Alkaloids: Chemical and Biological Perspectives     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Allergologia et Immunopathologia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.46, h-index: 29)
Allergology Intl.     Open Access   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.776, h-index: 35)
ALTER - European J. of Disability Research / Revue Européenne de Recherche sur le Handicap     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.158, h-index: 9)
Alzheimer's & Dementia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 45, SJR: 4.289, h-index: 64)
Alzheimer's & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Alzheimer's & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
American Heart J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 45, SJR: 3.157, h-index: 153)
American J. of Cardiology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 47, SJR: 2.063, h-index: 186)
American J. of Emergency Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 34, SJR: 0.574, h-index: 65)
American J. of Geriatric Pharmacotherapy     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.091, h-index: 45)
American J. of Geriatric Psychiatry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14, SJR: 1.653, h-index: 93)
American J. of Human Genetics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 32, SJR: 8.769, h-index: 256)
American J. of Infection Control     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 25, SJR: 1.259, h-index: 81)
American J. of Kidney Diseases     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 31, SJR: 2.313, h-index: 172)
American J. of Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 48, SJR: 2.023, h-index: 189)
American J. of Medicine Supplements     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
American J. of Obstetrics and Gynecology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 173, SJR: 2.255, h-index: 171)
American J. of Ophthalmology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 51, SJR: 2.803, h-index: 148)
American J. of Ophthalmology Case Reports     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
American J. of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.249, h-index: 88)
American J. of Otolaryngology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 22, SJR: 0.59, h-index: 45)
American J. of Pathology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 23, SJR: 2.653, h-index: 228)
American J. of Preventive Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 21, SJR: 2.764, h-index: 154)
American J. of Surgery     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 32, SJR: 1.286, h-index: 125)
American J. of the Medical Sciences     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13, SJR: 0.653, h-index: 70)
Ampersand : An Intl. J. of General and Applied Linguistics     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Anaerobe     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4, SJR: 1.066, h-index: 51)
Anaesthesia & Intensive Care Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 52, SJR: 0.124, h-index: 9)
Anaesthesia Critical Care & Pain Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Anales de Cirugia Vascular     Full-text available via subscription  
Anales de Pediatría     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.209, h-index: 27)
Anales de Pediatría (English Edition)     Full-text available via subscription  
Anales de Pediatría Continuada     Full-text available via subscription   (SJR: 0.104, h-index: 3)
Analytic Methods in Accident Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2, SJR: 2.577, h-index: 7)
Analytica Chimica Acta     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 38, SJR: 1.548, h-index: 152)
Analytical Biochemistry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 151, SJR: 0.725, h-index: 154)
Analytical Chemistry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.18, h-index: 2)
Analytical Spectroscopy Library     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Anesthésie & Réanimation     Full-text available via subscription  
Anesthesiology Clinics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 21, SJR: 0.421, h-index: 40)
Angiología     Full-text available via subscription   (SJR: 0.124, h-index: 9)
Angiologia e Cirurgia Vascular     Open Access  
Animal Behaviour     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 141, SJR: 1.907, h-index: 126)
Animal Feed Science and Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5, SJR: 1.151, h-index: 83)
Animal Reproduction Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.711, h-index: 78)
Annales d'Endocrinologie     Full-text available via subscription   (SJR: 0.394, h-index: 30)
Annales d'Urologie     Full-text available via subscription  
Annales de Cardiologie et d'Angéiologie     Full-text available via subscription   (SJR: 0.177, h-index: 13)
Annales de Chirurgie de la Main et du Membre Supérieur     Full-text available via subscription  
Annales de Chirurgie Plastique Esthétique     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.354, h-index: 22)
Annales de Chirurgie Vasculaire     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)

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Journal Cover Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment
  [SJR: 1.879]   [H-I: 120]   [48 followers]  Follow
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 0167-8809 - ISSN (Online) 1873-2305
   Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3031 journals]
  • Stable isotopes of soil water: Implications for soil water and shallow
           groundwater recharge in hill and gully regions of the Loess Plateau, China
    • Authors: Hongbing Tan; Zihao Liu; Wenbo Rao; Haizhen Wei; Yudong Zhang; Ben Jin
      Pages: 1 - 9
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 June 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 243
      Author(s): Hongbing Tan, Zihao Liu, Wenbo Rao, Haizhen Wei, Yudong Zhang, Ben Jin
      There is relatively abundant groundwater in some hill and gully regions of the Loess Plateau aquifer. The region has an arid to semiarid climate with low precipitation and high potential evaporation, and thus, groundwater recharge processes remain unclear. This study aimed to investigate recharge mechanisms and soil water movement in the Loess Plateau aquifer and to assess the recharge to shallow loess aquifers using soil profiles. In general, we found that the δ18O and δ2H values of soil water varied both with season and with soil profile depth. The seasonal stable isotopic values in the soil profiles also differed between wet and dry years. In particular, soil water and groundwater isotopic values responded to precipitation. This response suggests that seasonal precipitation is the main source of recharge to soil water and groundwater and that soil water is involved in groundwater recharge. The precipitation infiltration, soil water replenishment, and groundwater recharge are complicated processes. Two main modes of infiltration allow water to move downward through the unsaturated zone and recharge groundwater can be concluded. The primary mode is preferential infiltration through microtopographic features. This channel-like infiltration can rapidly move precipitation downward to deep soil layers, greatly reducing evaporation even under the arid to semiarid conditions of the study area. The secondary mode is a combination of matrix flow, which includes inside preferential infiltration though finger-like flow in the upper layer and piston-like flow in the deeper layer. The upper finger-like flow can cause rapid infiltration to below the root zone during less intense rain or snowmelt. The annual precipitation through preferential flow is the dominant recharge mode for the shallow groundwater in the loess aquifers. These two modes of recharge maintain perennial groundwater in the arid to semiarid hill and gully regions of the Loess Plateau.

      PubDate: 2017-04-11T21:01:24Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.04.001
      Issue No: Vol. 243 (2017)
  • Plant species richness decreased in semi-natural grasslands in the
           Biosphere Reserve Wienerwald, Austria, over the past two decades, despite
           agri-environmental measures
    • Authors: Karl Hülber; Dietmar Moser; Norbert Sauberer; Bea Maas; Markus Staudinger; Viktoria Grass; Thomas Wrbka; Wolfgang Willner
      Pages: 10 - 18
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 June 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 243
      Author(s): Karl Hülber, Dietmar Moser, Norbert Sauberer, Bea Maas, Markus Staudinger, Viktoria Grass, Thomas Wrbka, Wolfgang Willner
      Both, agricultural intensification and abandonment caused a strong decline in plant species richness in semi-natural grasslands in Central Europe within the last decades. At a global scale, the Convention on Biological Diversity targeted at halting the decline of biodiversity by the end of 2010. Agri-environmental schemes (AES) have been developed at the national level to reach this biodiversity target in agricultural areas. We evaluated the effectiveness of Austrian agro-environmental schemes on species-rich grasslands within the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Wienerwald. We found a general decrease of vascular plant species richness at 95 sites, from an average of 43 species in 1990/92 to 31 species in 2011. The average decrease of species classified as threatened according to the national Red List from 12 to 7 and the parallel increase of widespread, nitrophilous species indicates a reduced conservation value of observed meadows. Species losses did not differ between mesic meadows of the Arrhenatherion type (EU habitat type 6510) and more nutrient-poor, semi-dry Brometalia grasslands (EU habitat type 6210), indicating the sensitivity to changes in agricultural management regimes even for more intensively used grassland types. AES decelerated this overall trend but could not stop biodiversity losses over the past two decades. Although the maintenance of grassland management through AES prevented biodiversity loss in areas which otherwise would have been abandoned, adaptations of the Austrian AES are desirable to effectively conserve biodiversity at agricultural sites.

      PubDate: 2017-04-11T21:01:24Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.04.002
      Issue No: Vol. 243 (2017)
  • Effects of organic and conventional crop management on vineyard
    • Authors: Xavier Puig-Montserrat; Constantí Stefanescu; Ignasi Torre; Josep Palet; Enric Fàbregas; Jordi Dantart; Antoni Arrizabalaga; Carles Flaquer
      Pages: 19 - 26
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 June 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 243
      Author(s): Xavier Puig-Montserrat, Constantí Stefanescu, Ignasi Torre, Josep Palet, Enric Fàbregas, Jordi Dantart, Antoni Arrizabalaga, Carles Flaquer
      Although organic farming is rapidly expanding in the vineyards of southern Europe, conventional crop management, using treatments that require a number of chemical inputs to guarantee yields is still the most common approach to crop management. To gauge the effects of these management systems on biodiversity, communities of vascular plants, butterflies, moths and birds were studied in vineyards in the Priorat Appellation of Origin (Catalonia, NE Spain). Measurements inside plots (all four taxonomic groups) and in grass strips between crop lines (only butterflies and vascular plants) were taken in organically and non-organically treated vineyards. Crop treatment was found to have an important effect, stronger on the most sessile organisms. Organic farms hosted consistently richer communities of both vascular plants and butterflies, a trend that was also observed − albeit less significantly − in moths. The weaker response in this group was probably due to insufficient sampling. Birds, the most vagile of the surveyed taxa, showed no significant response to treatments. Grass strips acted in all cases as reservoirs of biodiversity and hosted richer assemblages. The current trend of placing vineyards on slopes without terracing should ensure the existence of uncultivated strips within the vineyards to enhance the biodiversity of these agroecosystems. As well, parameters such as altitude and urban surface area are important drivers of biodiversity in this region. Our results suggest that organic farming may contribute to halting the widespread decrease that is occurring in communities of butterflies and other insects in this region.

      PubDate: 2017-04-19T08:16:46Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.04.005
      Issue No: Vol. 243 (2017)
  • Longterm effects of grazing on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi
    • Authors: Mieke van der Heyde; Jonathan A. Bennett; Jason Pither; Miranda Hart
      Pages: 27 - 33
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 June 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 243
      Author(s): Mieke van der Heyde, Jonathan A. Bennett, Jason Pither, Miranda Hart
      Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are obligate root symbionts and are thought to help plants tolerate grazing. Evidence shows that grazing can stimulate, inhibit, or have no effect on AM fungi. This inconsistency may be due to empirical limitations, specifically: (i) choice of AM fungal response variable, (ii) confounding effects of soil and plant responses to grazing, and (iii) variation in the duration of studies. To test these hypotheses, we compared AM fungi between grazed and ungrazed grassland plots, with grazing exclosures varying in age from 17 to 85 years. Our findings clearly show that grazing does not universally inhibit AM fungi: grazing had no effect on root colonization plots but spore density was higher and soil hyphal length was lower in grazed plots. While soil and plant variables were unrelated to fungal responses, time since grazing cessation was an important factor explaining the difference between grazed and ungrazed AM fungal communities at a site, indicating possible time lags in responses. Understanding of grazing effects on AM fungi can be enhanced by considering multiple fungal responses and increasing the time scale under which they are studied.

      PubDate: 2017-04-19T08:16:46Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.04.003
      Issue No: Vol. 243 (2017)
  • What crop type for atmospheric carbon sequestration: Results from a global
           data analysis
    • Authors: Isack Mathew; Hussein Shimelis; Macdex Mutema; Vincent Chaplot
      Pages: 34 - 46
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 June 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 243
      Author(s): Isack Mathew, Hussein Shimelis, Macdex Mutema, Vincent Chaplot
      Sequestration of atmospheric carbon (C) into soils is a strategy to compensate for anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide. The response of SOCs to crop types is yet to be determined under different environments. The objectives of this study were to elucidate the impact of crop type on the allocation of atmospheric C to shoots and roots, and ultimately to the soils and to determine its association with soil carbon stocks. Three hundred and eighty-nine field trials were compared to determine allocation of biomass and C in plants and SOCs under fields of different crop types. Grasses had the highest plant biomass production (19.80±1.16Mgha−1 yr−1), followed by cereals (9.44±0.45Mgha−1 yr−1), fibre (7.90±1.00Mgha−1 yr−1), legumes (3.29±0.63Mgha−1 yr−1), and oil crops (3.05±1.16Mgha−1 yr−1) showing significant differences (p<0.05). Maize (6.3±0.34 MgCha−1 yr−1) had the highest plant C amongst summer crops, while wheat (2.2±0.35MgCha−1 yr−1) had the highest plant C amongst winter crops. In all the studies, crops allocated more C to their shoots than roots yielding root C: shoot C (Rc/Sc) ratios below magnitude. The greatest C allocation to roots was in grasses (Rc/Sc=1.19±0.08), followed by cereals (0.95±0.03), legumes (0.86±0.04), oil crops (0.85±0.08), and fibre crops (0.50±0.07). There was evidence that high plant C stocks were found in crops grown under carbon rich clayey soils of tropical humid areas. Natural grasses and cereals should be promoted as they appeared to yield greater potential for atmospheric carbon sequestration in plants and soils. Overall, the study evaluated the relative potential of the main crop types to sequester atmospheric C useful in screening of crop types for carbon efficiency and for development of plant C models.

      PubDate: 2017-04-19T08:16:46Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.04.008
      Issue No: Vol. 243 (2017)
  • Biocontrol on the edge: Field margin habitats in asparagus fields
           influence natural enemy-pest interactions
    • Authors: Adam J. Ingrao; Jason Schmidt; Jeremy Jubenville; Ari Grode; Lidia Komondy; David VanderZee; Zsofia Szendrei
      Pages: 47 - 54
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 June 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 243
      Author(s): Adam J. Ingrao, Jason Schmidt, Jeremy Jubenville, Ari Grode, Lidia Komondy, David VanderZee, Zsofia Szendrei
      We evaluated pest and predator spatial distributions in relation to asparagus field margins, developed molecular gut content analysis methods for two key asparagus pests, and determined trophic links between the two pests and arthropod predators. Our results indicated that the abundance of natural enemies is higher outside asparagus fields than inside, and fields bordered by forests had higher numbers of predators compared to other types of field margins. We screened 3646 field-collected predators from 10 commercial asparagus fields using molecular gut content analysis in 2014 and 2015, and found that 29 arthropod families feed on the two key pests. Significantly more predators positive for the two key pests’ DNA were found in field margins in both years than inside the asparagus field. We highlight the potential significance of unmanaged field margins, particularly forested ones, in providing biocontrol services in agricultural fields.

      PubDate: 2017-04-19T08:16:46Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.04.011
      Issue No: Vol. 243 (2017)
  • The impact of crop parameters and surrounding habitats on different
           pollinator group abundance on agricultural fields
    • Authors: K. Brandt; M. Glemnitz; B. Schröder
      Pages: 55 - 66
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 June 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 243
      Author(s): K. Brandt, M. Glemnitz, B. Schröder
      Pollination is a key ecosystem service. Pollinators, however, are in decline and their service is increasingly threatened. The decline is driven by several factors, most of which are related to agricultural management. However, the complexity of the landscape system, consisting of both cropped and non-cropped areas, makes it difficult to address or even quantify the role of farming practices in pollinator abundance. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to improve our understanding of the relationships between pollinator abundance and their habitat use. We intend to identify and quantify the driving environmental factors that determine pollinator abundance in agricultural landscapes on the crop and landscape scale. These information helps us to design algorithms that can be used as a basis for predicting pollinator abundance on agricultural fields. To integrate varying environmental conditions data sampling was performed on farms in three different regions in Germany. Pollinators were classified into different groups with three aggregation levels. We observed crop parameters as well as landscape parameters in the areas surrounding fields in addition to temporal aspects. Generalized linear models (GLMs) were then calculated. Our results showed that both crop and landscape parameters affect pollinator abundance on agricultural fields. However, the explanatory power of the included parameters varied strongly among the particular pollinator groups and between aggregation levels. Furthermore, differentiation between species groups improves the explanatory power compared to models that are more aggregated. We also found that the temporal match between main activity periods of the particular pollinator groups and resource supply by the crop species is a key factor when analysing pollinator abundance. In conclusion, we demonstrated that the assessment and support of pollination services should be carried out with regard to individual pollinator groups. When studying pollinator abundance, the crop as well as the landscape scale should be addressed. A range of different habitat requirements and different activity periods of the pollinator groups must be covered to maintain pollination services, and therefore both diverse landscapes and diverse crop rotations are of crucial importance.

      PubDate: 2017-04-19T08:16:46Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.03.009
      Issue No: Vol. 243 (2017)
  • Effect of vegetation type on microstructure of soil aggregates on the
           Loess Plateau, China
    • Authors: Dong Zhao; Mingxiang Xu; Guobin Liu; Luyang Ma; Shengmin Zhang; Tiqiao Xiao; Guanyun Peng
      Pages: 1 - 8
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 May 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 242
      Author(s): Dong Zhao, Mingxiang Xu, Guobin Liu, Luyang Ma, Shengmin Zhang, Tiqiao Xiao, Guanyun Peng
      Several types of vegetation restoration have been implemented on the Loess Plateau in China to control soil erosion and improve soil quality. Different revegetation types, however, have varying effects on soil structure; effects on the pore network of aggregates are especially not well understood. We used synchrotron-based high-resolution X-ray micro-computed tomography to quantify the microstructure of soil aggregates under four types of revegetation and an active cropland on the plateau. Five aggregates (3–5mm) collected from the topsoil at each site were scanned at a voxel resolution of 3.25μm, and the aggregate pore structure was visualized and quantified with ImageJ. Total porosities, >75μm porosities, fractions of elongated pores, 3D mass fractal dimensions, and connectivity were higher and the numbers of pores, <75μm porosities, the mean pore-shape factors, and the fractions of regular and irregular pores were lower in the revegetated sites than the control plot. Total porosities, macro-porosities, micro-porosities, fractions of regular pores, and 3D mass fractal dimensions differed significantly among the revegetated sites. We suggest that the fraction of elongated pores can be used as an important indicator for monitoring the recovery of soil structure. 3D mass fractal dimensions differed more than connectivity in the aggregates in the same samples, and thus could be a more sensitive indicator of changes in the pore network. Age and revegetation type both significantly affected the development of soil structure, but revegetation type was more important for the recovery of soil structure. We used a soil structural index (SSI) obtained by principal component analysis to assess the overall quality of soil structure. SSI values were higher in all revegetated sites than the cropland site and differed among the revegetated sites in the order: shrubland>grassland>woodland>pastureland. We recommend shrub plantation and natural grassland for the revegetation of degraded land on the Loess Plateau.

      PubDate: 2017-04-04T20:54:26Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.03.014
      Issue No: Vol. 242 (2017)
  • Long-term Piliostigma reticulatum intercropping in the Sahel: Crop
           productivity, carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling, and soil quality
    • Authors: Matthew B.H. Bright; Ibrahima Diedhiou; Roger Bayala; Komi Assigbetse; Lydie Chapuis-Lardy; Yacine Ndour; Richard P. Dick
      Pages: 9 - 22
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 May 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 242
      Author(s): Matthew B.H. Bright, Ibrahima Diedhiou, Roger Bayala, Komi Assigbetse, Lydie Chapuis-Lardy, Yacine Ndour, Richard P. Dick
      Throughout the Sahel, food insecurity remains a persistent threat. A few studies have shown that Piliostigma reticulatum, a dominant native shrub in parklands from Senegal to Sudan, can positively impact crop yields. However, there are no experiments that measure whether this species can stabilize long-term crop productivity under erratic rainfall. Therefore, an 11-year study of an optimized P. reticulatum intercropping system (1000 shrubs ha−1 with annual coppiced residue soil amendments) was initiated in 2004 in Senegal, West Africa to determine its impacts on crop productivity and soil quality. The experiment was a split-plot factorial design with the main plot shrubs (with and without) and the subplot fertilizer rate (0, 0.5, 1, and 1.5 times the recommended N-P-K rate) with an annual groundnut (Arachis hypogaea) and pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) crop rotation. Yield, biomass, soil carbon, and soil and plant nutrient data from 2011 to 2015 were compared with data from 2004 to 2007. The presence of shrubs increased millet and groundnut yield from 2011 to 2015 and rainfall water use efficiency (WUE) between 2004 and 2015. Without fertilizer addition, the shrub plots had approximately 2 times greater millet yield throughout the duration of this experiment. The presence of shrubs also improved soil quality, as evidenced by significantly greater C in the fraction <53μm and total C in shrub over non-shrub plots. Thus, P. reticulatum intercropping promotes C sequestration. In addition, five macronutrients (N, K, Ca, Mg, S) and two micronutrients (Mn and Cu) were significantly greater in the shrub plots. The results provide strong evidence that intercropping with P. reticulatum is an ecological agroforestry system for the Sahel that can remediate soils, increase crop yields, and buffer climate change.

      PubDate: 2017-04-04T20:54:26Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.03.007
      Issue No: Vol. 242 (2017)
  • Microbial bio-inoculants in Indian agriculture: Ecological perspectives
           for a more optimized use
    • Authors: C.B. Sruthilaxmi; S. Babu
      Pages: 23 - 25
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 May 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 242
      Author(s): C.B. Sruthilaxmi, S. Babu
      Use of microbial biofertilizers, biocontrol agents and biopesticides is in the rise in developing countries like India. Most of the microbial inoculants are isolated from a given soil agro-climatic zone and are mass multiplied and used in agricultural fields all over the country. Inconsistency in the field performance of microbial inoculants can be attributed to issues like adaptability to a non-native soil, negative effects of interaction with existing microbes in crop environment and incompatibility in colonizing different crop hosts, species and varieties. Every crop plant is known to be evolved with its compatible microbiome and hence the introduction of new microbes might have a definitive impact on the microbial balance in the soil and crop environment. Understanding of the microbe-microbe interaction alongside with development of crop specific microbiome blueprints is emphasised. Microbial testing of soil is recommended before cropping season for a more optimized use of biofertilizers and biocontrol agents for an enhanced field performance of microbial inoculants and better crop yields.

      PubDate: 2017-04-04T20:54:26Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.03.019
      Issue No: Vol. 242 (2017)
  • The effect of increased habitat complexity and density-dependent
    • Authors: Radek Michalko; Lenka Petráková; Lenka Sentenská; Stano Pekár
      Pages: 26 - 33
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 May 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 242
      Author(s): Radek Michalko, Lenka Petráková, Lenka Sentenská, Stano Pekár
      Artificially increased habitat complexity can improve the biocontrol service provided by generalist predators as it can reduce intraguild predation (IGP). However, several counteracting mechanisms can buffer the effect of reduced IGP. Here, we investigated whether the cardboard bands installed in pear trees in early winter improve the suppression of the serious pest pear psylla (Cacopsylla pyri) by winter-active spiders (Anyphaena accentuata and Philodromus spp.). We also investigated in laboratory experiments whether the increased abundances of some predators (Philodromus sp.) would result in negative or positive predator-predator interactions and whether the type and/or intensity of interaction is temperature dependent. On average, pear trees with cardboard bands hosted less psylla than control trees. This pattern can be attributed to predation by winter-active spiders, as 45% of individuals were psylla positive using molecular gut-content analysis. However, 58% of Anyphaena spiders were also Philodromus positive. The suppression efficiency for psylla increased asymptotically with the increasing density of winter-active spiders. In the laboratory, the per capita capture rate of philodromids decreased with the density of conspecifics, which translated in an asymptotic increase in predation pressure on the pear psylla. Non-consumptive intra-trophic-level interference was more intense at 12°C than at 7°C. The results show that artificially increasing habitat complexity by installing corrugated cardboard bands around the trunks and branches of pear trees increased predation pressure on the pear psylla as it most likely reduced IGP among winter-active spiders. However, increased intra-trophic-level interference due to increased abundances of spiders reduced their per capita capture rate and caused only an asymptotic increase in the overall predation pressure on the pest. The installation of corrugated cardboard bands around trees could represent an environmentally-friendly management practice in fruit orchards that improves the biocontrol service provided by generalist predators.

      PubDate: 2017-04-04T20:54:26Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.03.025
      Issue No: Vol. 242 (2017)
  • Bird use of grain fields and implications for habitat management at
    • Authors: Raymond B. Iglay; Bruce N. Buckingham; Thomas W. Seamans; James A. Martin; Bradley F. Blackwell; Jerrold L. Belant; Travis L. DeVault
      Pages: 34 - 42
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 May 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 242
      Author(s): Raymond B. Iglay, Bruce N. Buckingham, Thomas W. Seamans, James A. Martin, Bradley F. Blackwell, Jerrold L. Belant, Travis L. DeVault
      Airport properties often include agricultural land cover that can attract wildlife species hazardous to aircraft, despite recommendations against row crops near air operations areas. However, few studies have directly quantified bird use of corn, wheat, and soybean fields relative to bird-aircraft collision (strike) hazard levels to support land cover recommendations. Therefore, we compared bird use among corn, wheat and soybean fields and predicted that corn and wheat would attract bird species recognized as hazardous to aviation. We also anticipated that soybeans would pose minimal attraction to such birds. Here, hazard ranking (low to extremely high) reflects the percentage of strikes involving a species that resulted in damage to aircraft. We investigated bird use among 22 corn, wheat, and soybean fields near Oak Harbor, OH, using approximately weekly point transects from 2013 to 2014. We used generalized distance sampling models and analysis of variance using distance matrices to determine bird abundance and community responses to row crop land coverages and crop height. We observed 4331 birds of 40 species, with most birds observed in wheat fields (n =2555 birds) and standing stubble (n =2409 birds). Large flocks occurred more in corn and wheat fields than soybean fields, but soybean fields harbored greater cumulative hazard scores than corn, likely due to consistent detections of small, non-flocking birds in soybean fields. Crop type and height had greater influence on medium- and high-hazard level bird species than other hazard levels. Density of medium- and high-hazard level birds increased with increasing crop height in soybean and wheat fields with wheat fields having slightly greater densities than soybeans. Corn fields also had the greatest bird densities in the tallest crop height categories. Categories of very and extremely high-hazard level bird species were rarely detected, but their abundance peaked in crops 0–15cm, similar to low-hazard level bird species. However, model selection results included null models for very and extremely high-hazard level bird species suggesting minimal effects. Overall, our results suggest that all three crop types can harbor birds hazardous to aircraft, and crop height can enhance bird use. Although not directly tested in our study, land management surrounding airports may benefit most from alternative land covers (e.g., biofuel crops), but additional research is necessary.

      PubDate: 2017-04-11T21:01:24Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.03.022
      Issue No: Vol. 242 (2017)
  • Contrasting processes drive alpha and beta taxonomic, functional and
           phylogenetic diversity of orthopteran communities in grasslands
    • Authors: Bertrand Fournier; Arnaud Mouly; Marco Moretti; François Gillet
      Pages: 43 - 52
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 May 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 242
      Author(s): Bertrand Fournier, Arnaud Mouly, Marco Moretti, François Gillet
      Taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversities can respond differently to biotic and abiotic filters. However, biodiversity management tends to focus on a single index, generally taxonomic diversity, assuming a strong positive correlation among biodiversity components across scales. This can result in a mismanagement of functional and phylogenetic diversities with negative consequences for ecosystem functioning and long-term maintenance of services. Understanding the relationships among biodiversity components, how they change across scales and which their main drivers are can lead to more sustainable management of biodiversity and its associated ecosystem services and functions. We used an integrative approach of biodiversity where we investigated alpha and beta taxonomic (TD), functional (FD) and phylogenetic (PD) diversity of orthopteran communities as well as species and functional traits composition and their associated drivers at the local and landscape scales in permanent mesic grasslands of the French Jura Mountains. We assessed whether orthopteran TD, FD and PD were positively correlated. We also determined the drivers of TD, FD and PD and their changes across scales and among indices using data related to soil, agricultural practices, elevation, and biotic interactions with plants. Our results showed that (i) elevation was a strong driver of orthopteran community trait composition, (ii) orthopteran alpha TD, FD and PD were correlated among themselves and increased with plant species richness, and (iii) local beta diversity was not correlated with alpha diversity. Beta diversity had different drivers at local and landscape scale: it was influenced by soil chemistry and texture at the local scale and increased with the difference in elevation among plots at the landscape scale. This study evidences distinct processes driving alpha and beta diversity of orthopteran communities at both the local and landscape scales. It supports the hypothesis that less intensive agricultural practices enhance orthopteran diversity and highlights the importance to consider beta diversity at both local and landscape scale when designing and assessing the management regimes of grassland ecosystems. Prioritizing the importance of the different biodiversity components and spatial scales constitutes an important challenge for sustainable grassland management.

      PubDate: 2017-04-11T21:01:24Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.03.021
      Issue No: Vol. 242 (2017)
  • Edible green infrastructure: An approach and review of provisioning
           ecosystem services and disservices in urban environments
    • Authors: Alessio Russo; Francisco J. Escobedo; Giuseppe T. Cirella; Stefan Zerbe
      Pages: 53 - 66
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 May 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 242
      Author(s): Alessio Russo, Francisco J. Escobedo, Giuseppe T. Cirella, Stefan Zerbe
      Recently published green infrastructure, nature-based solutions, and ecosystem disservices (ED) literature have focused primarily on the supply of urban regulating and cultural ecosystem services (ES). Other literature on urban and peri-urban agriculture has mostly studied the role of localized, intensive agricultural practices in providing food to inhabitants. The aim of this review is to raise awareness and stress the knowledge gap on the importance of urban provisioning ES, particularly when implementing an edible green infrastructure (EGI) approach as it can offer improved resilience and quality of life in cities. We compiled and systematically analyzed studies on urban ES and ED related to a number of EGI typologies. Our systematic review of the relevant literature via an EGI framework, identified more than 80 peer-reviewed publications that focused on ES and food production in urban areas. An EGI approach can contribute socially, economically, and environmentally to urban sustainability and food security. However, such benefits must be weighed against ED trade-offs, including: potential health risks caused by human exposure to heavy metals and organic chemical contaminants often present in urban surroundings. We conclude with recommendations and guidelines for incorporating EGI into urban planning and design, and discuss novel areas for future research.

      PubDate: 2017-04-11T21:01:24Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.03.026
      Issue No: Vol. 242 (2017)
  • Can afforestation with Cupressus lusitanica restore soil C and N stocks
           depleted by crop cultivation to levels observed under native systems?
    • Authors: Rogers Wainkwa Chia; Dong-Gill Kim; Fantaw Yimer
      Pages: 67 - 75
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 May 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 242
      Author(s): Rogers Wainkwa Chia, Dong-Gill Kim, Fantaw Yimer
      This study quantified changes in soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen (STN) stocks from the conversion of natural forest to crop field followed by afforestation of these fields. Soil (0–100cm), leaf and fine roots were collected in the natural forest, the adjacent to 50-year-old crop fields converted from the natural forest, and 5, 8, and 17-year-old Cupressus lusitanica plantation sites (hereafter P5, P8 and P17, respectively) established on the converted crop fields in Southern Ethiopia. Soil and leaf pH, soil texture, bulk density, fine root mass, and SOC and STN contents and stocks were determined. The results showed that soil pH was lower and clay fraction was higher in P17 site than natural forest. Leaf pH of Cupressus lusitanica in plantation sites was lower than those of trees in natural forest. Fine root mass was greater in the plantation sites than the crop field. Soil bulk density (0–40cm) was higher in the crop fields than the natural forest but there was no significant difference between crop field and plantation sites. SOC and STN stocks (0–100cm) were higher in the natural forest than the crop field and all plantation sites and there was no significant difference between the crop field and all plantation sites. Overall, SOC and STN stocks decreased by 22.9% and 40.3%, respectively, in conversion of natural forest to crop field. However, after 17 years of afforestation, the crop field showed no change of stocks. The results suggest that afforestation in agricultural lands may not guarantee, or take a long period, to restore SOC and STN to the original natural forest level.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2017-04-11T21:01:24Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.03.023
      Issue No: Vol. 242 (2017)
  • Effects of long-term application of mineral and organic fertilizers on
           dynamics of nitrogen pools in the sandy soil of the Sahel region, Niger
    • Authors: Kanako Suzuki; Ryoichi Matsunaga; Keiichi Hayashi; Naruo Matsumoto; Satoshi Tobita; André Bationo; Kensuke Okada
      Pages: 76 - 88
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 May 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 242
      Author(s): Kanako Suzuki, Ryoichi Matsunaga, Keiichi Hayashi, Naruo Matsumoto, Satoshi Tobita, André Bationo, Kensuke Okada
      Our study on soil N dynamics was conducted in the rainy season of 2005 and 2006. It focused on the effects of soil managements with sole and combined applications of mineral and organic fertilizers in the long-term experiment conducted since 1993 in the Niamey Center of the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, Niger. Treatments were established with each three input levels of chemical fertilizer as urea and SSP, pearl millet residue, and cattle manure. The lowest and highest levels were focused in our study. Treatments with 2700kgha−1 of applied crop residue showed high total N in the soil surface (< 30cm), but did not show any change in the deeper layer (> 30cm) or seasonal changes. Phosphate-buffer extractable organic nitrogen (PEON) as an indicator to estimate available N in the soil was not affected by the different treatments; however, similar seasonal changes were identified in all treatments. PEON in soil surface was high right before the rainy season began, then gradually decreased with increasing rainfall and remained at approx. 10mgkg−1 until the end of the season. In deeper layer, leaching was identified after heavy rainfall but at least 5mgkg−1 of PEON remained during the season. Inorganic N (NO3 N plus NH4 N) increased in the soil surface right after fertilizer application but its effect disappeared in a few weeks. The ‘Birch effect’ affected the fluctuations of PEON and inorganic N at the start of rains in the Sahel region of Niger.

      PubDate: 2017-04-11T21:01:24Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.03.004
      Issue No: Vol. 242 (2017)
  • Evaluating livestock mobility as a strategy for climate change mitigation:
           Combining models to address the specificities of pastoral systems
    • Authors: Aurore Vigan; Jacques Lasseur; Marc Benoit; Florent Mouillot; Maguy Eugène; Laura Mansard; Mathieu Vigne; Philippe Lecomte; Céline Dutilly
      Pages: 89 - 101
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 May 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 242
      Author(s): Aurore Vigan, Jacques Lasseur, Marc Benoit, Florent Mouillot, Maguy Eugène, Laura Mansard, Mathieu Vigne, Philippe Lecomte, Céline Dutilly
      Pastoral farming systems have always adapted to the seasonal availability of forage resources and climate variability by moving animals. However, the role of animal mobility as a possible mitigating strategy in response to climate change has not been clearly documented. To understand this role, we investigated (i) the major methodological challenges linked to the diversity of grazing areas and other forage resources exploited by these systems and enteric emissions of methane; (ii) the impacts of grazing practices (carbon sequestration/emission) on soil and biomass carbon fluxes. We developed an approach based on two existing models (OSTRAL: Outil de Simulation du TRoupeau ovin ALlaitant and CASA: Carnegie Ames Stanford Approach) that we adapted and used in combination. This approach was applied to three French Mediterranean sheep and crop farming systems with different degrees of flock mobility (sedentary, single transhumance and double transhumance). The preliminary results produced by the whole farm model OSTRAL showed that two systems (sedentary and double transhumance) causing low carbon emissions. In the sedentary system, higher animal productivity offsets the increase in GHG emissions (in CO2eq) caused by feed production. In the pastoral system, grazing reduced total GHG emissions (in CO2eq). The CASA model proved to be useful to simulate the carbon balance under dynamic land cover in natural environments, whether used for grazing or not. This model can help assess the impact of grazing practices and carbon fluxes in systems linked to natural environments. The results of the first application showed that seasonal mobility of livestock increases the contribution of rangeland to feeding systems and improves the non-renewable energy balance of the system. It is thus extremely important to include the specificities of animals grazing in rangelands outside the structural limits of the farm when evaluating GHG emissions.

      PubDate: 2017-04-19T08:16:46Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.03.020
      Issue No: Vol. 242 (2017)
  • A major subtropical fruit pest accumulates in crop fields and spills over
           to a wild host
    • Authors: Courtney Moxley; Wiebke Lammers; F.J. Frank van Veen; Elisa Thébault; Karen J. Esler; Colleen L. Seymour
      Pages: 102 - 109
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 May 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 242
      Author(s): Courtney Moxley, Wiebke Lammers, F.J. Frank van Veen, Elisa Thébault, Karen J. Esler, Colleen L. Seymour
      Wild plant species are often considered a source of crop pests in mixed landscapes but this view rarely considers pest spillover in the opposite direction (from crop fields to natural vegetation), or spatiotemporal variability in resources between crop and wild habitats. We investigate how infestation of mango crop (Mangifera indica, Anacardiaceae) and a related wild host (marula, Sclerocarya birrea, Anacardiaceae) by a major subtropical fruit crop pest (Ceratitis cosyra, Diptera: Tephritidae) varies with distance from the boundary between crop and natural vegetation. We determined how infestation of marula is associated with proximity to mango crops at field and landscape scales over two fruiting seasons on three farms in north-eastern South Africa. This is one of few studies to date to consider pest spillover from crop fields to natural vegetation and the only one performed in a biodiverse region with relatively little habitat transformation. Over three sampling periods, C. cosyra infestation of marula always decreased with distance from mango fields. At the landscape scale, marula alongside crop fields were 30 times more likely to be infested than in distant vegetation (1.3–6km from mango), suggesting that spillover occurs from crop fields to natural vegetation. During late mango and marula fruiting, twice as many flies infested marula than mango. However, over the two months post-mango fruiting, up to 25 times more C. cosyra were trapped in mango fields than in bordering natural vegetation. Although pests spillover from crop fields into natural vegetation to use marula as an alternate host, biological control in the natural vegetation may eliminate this habitat as a pest reservoir outside the crop season. Other nearby crops may be more important than wild hosts for maintaining C. cosyra out of mango season. Landscape planning should consider proximity and arrangement of fields containing crops that host shared pests at different times of the year.

      PubDate: 2017-04-19T08:16:46Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.03.024
      Issue No: Vol. 242 (2017)
  • A biodiversity-friendly rotational grazing system enhancing
           flower-visiting insect assemblages while maintaining animal and grassland
    • Authors: Simone Ravetto Enri; Massimiliano Probo; Anne Farruggia; Laurent Lanore; André Blanchetete; Bertrand Dumont
      Pages: 1 - 10
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 April 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 241
      Author(s): Simone Ravetto Enri, Massimiliano Probo, Anne Farruggia, Laurent Lanore, André Blanchetete, Bertrand Dumont
      Grazing management is an important tool to preserve insect biodiversity. Although literature has discussed the importance of grazing pressure adjustment to support grassland insect communities for the ecosystem services they provide, little has been published on the economic sustainability of such management adjustments to date. This study compared continuous grazing (CG) to an innovative rotational grazing system (the biodiversity-friendly rotation – BR), where a subplot was excluded from grazing for two months during the main flowering period. The effects of grazing two different species (cattle and sheep) within both systems were also evaluated. The aims were to assess the effects on butterfly, bumblebee, and ground beetle assemblages, along with the impact on herbage mass and animal performance. The BR enhanced both the abundance and species richness of flower-visiting insect assemblages and it was observed that cattle provided better results than sheep grazing. A multivariate redundancy analysis highlighted that most of the flower-visiting species (including almost all the endangered and locally rare species) were favoured by BR-cattle treatment, mainly due to the high percentage of flower cover and sward heterogeneity involved in this treatment. However, grazing system and grazer species did not affect ground beetle species richness or abundance. Moreover, herbage mass and animal performance (live weight and body condition score) were comparable between CG and BR throughout the grazing season. The BR could be a useful management system to enhance grassland flower-visiting insect assemblages whilst meeting farm production objectives, especially in protected environments where insect conservation is a major target.

      PubDate: 2017-03-10T06:46:34Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.02.030
      Issue No: Vol. 241 (2017)
  • Lime and phosphogypsum impacts on soil organic matter pools in a tropical
           Oxisol under long-term no-till conditions
    • Authors: Antonio C.A. Carmeis Filho; Chad J. Penn; Carlos A.C. Crusciol; Juliano C. Calonego
      Pages: 11 - 23
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 April 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 241
      Author(s): Antonio C.A. Carmeis Filho, Chad J. Penn, Carlos A.C. Crusciol, Juliano C. Calonego
      Improving soil organic matter (SOM) quality in tropical acid soils is important for increasing the sustainability of agricultural ecosystems. This research evaluated the effect of the surface application of lime and phosphogypsum on the quality and amount of SOM in a long-term crop rotation under no-till conditions. The research was performed in a kaolinitic, thermic Typic Haplorthox for 12 years with annual crops under no-till. The treatments included no soil amendments, and amendment with phosphogypsum, lime, and lime+phosphogypsum. After three applications of soil amendments (2002, 2004, and 2010), surface liming increased the SOM input through addition of aboveground and root biomass, varying amount according to crop species, growing season, and soil depth. Although phosphogypsum had no effect on plant biomass production, the application of phosphogypsum with lime increased nitrogen (N) by up to 50% in the uppermost soil depths. The application of lime alone significantly increased the total organic carbon (TOC) at all depths, although the greatest effects were observed at 0.10–0.20 and 0.20–0.40m, with an increase of 44% and 41%, respectively. Moreover, lime+phosphogypsum also exhibited the highest potential for C mineralization, which was attributed to an increased proportion of TOC as particulate organic carbon (POC). The proportion of TOC as humin and fulvic acid increased with the application of lime+phosphogypsum at 0–0.05m, with an increase from 55% to 92% and from 1.4% to 1.6%, respectively. Overall, the combination of lime and phosphogypsum increased both the labile and stable C pools.

      PubDate: 2017-03-10T06:46:34Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.02.027
      Issue No: Vol. 241 (2017)
  • The impact of biogas plants on regional dynamics of permanent grassland
           and maize area—The example of Hesse, Germany (2005–2010)
    • Authors: Nicola Lüker-Jans; Dietmar Simmering; Annette Otte
      Pages: 24 - 38
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 April 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 241
      Author(s): Nicola Lüker-Jans, Dietmar Simmering, Annette Otte
      The fostering of bioenergy by European and German energy policies in recent years has led to a strong increase in the cultivation of energy crops, especially maize for biogas production. Contemporaneously, in Germany the area of permanent grassland has significantly decreased. In this context, energy maize is often discussed to affect the conversion of grassland. The aim of this study was to examine the area changes of maize and permanent grassland and to analyse if there is a relationship to biogas plants. For comparison, livestock farming as another possible influencing factor was implemented, too. The study was conducted at two spatial levels: the first was the German federal state Hesse as a whole, the second were five Hessian sub-regions clustered by prevailing agricultural land use and land-use change from 2005 to 2010. Correlation and regression analyses revealed the association of biogas plants and livestock density to three variables of agricultural land use, i.e. maize area, expansion of maize area and conversion of permanent grassland to arable land. Negative correlations between biogas plants and maize area were significant for Hesse and three sub-regions (−0.21 to −0.42). However, the positive correlations between livestock density and maize area were higher (0.33–0.66). Biogas plants were considerably negative related to the expansion of maize area on all spatial levels (−0.29 to −0.42). Conversion of grassland was less but still significantly related to biogas plants and livestock density. Biogas plants and livestock density can serve as an indicator for land-use change, especially for permanent grassland and maize area.

      PubDate: 2017-03-10T06:46:34Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.02.023
      Issue No: Vol. 241 (2017)
  • Informing climate adaptation pathways in multi-use woodland landscapes
           using the values-rules-knowledge framework
    • Authors: Suzanne M. Prober; Matthew J. Colloff; Nick Abel; Steve Crimp; Michael D. Doherty; Michael Dunlop; David J. Eldridge; Russell Gorddard; Sandra Lavorel; Daniel J. Metcalfe; Helen T. Murphy; Paul Ryan; Kristen J. Williams
      Pages: 39 - 53
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 April 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 241
      Author(s): Suzanne M. Prober, Matthew J. Colloff, Nick Abel, Steve Crimp, Michael D. Doherty, Michael Dunlop, David J. Eldridge, Russell Gorddard, Sandra Lavorel, Daniel J. Metcalfe, Helen T. Murphy, Paul Ryan, Kristen J. Williams
      An emerging planning framework for climate adaptation focuses on interactions among societal values, institutional rules and scientific and experiential knowledge about biophysical impacts of climate change and adaptation options. These interactions shape the decision context that can enable or constrain effective adaptation. To illustrate the operationalisation of this ‘values-rules-knowledge’ (VRK) framework we developed biophysical adaptation pathways for agricultural landscapes of south-eastern Australia, which are expected to become warmer and drier under climate change. We used the VRK framework to identify potential constraints to implementing the pathways. Drawing on expert knowledge, published literature, biodiversity modelling and stakeholder workshops we identified potential adaptation pathways for (1) the production matrix, (2) high conservation value remnant eucalypt woodlands, and (3) woodland trees. Adaptation options included shifts from mixed cropping-grazing to rangeland grazing or biomass enterprises; promoting re-assembly of native ecological communities; and maintaining ecosystem services and habitat that trees provide. Across all pathways, applying the VRK framework elucidated fifteen key implementation constraints, including limits to farm viability, decreasing effectiveness of environmental legislation and conflicting values about exotic plants. Most of the constraints involved interactions among VRK; 13 involved rules, eight involved values, and seven involved knowledge. Value constraints appeared most difficult to address, whereas those based on rules or knowledge were more tangible. The lower number of knowledge constraints may reflect the scale of our analysis (which focused on decision points in pre-defined pathways); new knowledge and participatory approaches would likely yield a richer set of scenarios. We conclude that the VRK framework helps connect the biophysical knowledge-based view of adaptation with a perspective on the need for changes in social systems, enabling targeting of constraints to adaptation. Our focus on pathways and decision points in different sectors of the multi-use landscape highlighted the importance of group and higher level planning and policy for balancing the collective outcomes of multiple decisions by many land managers.

      PubDate: 2017-03-10T06:46:34Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.02.021
      Issue No: Vol. 241 (2017)
  • Effects of free-ranging cattle and landscape complexity on bat foraging:
           Implications for bat conservation and livestock management
    • Authors: L. Ancillotto; A. Ariano; V. Nardone; I. Budinski; J. Rydell; D. Russo
      Pages: 54 - 61
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 April 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 241
      Author(s): L. Ancillotto, A. Ariano, V. Nardone, I. Budinski, J. Rydell, D. Russo
      Traditional agropastoralism increases biodiversity by maintaining habitats whose existence depends on human practices as well as by providing wildlife, including bats, with key spatial and trophic resources. Bats in farmland are crucial predators of crop pests, thus offering an economically important ecosystem service. It seems possible that bats may also provide services by feeding on insects associated with livestock. We tested whether bats forage over cattle in a traditionally managed pastoral area of central Italy, i.e. setting the bases for providing pest control services. We found that small bat species (mostly Pipistrellus spp.) foraged preferentially over livestock, and that their activity increased, but then reached a plateau or slightly decreased, for progressively larger herds. Landscape complexity also led to an increase in bat activity over livestock. Since insects attracted to cattle at night typically include flies such as mosquitoes (Culicidae) and biting midges (Ceratopogonidae), which are potentially harmful to cattle and may carry serious diseases, and that bats such as Pipistrellus spp. are important predators of such flies, we argue that bats may play a valuable pest-suppression role.

      PubDate: 2017-03-10T06:46:34Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.03.001
      Issue No: Vol. 241 (2017)
  • Relative effects of landscape composition and configuration on
           multi-habitat gamma diversity in agricultural landscapes
    • Authors: Rémi Duflot; Aude Ernoult; Stéphanie Aviron; Lenore Fahrig; Francoise Burel
      Pages: 62 - 69
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 April 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 241
      Author(s): Rémi Duflot, Aude Ernoult, Stéphanie Aviron, Lenore Fahrig, Francoise Burel
      Landscape composition and configuration are considered important factors influencing biodiversity in agricultural landscapes. Evaluating the relative importance of each component is complicated because they are often correlated. Overcoming this problem could lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms that drive biodiversity and help to determine effective actions. Usually, landscape-biodiversity relationships are studied at the local scale for a single habitat type (alpha diversity). However, for a better understanding of ecological processes at the landscape scale, it is also important to look at the overall diversity at the landscape level, including all habitat types. The present study was conducted to determine the relative effects of landscape composition and configuration on multi-habitat gamma diversity of carabid beetles and vascular plants in an agricultural region of western France. Twenty 1km2 landscapes were sampled for plants and carabids. Data from 10 sampling sites representing crop fields, grasslands and woody covers in each landscape were pooled to obtain the total multi-habitat gamma diversity. Results showed that both landscape composition and configuration influenced carabid communities, while only landscape composition affected plant communities. Carabid species richness increased with increasing length of edge between crops and grasslands. Plant richness was negatively and positively affected by the percentage of crops and grasslands respectively. Carabid species composition was more dissimilar between landscapes with increasing difference in percentage of woody covers and crops, and length of grassy-crop edge. Plant species composition was more dissimilar between landscapes with a greater difference in percentage of crops. These results suggest grassy-crop adjacencies may enhance processes of resource complementation between habitats for carabids, while habitat availability and quality are the main factors for plants. This approach provided new insights for sustaining overall biodiversity in agricultural landscapes: e.g. encourage adjacencies between grasslands and crop fields and continue to subsidise grasslands for plant diversity.

      PubDate: 2017-03-10T06:46:34Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.02.035
      Issue No: Vol. 241 (2017)
  • Biochar compound fertilizer increases nitrogen productivity and economic
           benefits but decreases carbon emission of maize production
    • Authors: Jufeng Zheng; Jiming Han; Zhiwei Liu; Wenbin Xia; Xuhui Zhang; Lianqing Li; Xiaoyu Liu; Rongjun Bian; Kun Cheng; Jinwei Zheng; Genxing Pan
      Pages: 70 - 78
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 April 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 241
      Author(s): Jufeng Zheng, Jiming Han, Zhiwei Liu, Wenbin Xia, Xuhui Zhang, Lianqing Li, Xiaoyu Liu, Rongjun Bian, Kun Cheng, Jinwei Zheng, Genxing Pan
      While biochar use for soil amendment has been widely tested in world agriculture, little is known on crop production, greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions and economic performance of biochar used as compound fertilizer (BCF) combined with chemical nutrients. Using a field experiment in a low fertility Inceptisol from North China Plain, changes under different combinations with BCF in maize (Zea mays L.) growth, in grain yield and in GHGs emission were examined, as well as economical net farm income impact was analyzed. The treatments included: No fertilizer (Blank), inorganic compound fertilizer in 100% N dose (ICF-N) as control, combination of BCF and ICF in 100% N dose (BCFj-N, 40% of N derived from BCF) and in 80% N dose (BCFj-Nr, 50% of N derived from BCF) as well as BCF in 100% N dose (BCF-N, all N derived from BFC). Soil properties, agronomic traits and grain yield were measured at harvest while soil GHG emissions monitored across the whole growing season as well as cost-benefit analysis performed using the sale prices of all fertilizer inputs and grain outputs, for a single maize production cycle. Results showed that BCF significantly increased grain yield by 10.7% and carbon efficiency by 46.2%% of maize production, compared to the ICF. Meanwhile, BCF with full N provided exerted a 43.1% increase in nitrogen agronomic use efficiency, a 12% increase in net income and in cost efficiency, over the ICF. However, the fertilization partly combined with BCF did not exert positive effects. These benefits of BCF fertilization could be attributed partly to soil improvement especially of moisture regime and phosphorus supply for maize growth, apart from its potential to slow nutrient release for prolonged supply to plant nutrition. Our findings suggest that biochar compound fertilizers can substitute chemical fertilizers for maize production in North China and allow farmers to receive higher net income via increased yields.

      PubDate: 2017-03-17T10:40:39Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.02.034
      Issue No: Vol. 241 (2017)
  • Influence of elevated soil temperature and biochar application on organic
           matter associated with aggregate-size and density fractions in an arable
    • Authors: Dennis Grunwald; Michael Kaiser; Simone Junker; Sven Marhan; Hans-Peter Piepho; Christian Poll; Chris Bamminger; Bernard Ludwig
      Pages: 79 - 87
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 April 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 241
      Author(s): Dennis Grunwald, Michael Kaiser, Simone Junker, Sven Marhan, Hans-Peter Piepho, Christian Poll, Chris Bamminger, Bernard Ludwig
      The effects of biochar amendments under elevated soil temperatures on the dynamics of soil organic matter are largely unknown. The objective of this study was to analyze the effect of biochar application and elevated soil temperature on the amount and composition of organic matter (OM) associated with soil fractions of different OM turnover rates. Samples were taken from four treatments of the Hohenheim Climate Change Experiment with the factors temperature (ambient or elevated by 2.5°C, initiated in 2008) and biochar (control and 30tha−1 Miscanthus pyrolysis biochar, corresponding to approximately 12.4–13.9g biochar kg−1 soil, applied in 2013) in two depths (0–5 and 5–15cm) in August 2014. Microbial biomass C (Cmic) and basal respiration were analyzed within an incubation experiment. Aggregate-size fractions were separated by wet-sieving and the free light (fLF), occluded light (oLF) and heavy fractions were isolated by density fractionation. All fractions were analyzed for organic carbon (OC), δ13C and by infrared spectroscopy. Cmic was significantly (p≤0.05) increased by elevated temperature in both depths and no biochar-C was found in the microbial biomass. Biochar significantly increased basal respiration by 24–68%. Biochar and elevated temperature had no significant effects on the OC associated with aggregate-size classes, although small amounts of biochar were incorporated into all fractions already after one year of application. Biochar application markedly increased the OC associated with the fLF and oLF. The proportion of CO groups of the aggregates >250μm and 250–53μm and of the oLF was significantly increased in the biochar treatments. The results suggest that already within one year, biochar-mineral interactions had occurred which had led to an aggregate occlusion of the applied biochar as revealed by the results for the oLF. At least in the short-term, the effects of biochar on the amount and composition of OM associated with different aggregate-size and density fractions do not seem to be affected by elevated soil temperatures.

      PubDate: 2017-03-17T10:40:39Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.02.029
      Issue No: Vol. 241 (2017)
  • Specific interactions leading to transgressive overyielding in cover crop
    • Authors: Marina Wendling; Lucie Büchi; Camille Amossé; Bernard Jeangros; Achim Walter; Raphaël Charles
      Pages: 88 - 99
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 April 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 241
      Author(s): Marina Wendling, Lucie Büchi, Camille Amossé, Bernard Jeangros, Achim Walter, Raphaël Charles
      Growing mixtures of species instead of sole crops is expected to increase the ecosystem services provided by cover crops. This study aimed at understanding the interactions between species and investigating how they affect the performance of the mixture. Four species were combined in six bispecific mixtures in a field experiment. The performance of each species when grown in a mixture was compared to its performance as a sole crop at different sowing densities, to characterise the influence of intra- and interspecific competition for each species. Intra- and interspecific competition coefficients were quantified using a response surface design and the hyperbolic yield-density equation. Interactions between the four species ranged from facilitation to competition. Most of the mixtures exhibited transgressive overyielding. Without nitrogen (N) fertilisation, high complementarity between species allowed to achieve the highest biomass. With N fertilisation, high dominance of one mixture component should be avoided to achieve good performance. A revised approach in the use of the land equivalent ratio for the evaluation of cover crop mixtures is also proposed in this study. It allows to better identify transgressive overyielding in mixtures and to better characterise the effect of one species on the other within the mixture.

      PubDate: 2017-03-21T14:42:05Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.03.003
      Issue No: Vol. 241 (2017)
  • The assessment of nitrate leaching in a rice–wheat rotation system using
           an improved agronomic practice aimed to increase rice crop yields
    • Authors: Min Zhang; Yuhua Tian; Miao Zhao; Bin Yin; Zhaoliang Zhu
      Pages: 100 - 109
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 April 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 241
      Author(s): Min Zhang, Yuhua Tian, Miao Zhao, Bin Yin, Zhaoliang Zhu
      To increase the rice yield and nitrogen (N) use efficiency (NUE), an integrated agronomic practice, including rapeseed cake addition, increased fertilizer frequency, improved irrigation and crop cultivation management, was adopted in the Taihu Lake region of China. The environmental impacts of the whole rice–wheat rotation system have not yet been fully evaluated. Here, a two-rotation field trail system was used to assess the effects of the improved practice adopted in rice season on crop yield and nitrate (NO3 −-N) leaching in the rice–wheat rotation. Four treatment conditions were used—control (CK), conventional (CT), reduced N (RT), and improved (IP). During the rice season, the leaching losses of NO3 −-N in the IP treatment group (2.29–3.88kgNha−1) were lower than those in the CT treatment group (4.11–5.38kgNha−1), and the former had a 28.55% higher crop yield than the latter. Similarly, the RT treatment had lower N leaching loss and a 9.32% higher rice crop yield than the CT treatment. In the wheat seasons, the CT treatment had 41.83% and 38.03% higher NO3 −-N leaching than the RT and IP treatments, respectively, despite the three treatments having the same fertilizer application and field management; and N leaching was strongly affected by chemical N surplus in rice season. The RT treatment had the lowest wheat yield, which was 18.72% and 32.06% lower than the CT and IP treatments, respectively; and wheat yield appeared an exponentially increasing response to N surplus that included organic fertilizer N from rice production. These results indicated that management practices applied in rice season had subsequent effect on N leaching and crop yield of the following wheat season. During the whole rice–wheat rotation system, the IP treatment produced 23.56% higher crop yield and 30.87% lower TN leaching than the CT treatment. The IP treatment also increased chemical NUE by 24.67–31.22% and agronomic efficiency of applied chemical N (AEN) by 17.71–33.4% compared with the CT and RT treatments. Thus, compared with traditional practice and reduced N use management, the improved practice management was more in line with the target of food increase and environmental protection.

      PubDate: 2017-03-21T14:42:05Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.03.002
      Issue No: Vol. 241 (2017)
  • Greenhouse gas emissions along a shelterbelt-cropped field transect
    • Authors: Chukwudi C. Amadi; Richard E. Farrell; Ken C.J. Van Rees
      Pages: 110 - 120
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 April 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 241
      Author(s): Chukwudi C. Amadi, Richard E. Farrell, Ken C.J. Van Rees
      The influence of shelterbelts on soil properties and crop yield at various distances from the shelterbelt have been studied; however, there are no available data detailing the spatial effects from shelterbelts into adjacent cropped fields on soil-derived greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The objective of this study was to quantify, for the first time, changes in soil CO2, CH4 and N2O fluxes along replicate (n=5) transects extending from the center of the shelterbelt to the center of the adjacent agricultural field. The shelterbelt was a 31-year-old, two-row hybrid poplar-caragana shelterbelt located in the parkland region of Saskatchewan Canada. Soil-derived GHG fluxes were measured using non-steady-state vented chambers placed along parallel transects situated within the shelterbelt strip (0H), at the shelterbelt edge (0.2H), at the edge of the adjacent cropped field (0.5H), and in the cropped field at distances of 40m (1.5H) and 125m (5H) from the shelterbelt. Summed over the entire study period, cumulative CO2 emissions were greatest at 0H (8032±502kg CO2-C ha−1) and lowest at 5H (3348±329kg CO2-C ha−1); however, the decrease in CO2 emissions at increasing distances away from the shelterbelt was irregular, with soil temperature and organic carbon distribution being the dominant controls. Soil CH4 oxidation was greatest at 0H (−1447±216g CH4-C ha−1), but decreased as distance from the shelterbelt increased. Conversely, soil N2O emissions were lowest at 0H (345±15gN2O-Nha−1) but increased with increasing distance from the shelterbelt. Patterns of soil CH4 uptake and N2O emissions were strongly correlated with root biomass, and soil temperature and moisture in the upper 30cm of the soil profile. Tree root distribution may be a key factor in determining the spatial range of shelterbelt effect on GHG emissions in adjacent fields

      PubDate: 2017-03-21T14:42:05Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2016.09.037
      Issue No: Vol. 241 (2017)
  • Current extent and stratification of agroforestry in the European Union
    • Authors: Michael den Herder; Gerardo Moreno; Rosa M. Mosquera-Losada; João H.N. Palma; Anna Sidiropoulou; Jose J. Santiago Freijanes; Josep Crous-Duran; Joana A. Paulo; Margarida Tomé; Anastasia Pantera; Vasilios P. Papanastasis; Kostas Mantzanas; Przemko Pachana; Andreas Papadopoulos; Tobias Plieninger; Paul J. Burgess
      Pages: 121 - 132
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 April 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 241
      Author(s): Michael den Herder, Gerardo Moreno, Rosa M. Mosquera-Losada, João H.N. Palma, Anna Sidiropoulou, Jose J. Santiago Freijanes, Josep Crous-Duran, Joana A. Paulo, Margarida Tomé, Anastasia Pantera, Vasilios P. Papanastasis, Kostas Mantzanas, Przemko Pachana, Andreas Papadopoulos, Tobias Plieninger, Paul J. Burgess
      An accurate and objective estimate on the extent of agroforestry in Europe is critical for the development of supporting policies. For this reason, a more harmonised and uniform Pan-European estimate is needed. The aim of this study was to quantify and map the distribution of agroforestry in the European Union. We classified agroforestry into three main types of agroforestry systems: arable agroforestry, livestock agroforestry and high value tree agroforestry. These three classes are partly overlapping as high value tree agroforestry can be part of either arable or livestock agroforestry. Agroforestry areas were mapped using LUCAS Land Use and Land Cover data (Eurostat, 2015). By identifying certain combinations of primary and secondary land cover and/or land management it was possible to identify agroforestry points and stratify them in the three different systems. According to our estimate using the LUCAS database the total area under agroforestry in the EU 27 is about 15.4 million ha which is equivalent to about 3.6% of the territorial area and 8.8% of the utilised agricultural area. Of our three studied systems, livestock agroforestry covers about 15.1 million ha which is by far the largest area. High value tree agroforestry and arable agroforestry cover 1.1 and 0.3 million ha respectively. Spain (5.6 million ha), France (1.6 million ha), Greece (1.6 million ha), Italy (1.4 million ha), Portugal (1.2 million ha), Romania (0.9 million ha) and Bulgaria (0.9 million ha) have the largest absolute area of agroforestry. However the extent of agroforestry, expressed as a proportion of the utilised agricultural area (UAA), is greatest in countries like Cyprus (40% of UAA), Portugal (32% of UAA) and Greece (31% of UAA). A cluster analysis revealed that a high abundance of agroforestry areas can be found in the south-west quadrat of the Iberian Peninsula, the south of France, Sardinia, south and central Italy, central and north-east Greece, south and central Bulgaria, and central Romania. Since the data were collected and analysed in a uniform manner it is now possible to make comparisons between countries and identify regions in Europe where agroforestry is already widely practiced and areas where there are opportunities for practicing agroforestry on a larger area and introducing novel practices. In addition, with this method it is possible to make more precise estimates on the extent of agroforestry in Europe and changes over time. Because agroforestry covers a considerable part of the agricultural land in the EU, it is crucial that it gets a more prominent and clearer place in EU statistical reporting in order to provide decision makers with more reliable information on the extent and nature of agroforestry. Reliable information, in turn, should help to guide policy development and implementation, and the evaluation of the impact of agricultural and other policies on agroforestry.

      PubDate: 2017-03-21T14:42:05Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.03.005
      Issue No: Vol. 241 (2017)
  • Reducing nitrogen leaching in a subtropical vegetable system
    • Authors: Baige Zhang; Qiang Li; Jian Cao; Changyuan Zhang; Zhao Song; Fusuo Zhang; Xinping Chen
      Pages: 133 - 141
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 April 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 241
      Author(s): Baige Zhang, Qiang Li, Jian Cao, Changyuan Zhang, Zhao Song, Fusuo Zhang, Xinping Chen
      Nitrogen (N) leaching is considered a substantial problem in South China vegetable production because of the heavy rainfall and the excessive application of N fertilizer, but quantitative data and effective countermeasures are lacking. A systematic approach to reducing N leaching while maintaining or increasing vegetable yields is urgently needed. A 2-year field study was conducted to quantify N leaching in a subtropical vegetable system (bitter gourd, Momordica charantia L.) in South China and to evaluate how leaching is affected by the following three N management strategies: zero N application (Nno, 0kgNha−1), conventional N management (Ncon, 377kgNha−1, with NH4 +), and optimized N management (Nopt, 300kgNha−1, with a combination of NH4 + and NO3 − at a reduced rate plus nitrapyrin, a nitrification inhibitor). Lysimeter data indicated that 139kgNha−1 per growing season was lost by leaching with Ncon, this represented 36% of the N applied. With Nopt, leaching was reduced by 27.1%, and yield was increased by 25.1%. A combination of NH4 + and NO3 − plus nitrapyrin at a reduced rate increased plant N uptake, maintained a high NH4 +/NO3 − ratio in the soil, and thereby reduced leaching. The alternative N management strategy exemplifies a new way to achieve high yields with low environmental costs in intensive vegetable production systems.

      PubDate: 2017-03-28T14:47:14Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.03.006
      Issue No: Vol. 241 (2017)
  • Activity, diversity and function of arbuscular mycorrhizae vary with
           changes in agricultural management intensity
    • Authors: Charles Bradford Gottshall; Monica Cooper; Sarah M. Emery
      Pages: 142 - 149
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 April 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 241
      Author(s): Charles Bradford Gottshall, Monica Cooper, Sarah M. Emery
      Many beneficial soil microbes are sensitive to chemical and mechanical disturbances associated with conventional row crop agriculture, including arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. AM fungi provide agricultural benefits through multiple mechanisms including increasing crop pathogen resistance, helping with crop nutrient acquisition, and increasing soil carbon storage. Conversion to less intensive row crop agricultural management systems such as biologically-based organic and no-till may reduce the negative effects of conventional management to AM fungi. In this study, AM fungus activity (via glomalin production), spore diversity, community structure, and community stability were surveyed over 20 years in no-till, biologically-based organic, and conventionally managed plots at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station Long Term Ecological Research Site in Michigan, USA. A complementary greenhouse experiment tested for direct effects of AM fungal inocula from these different agricultural management treatments on growth of corn and wheat plants. Soil glomalin increased in no-till and organic management systems, most likely due to decreases in disturbance associated with tillage and chemical inputs. No-till management slightly increased AM fungus diversity and community stability. AM fungus community structure significantly differed between conventional and no-till treatments, with an indicator species analysis showing that Acaulospora spp. were characteristic of conventional management, while Glomus spp. and Gigaspora spp. were associated with no-till management. AM fungal inocula from organically-managed treatments increased wheat, but not corn, growth. Overall, conversion from long-term conventional row crop agricultural management to no-till or biologically-based organic systems increased soil glomalin, but did not uniformly improve AM fungus diversity or crop plant benefits. In the future, novel agricultural systems combining organic management with conservation tillage may further improve AM fungal benefits to soils and crops.

      PubDate: 2017-03-28T14:47:14Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.03.011
      Issue No: Vol. 241 (2017)
  • Meteorological and landscape influences on pollen beetle immigration into
           oilseed rape crops
    • Authors: Matthew P. Skellern; Sue J. Welham; Nigel P. Watts; Samantha M. Cook
      Pages: 150 - 159
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 April 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 241
      Author(s): Matthew P. Skellern, Sue J. Welham, Nigel P. Watts, Samantha M. Cook
      Heavy reliance on pesticide inputs to maintain crop yields has been an important aspect of agricultural intensification. Insecticide use has had detrimental impacts on pollinators and natural pest control agents, contributing to a decline in associated ecosystem services, and has also led to resistance development in pest populations. Throughout Europe, in oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) crops, prophylactic use of insecticides against pollen beetles (Meligethes aeneus F. also known as Brassicogethes aeneus) has led to such issues, and there is an urgent need to develop more sustainable pest management practices for the crop. Although advice is available to oilseed rape growers regarding control thresholds, it may not be adhered to due to the expense of pollen beetle monitoring relative to the inexpensive cost of pyrethroid insecticides. Thus, the key to reducing prophylactic insecticide applications may lie with improved, less labour intensive methods of pollen beetle monitoring. For these to be realized, a better understanding is needed of the effects of agri-landscape features and meteorological conditions on pollen beetle immigration into the crop. In this study, based on data from four years of pollen beetle monitoring on a total of 41 field sites, we model the effects of meteorological (wind speed and direction, rainfall and accumulated temperature) and landscape (areas of woodland, residential gardens, the current and previous seasons’ oilseed rape crops, and lengths of hedgerows and treelines) variables on directional sticky trap catches, at both the single trap and field scales. Meteorological variables, particularly accumulated temperature and wind speed were more important than landscape variables in predicting the abundance of pollen beetles immigrating into OSR fields. Sticky traps that were facing downwind caught more beetles than those that were facing across-wind or upwind; this is the first study to show at a landscape-scale, direct evidence for use of upwind anemotaxis by pollen beetles at the point of entry during immigration into the crop. At the field scale, the area of oilseed rape grown in the previous season was found to be positively related to trap catch, but no relationships with other landscape variables were found. Optimally-placed monitoring traps could complement existing decision support systems to reduce pollen beetle monitoring effort and encourage use of insecticides only when control thresholds are breached, thus enhancing the sustainability of oilseed rape production. Knowledge of the area of oilseed rape crops grown during the previous season in the surrounding landscape could contribute to risk assessment of potential pest pressure for individual OSR crops.

      PubDate: 2017-03-28T14:47:14Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.03.008
      Issue No: Vol. 241 (2017)
  • Neonicotinoid insecticide removal by prairie strips in row-cropped
           watersheds with historical seed coating use
    • Authors: Michelle L. Hladik; Steven Bradbury; Lisa A. Schulte; Matthew Helmers; Christopher Witte; Dana W. Kolpin; Jessica D. Garrett; Mary Harris
      Pages: 160 - 167
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 April 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 241
      Author(s): Michelle L. Hladik, Steven Bradbury, Lisa A. Schulte, Matthew Helmers, Christopher Witte, Dana W. Kolpin, Jessica D. Garrett, Mary Harris
      Neonicotinoids are a widely used class of insecticides that are commonly applied as seed coatings for agricultural crops. Such neonicotinoid use may pose a risk to non-target insects, including pollinators and natural enemies of crop pests, and ecosystems. This study assessed neonicotinoid residues in groundwater, surface runoff water, soil, and native plants adjacent to corn and soybean crop fields with a history of being planted with neonicotinoid-treated seeds from 2008 to 2013. Data from six sites with the same crop management history, three with and three without in-field prairie strips, were collected in 2015–2016, 2–3 years after neonicotinoid (clothianidin and imidacloprid) seed treatments were last used. Three of the six neonicotinoids analyzed were detected in at least one environmental matrix: the two applied as seed coatings on the fields (clothianidin and imidacloprid) and another widely used neonicotinoid (thiamethoxam). Sites with prairie strips generally had lower concentrations of neonicotinoids: groundwater and footslope soil neonicotinoid concentrations were significantly lower in the sites with prairie strips than in those without; mean concentrations for groundwater were 11 and 20ng/L (p =0.048) and <1 and 6ng/g (p =0.0004) for soil, respectively. Surface runoff water concentrations were not significantly (p=0.38) different for control sites (44ng/L) or sites with prairie strips (140ng/L). Consistent with the decreased inputs of neonicotinoids, concentrations tended to decrease over the sampling timeframe. Two sites recorded concentration increases, however, potentially due to disturbance of previous applications or influence from nearby fields where use of seed treatments continued. There were no detections (limit of detection: 1ng/g) of neonicotinoids in the foliage or roots of plants comprising prairie strips, indicating a low likelihood of exposure to pollinators and other insects visiting these plants following the cessation of seed coating use. Offsite transport of neonicotinoids to aquatic systems through the groundwater and surface water were furthermore reduced with prairie strips. This study demonstrates the potential for prairie strips comprising 10% of an agricultural catchment to mitigate the non-target impacts of neonicotinoids.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2017-03-28T14:47:14Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.03.015
      Issue No: Vol. 241 (2017)
  • Effects of hand-hoe tilled conservation farming on soil quality and carbon
           stocks under on-farm conditions in Zambia
    • Authors: V. Martinsen; V. Shitumbanuma; J. Mulder; C. Ritz; G. Cornelissen
      Pages: 168 - 178
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 April 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 241
      Author(s): V. Martinsen, V. Shitumbanuma, J. Mulder, C. Ritz, G. Cornelissen
      Conservation farming (CF) has been promoted in Zambia since the 1980s. Despite long-term practice of CF in Zambia, its effect on soil fertility, including the storage of soil organic matter (SOM), on smallholder farms are inconclusive. Here, we assess the effect of CF as compared to conventional tillage on soil quality parameters on smallholder farms in the Eastern province (EP, 20 sites, two to six years of CF) and Central province (CP, 20 sites, four to twelve years of CF) in Zambia. Soils under CF (minimum tillage hoe basins, crop rotation and residue retention) were compared with adjacent conventional farms (hoe ridges in EP and overall digging or ridge splitting in CP). Only small differences were observed in the soil quality parameters between the CF basins and adjacent conventional plots after maximum 12 years since CF adoption. The concentration of soil organic carbon (%SOC) and carbon (C) stocks did not differ significantly between management practices, with C stocks in CF basins and conventional plots in EP amounting to 4.41 and 4.63kgm−2, respectively, while this is 3.37 and 3.57kgm−2, in CP. Likewise, the %SOC did not differ significantly between soils in the basins and in-between the basins. Both observations indicate that either the annual net accumulation of SOC is very small, or that on-farm surveys involve significant year-to-year changes in the position of the basins. However, the latter is not supported by plant available phosphorus (Bray P) data, which are significantly greater in CF basins than in-between them (12.7 vs 8.3mgkgsoil−1 in CP and 8.5 vs 5.2mgkgsoil−1 in EP), indicating significant Bray P accumulation in CF basins, due to annual fertilizer addition. Amounts of Bray-P in CF basins did not significantly differ from that under conventional management. Overall, our results show small differences in the soil quality parameters between the CF and conventional practices at smallholder farms after maximum 12 years since adoption of CF.

      PubDate: 2017-04-04T20:54:26Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.03.010
      Issue No: Vol. 241 (2017)
  • Dramatic decline in the Swiss arable flora since the 1920s
    • Authors: Nina Richner; Rolf Holderegger; H. Peter Linder; Thomas Walter
      Pages: 179 - 192
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 April 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 241
      Author(s): Nina Richner, Rolf Holderegger, H. Peter Linder, Thomas Walter
      Arable weeds are among those groups of plants that are most threatened in Europe due to management intensification and efficient cleaning of crop seeds in modern agriculture. Plant species loss in arable fields had been assessed in many European countries about 30 years ago, and has gained renewed interest during the last few years. A rich historical data set on plots where arable weeds had historically been recorded in Switzerland enabled the study of changes in arable weed species since the 1920s onward. In total, 232 locations with historical plots were revisited. There, we recorded all plant species and their abundances on 100m2 plots. Across all plots the average number of species per plot declined dramatically by more than 60% during the last 90 years. Most species decreased in frequency, but common species stayed more frequent, while rare species − often characteristic weeds of traditionally managed crop fields − decreased in frequency or even disappeared. Plant groups with increasing species numbers and frequency were mostly neophytes, grasses and species with high nutrient demand. The above mentioned decline in species number and frequency of rare and characteristic weed species suggests that more effective conservation measures than hitherto taken are needed to ensure their preservation.

      PubDate: 2017-04-04T20:54:26Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.03.016
      Issue No: Vol. 241 (2017)
  • Species composition determines forage quality and medicinal value of high
           diversity grasslands in lowland England
    • Authors: Katherine E. French
      Pages: 193 - 204
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 April 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 241
      Author(s): Katherine E. French
      Current intensified livestock production threatens global biodiversity and food security. Increasing the use of semi-natural, species-rich grasslands for grazing and hay-making could serve as a way to bridge biodiversity conservation and livestock production but we know little about the nutritional composition of native grasslands. To determine the effect of grassland biodiversity on forage quality and the potential benefits and limitations of using conservation grasslands for agriculture, I conducted ecological and ethnobotanical research at 30 grassland sites in Oxfordshire, England. Species-richness and composition increased forage dry matter, sugar, and Phosphorus (P) content. Forage from species-rich grasslands contained up to 27% more protein, 56% more Phosphorus (P), 106% more Potassium (K), and 183% more Calcium (Ca) than cereals and conventional hay and met the nutritional requirements of beef cattle, sheep, and horses. Farmers and graziers valued species-rich grasslands were (1) the medicinal effect of specific grassland plants on livestock, (2) affordability, (3) the resilience of species-rich grasslands to drought and flooding, (4) conservation, and (5) marketability of pastoral products. The main factors inhibiting the (continued or increased) agricultural use of species-rich grasslands were restrictions on time of grazing, restrictions on time of hay-cut, and reduced grassland yield and forage quality due to recent increases in invasive plants. More flexible agro-environmental guidelines around species-rich grassland use are necessary to balance the agricultural as well as ecological value of these landscapes.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2017-04-04T20:54:26Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.03.012
      Issue No: Vol. 241 (2017)
  • Changes in runoff chemistry and soil fertility after multiple years of
           cattle winter bale feeding on annual cropland on the Canadian prairies
    • Authors: Gao Chen; Jane A. Elliott; David A. Lobb; Don N. Flaten; Larry Braul; Henry F. Wilson
      Pages: 1 - 13
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 March 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 240
      Author(s): Gao Chen, Jane A. Elliott, David A. Lobb, Don N. Flaten, Larry Braul, Henry F. Wilson
      Feeding cattle on cropland through the winter months using pre-placed fodder bales (bale grazing or in-field bale feeding) has demonstrated economic benefits when compared to confined winter feeding, but very little research has been done to quantify the impacts of recurring cycles of in-field feeding on runoff water quality. In this study, two small watersheds (with and without winter bale grazing; WBG) located in the same annual cropped field in southern Manitoba, Canada were monitored from 2008 to 2016. Winter feeding in the WBG treatment occurred in the winters of 2008/09, 2010/11, 2012/13, and 2014/15. Export of N and P with the WBG treatment was also contrasted with the alternative practice of higher density confined feeding (CF). For WBG, soil fertility was improved, with higher soil test phosphorus (Olsen-P) and soil nitrate (NO3 −-N) following WBG. Exports of N and P with surface runoff were also higher in snowmelt following WBG when compared to the control watershed, primarily due to higher concentrations of particulate N and P, NH4 +-N, and dissolved organic N. Higher P loss from the WBG watershed than from the control watershed persisted in the non-grazing years following each bale grazing. In contrast, concentrations of all forms of nitrogen in runoff consistently returned to levels observed prior to bale grazing following a winter without treatment. Annual runoff export of N and P per animal unit day (AUD) following WBG was comparable to that for two CF sites. Higher annual volumes of runoff were observed from the larger area and lower density bale feeding treatment, but with lower concentrations of N and P in comparison to feedlot sites. If WBG continues to be utilized to improve soil fertility and reduce manure transportation costs, the potential negative impacts on runoff water quality must be considered. Higher volumes of snowmelt runoff per AUD from WBG in comparison to CF sites will make runoff capture options more expensive to implement. WBG timing or siting changes that reduce runoff volume and make retention feasible or that decrease accumulation of P at the soil surface will reduce negative water quality impacts associated with WBG.

      PubDate: 2017-02-18T06:04:08Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.02.003
      Issue No: Vol. 240 (2017)
  • Soil physical quality varies among contrasting land uses in Northern
           Prairie regions
    • Authors: Christina Hebb; Donald Schoderbek; Guillermo Hernandez-Ramirez; Daniel Hewins; Cameron N. Carlyle; Edward Bork
      Pages: 14 - 23
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 March 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 240
      Author(s): Christina Hebb, Donald Schoderbek, Guillermo Hernandez-Ramirez, Daniel Hewins, Cameron N. Carlyle, Edward Bork
      Conversion of native grassland to other agricultural land uses can alter soil properties such as organic matter, but little is known about how this impacts soil physical quality indicators in the mixedgrass and aspen parkland natural subregions of the Canadian prairies. This study evaluated soil physical properties in three land use systems (native grasslands, introduced pastures and annual croplands) at seven sites across south-central Alberta, Canada. Hydraulic conductivity (K), pore size fractions and S-index were derived from moisture retention curves measured using a HYPROP system. Fractal aggregation was determined from the mass-diameter relationship of soil aggregates (0.25–8cm diameter) using 3D laser scanning. All our results, except for K, showed a consistent trend of soil quality differences in the following ranking: native grassland>introduced pasture>annual cropland. Relative to croplands, introduced pastures led to an increase from 9 to 12% in medium-size pores (as median volume fraction of 9–50μm diameter), whereas this pore fraction in native grassland was 19% (Ps<0.001). The S-index also detected clear differences in soil quality among land uses, ranging from very low values in annual cropland (0.020), to intermediate in introduced pasture (0.033), and the greatest in native grassland (0.048). Similarly, native grassland had the most frequent and significant fractal aggregation results, indicating a well-developed hierarchical soil structure under native grassland. Certain dynamic soil properties were associated with inherent soil properties; for example, water content at saturation and K were both correlated with clay content (correlation coefficients≥0.89*). Our results suggest that S-index, fractal aggregation and medium-size pore abundance are robust soil physical quality indicators sensitive to contrasting agricultural land uses in northern temperate prairies.

      PubDate: 2017-02-18T06:04:08Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.02.008
      Issue No: Vol. 240 (2017)
  • Effects of maize stover and its biochar on soil CO2 emissions and labile
           organic carbon fractions in Northeast China
    • Authors: Xu Yang; Jun Meng; Yu Lan; Wenfu Chen; Tiexin Yang; Jun Yuan; Sainan Liu; Jie Han
      Pages: 24 - 31
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 March 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 240
      Author(s): Xu Yang, Jun Meng, Yu Lan, Wenfu Chen, Tiexin Yang, Jun Yuan, Sainan Liu, Jie Han
      Soil labile organic carbon pools are sensitive indicators of soil quality, early changes in soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks, and effects of different soil tillage practices. Impacts of atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on the global climate have encouraged the search for effective alternative methods to promote sustainable agriculture and mitigate climate change. We measured soil CO2 emissions and dissolved organic carbon (DOC), easily oxidizable carbon (EOC), light fraction organic carbon (LFOC), particulate organic carbon (POC), and microbial biomass carbon (MBC) in maize (Zea mays L.) fields treated with maize stover and a maize stover-derived biochar amendment during three consecutive maize growing seasons in a brown earth in Shenyang, China. We considered the following three treatments: CK (application of mineral NPK fertilizer; 120kgNha−1, 60kgP2O5 ha−1, and 60kgK2Oha−1), ST (maize stover application; 7.5tha−1), and BC (7.5tha−1 of maize stover was charred, with a yield of 35% of the original biomass; 2.63tha−1). Both ST and BC treatments received the same fertilization as CK. Mean data of the three-year experiment indicated that the CO2 emissions of ST and BC were significantly higher than CK by 129.7% and 24.4%, respectively. In both ST and BC treatments, SOC and labile organic C fractions were increased. The sensitivities of each labile organic C fraction varied with different treatments. Soil CO2 emissions under biochar addition were significantly lower than that of stover incorporation. Overall, biochar application was a more effective practice based on the comprehensive consideration of improving soil quality and with regard to CO2 mitigation in the experiment.

      PubDate: 2017-02-18T06:04:08Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.02.001
      Issue No: Vol. 240 (2017)
  • Evaluating the ranch and watershed scale impacts of using traditional and
           adaptive multi-paddock grazing on runoff, sediment and nutrient losses in
           North Texas, USA
    • Authors: Jong-Yoon Park; Srinivasulu Ale; W. Richard Teague; Jaehak Jeong
      Pages: 32 - 44
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 March 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 240
      Author(s): Jong-Yoon Park, Srinivasulu Ale, W. Richard Teague, Jaehak Jeong
      Grazing management practices have a significant influence on ecosystem services provided by rangelands. An assessment of hydrologic and water quality impacts of traditional and alternate grazing management practices facilitates adoption of best management practices for long-term sustainability of rangelands. A study was conducted to quantify the runoff, sediment and nutrient losses under traditional continuous and adaptive multi-paddock (MP) grazing management practices in the rangeland-dominated (71% rangeland) Clear Creek Watershed (CCW) in north Texas in the United States using the Agricultural Policy/Environmental Extender (APEX) model. The model was calibrated and validated using observed herbaceous plant biomass and daily soil moisture data at four study ranches in the CCW [two under MP grazing and one each under light continuous (LC) and heavy continuous (HC) grazing practices], and using monthly streamflow, sediment, total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) data measured at the watershed outlet. Both ranch- and watershed-scale results indicated a strong influence of the grazing practice on runoff and water quality. When the grazing management was changed from the baseline MP to HC at one of the study ranches, the simulated average (1980–2013) annual surface runoff, sediment, TN and TP losses increased by 148%, 142%, 144% and 158%, respectively. At the watershed-scale, changing grazing management from the baseline HC to adaptive MP reduced the average annual surface runoff, sediment, TN and TP loads at the watershed outlet by 39%, 34%, 33% and 31%, respectively. In addition, implementation of adaptive MP grazing reduced streamflow during the high flow conditions that have ≤10% exceedance probability, by about 20%, and hence reduced the chances of flooding downstream of the watershed. Adaptive MP grazing was therefore found to be an effective conservation practice on grazing lands for enhancing water conservation and protecting water quality.

      PubDate: 2017-02-18T06:04:08Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.02.004
      Issue No: Vol. 240 (2017)
  • Interactions between conservation agricultural practice and landscape
           composition promote weed seed predation by invertebrates
    • Authors: S. Petit; A. Trichard; L. Biju-Duval; Ó.B. McLaughlin; D.A. Bohan
      Pages: 45 - 53
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 March 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 240
      Author(s): S. Petit, A. Trichard, L. Biju-Duval, Ó.B. McLaughlin, D.A. Bohan
      Assuring future crop yields whilst minimising impacts of agriculture on the environment requires that we adopt managements that replace pesticides by fostering pest regulation. However, large-scale empirical evidence for in-field and landscape properties supporting natural enemy abundance and their regulation of pests, as an ecosystem service in agriculture, is scarce. Using data from 67 arable fields, we examined whether the duration of adoption of in-field conservation agricultural practices (CA) and the landscape context of those arable fields explains the levels of in-field weed seed predation. Our results indicate that landscape and CA, in interaction, do indeed explain a large proportion of the observed variation in weed seed predation in-field. CA practice maintains high in-field abundances of carabids, but only after a period of four years of adoption. Prior to this, carabid abundance was only high for fields in landscapes with high percentage cover of arable crops and/or permanent grassland. Our work shows that the effect of landscape composition is conditional on local in-field management and that both local and landscape scales can be used to enhance the abundance of carabid beetles and the amount of seed predation in arable fields.

      PubDate: 2017-02-24T17:22:30Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.02.014
      Issue No: Vol. 240 (2017)
  • Changes in quantity and quality of soil carbon due to the land-use
           conversion to sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) plantation in southern
    • Authors: Ricardo de Oliveira Bordonal; Rattan Lal; Carlos Cesar Ronquim; Eduardo Barretto de Figueiredo; João Luís Nunes Carvalho; Walter Maldonado; Débora Marcondes Bastos Pereira Milori; Newton La Scala
      Pages: 54 - 65
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 March 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 240
      Author(s): Ricardo de Oliveira Bordonal, Rattan Lal, Carlos Cesar Ronquim, Eduardo Barretto de Figueiredo, João Luís Nunes Carvalho, Walter Maldonado, Débora Marcondes Bastos Pereira Milori, Newton La Scala
      Soil organic carbon (SOC) plays an important role for soil quality and its conservation is affected by the land-use change (LUC) associated with sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) expansion. This study was based on the hypothesis that: (i) LUC from perennial crops (e.g., coffee and citrus) and extensive pasture to sugarcane plantation results in depletions of soil carbon (C) stock and its quality; and (ii) transition of annual crops to sugarcane increases soil C stock and improves its quality. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess changes in soil C stocks and the humification levels of soil organic matter (SOM) upon conversion of different land uses (coffee, citrus, annual crop and pasture) into sugarcane plantation in the Mococa region, northeast of São Paulo state, southern Brazil. The experiment was conducted within commercial farms and experimental design is comprised of a farming system involving four scenarios of land-use transition to sugarcane (e.g., paired areas). Soil samples were collected to a 1-m depth (0–10, 10–20, 20–60 and 60–100cm), and the equivalent layers of 0–20 and 0–100cm were obtained for each paired area. SOC decreased in 3 years ranged from 124.5 to 99.8MgCha−1 for the 0–100cm layer following the conversion of coffee to sugarcane. Conversion of citrus to sugarcane depleted soil C stock from 147.7 to 113.1MgCha−1 for the 0–100cm layer after a 4-year period. Conversion of pasture into sugarcane was comparatively less adverse in terms of soil C stocks, with depletion only for the 0–20cm layer from 30.3 to 17.0MgCha−1 in 8 years. Regarding the conversion from annual crop to sugarcane, there was no difference in soil C stock among land uses at any soil depths. Laser-Induced Fluorescence Spectroscopy (LIFS) showed a high stage of humification of SOM with increase in the magnitude of depletion of soil C stock, and vice versa. Increases in humification stages of SOM were observed from the top to the deepest layers for most of the land-use systems. Overall, conversions of perennial tree crops (e.g., coffee and citrus) into sugarcane increased the humification levels of SOM in sub-soil, except when sugarcane replaced pasture. The latter had lower humification of SOM in the surface layers of soil because of intensive tillage associated with sugarcane planting operations. Thus, the short-term maintenance of straw had a minor impact in improving soil C accumulation as well as reversing the increased oxidation level of SOM induced by sugarcane expansion. Further, our study suggests the need of assessing the impacts of LUC on soil C budget to deep sub-soil layers in agricultural systems. Finally, the data indicate that expansion of sugarcane over coffee and citrus agrosystems may impact the sustainability of ethanol production because of LUC-induced depletion of soil C stock and degradation of soil quality.

      PubDate: 2017-02-24T17:22:30Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.02.016
      Issue No: Vol. 240 (2017)
  • Diversified cropping systems support greater microbial cycling and
           retention of carbon and nitrogen
    • Authors: Alison E. King; Kirsten S. Hofmockel
      Pages: 66 - 76
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 March 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 240
      Author(s): Alison E. King, Kirsten S. Hofmockel
      Diversifying biologically simple cropping systems often entails altering other management practices, such as tillage regime or nitrogen (N) source. We hypothesized that the interaction of crop rotation, N source, and tillage in diversified cropping systems would promote microbially-mediated soil C and N cycling while attenuating inorganic N pools. We studied a cropping systems trial in its 10th year in Iowa, USA, which tested a 2-yr cropping system of corn (Zea mays L.)/soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] managed with conventional fertilizer N inputs and conservation tillage, a 3-yr cropping system of corn/soybean/small grain+red clover (Trifolium pratense L.), and a 4-yr cropping system of corn/soybean/small grain+alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.)/alfalfa. Three year and 4-yr cropping systems were managed with composted manure, reduced N fertilizer inputs, and periodic moldboard ploughing. We assayed soil microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and N (MBN), soil extractable NH4 and NO3, gross proteolytic activity of native soil, and potential activity of six hydrolytic enzymes eight times during the growing season. At the 0–20cm depth, native protease activity in the 4-yr cropping system was greater than in the 2-yr cropping system by a factor of 7.9, whereas dissolved inorganic N pools did not differ between cropping systems (P=0.292). At the 0–20cm depth, MBC and MBN the 4-yr cropping system exceeded those in the 2-yr cropping system by factors of 1.51 and 1.57. Our findings suggest that diversified crop cropping systems, even when periodically moldboard ploughed, support higher levels of microbial biomass, greater production of bioavailable N from SOM, and a deeper microbially active layer than less diverse cropping systems.

      PubDate: 2017-02-24T17:22:30Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.01.040
      Issue No: Vol. 240 (2017)
  • Bumblebee footprints on bird’s-foot trefoil uncover increasing flower
           visitation with land-use intensity
    • Authors: Wiebke Kämper; Nico Blüthgen; Thomas Eltz
      Pages: 77 - 83
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 March 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 240
      Author(s): Wiebke Kämper, Nico Blüthgen, Thomas Eltz
      Wild pollinators are declining in abundance, diversity and richness and this puts the ecosystem function pollination at risk. Here, we investigated how land-use intensity and the three main components of land use used on the study sites (mowing, grazing, fertilisation) affect bumblebee visitation to bird’s-foot trefoil, Lotus corniculatus, using a novel chemistry-based approach that overcomes the limitations of classical visitation monitoring. This approach uses the hydrocarbon footprints left behind by bumblebees that accumulate within the epicuticular wax of flowers. Along with land-use intensity, we investigated whether the small-scale (patch) population density and local abundance of L. corniculatus affected visitation. We found that the amount of footprints, and thus visitation, of bumblebees to L. corniculatus increased with land-use and grazing intensity while traditionally recorded visitation rates did not show such an effect. We further found that the patch density and local abundance of L. corniculatus had no effect on visitation. We conclude that bumblebee visitation to L. corniculatus increased with land use using the novel approach but emphasise that foraging decisions by bumblebees can be affected by many different parameters unrelated to the land-use intensity of a specific site.

      PubDate: 2017-02-24T17:22:30Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.02.013
      Issue No: Vol. 240 (2017)
  • Loss of soil microbial diversity may increase insecticide uptake by crop
    • Authors: Min Zhang; Yongchao Liang; Alin Song; Bing Yu; Xibai Zeng; Ming-Shun Chen; Huaqun Yin; Xiaoxia Zhang; Baoli Sun; Fenliang Fan
      Pages: 84 - 91
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 March 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 240
      Author(s): Min Zhang, Yongchao Liang, Alin Song, Bing Yu, Xibai Zeng, Ming-Shun Chen, Huaqun Yin, Xiaoxia Zhang, Baoli Sun, Fenliang Fan
      Belowground biodiversity is essential for soil functioning, but the effect of belowground biodiversity loss on food safety is unknown. We investigated the loss of soil microbial diversity on insecticides accumulation in Brassica. We manipulated soil biodiversity using the dilution-to-extinction approach in a Brassica-soil-insecticide system, monitored microbial communities via high-throughput sequencing, and identified potential functional microbes. Compared with unsterilized soil, the richness of functional bacteria was reduced by 14.1%, 36.2%, 51.6% and 73.2%, respectively, in the corresponding sterilized soil inoculated with 1-, 10−2-, 10−4- and 10−6-fold diluted soil suspension. The acetamiprid and imidacloprid concentrations increased significantly in Brassica tissues grown in sterilized soil inoculated with 10−6-fold diluted suspension. A bacterial group predominated in functional microbes of soils inoculated with 1-, 10−2- or 10−4-fold diluted suspension, but the relative abundance declined in soil inoculated with a 10−6-fold diluted suspension. Our findings revealed that undesirable impacts by the loss of soil biodiversity at an intermediate level on the accumulation of soil contaminant in plants could be alleviated by microbial functional redundancy through disproportionally complementary growth of specific functional microbial taxa, but severe loss of soil biodiversity would threaten food safety.

      PubDate: 2017-02-24T17:22:30Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.02.010
      Issue No: Vol. 240 (2017)
  • Tree diversity across different tropical agricultural land use types
    • Authors: Taye Jara; Kristoffer Hylander; Sileshi Nemomissa
      Pages: 92 - 100
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 March 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 240
      Author(s): Taye Jara, Kristoffer Hylander, Sileshi Nemomissa
      A recent trend in conservation biology is not only to focus on protected areas of natural vegetation but also on the management of agricultural landscapes, since these landscapes are considered to be of vital importance for overall landscape biodiversity − both through the opportunity for species to thrive there and as conduits for inter-patch dispersal. Since trees are considered to be key structures to enhance biodiversity in agricultural landscapes, we need to understand what factors regulate their occurrences. Farmers choices will decide the composition of land-uses and the associated densities and composition of trees. We compared tree density and tree species composition across eight different land use types replicated in ten agricultural landscapes in relatively humid climates of mid-altitudes (1500–2500m asl) in Ethiopia. In each landscape five transects of 1km divided into 50 plots of 20×20m were surveyed for woody plants. Annual crop plots had a low tree density (of trees >10cm DBH) (6 perha), but since it generally was the most abundant land use type altogether, many tree species were still found there (4–29 per transect in the different landscapes). Most tree species had their highest relative occurrence in the perenial crops land-use type and among the different perenial crop types, plots with coffee were more species rich than plots with khat (Catha edulis) (a stimulant crop increasing in frequency); plots with Eucalyptus trees were intermediate. A few species were more associated with grazing areas and homegardens indicating that a combination of land-uses enhances the overall species diversity in these agricultural landscapes. However, if the trend of increasing areas of khat and Eucalyptus would lead to decreases in shade coffee there is a risk for severe erosion of tree density and species richness across these landscapes with cascading effects on associated biodiversity.

      PubDate: 2017-02-24T17:22:30Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.01.042
      Issue No: Vol. 240 (2017)
  • Particulate capture efficiency of a vegetative environmental buffer
           surrounding an animal feeding operation
    • Authors: William B. Willis; William E. Eichinger; John H. Prueger; Cathleen J. Hapeman; Hong Li; Michael D. Buser; Jerry L. Hatfield; John D. Wanjura; Gregory A. Holt; Alba Torrents; Sean J. Plenner; Warren Clarida; Stephen D. Browne; Peter M. Downey; Qi Yao
      Pages: 101 - 108
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 March 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 240
      Author(s): William B. Willis, William E. Eichinger, John H. Prueger, Cathleen J. Hapeman, Hong Li, Michael D. Buser, Jerry L. Hatfield, John D. Wanjura, Gregory A. Holt, Alba Torrents, Sean J. Plenner, Warren Clarida, Stephen D. Browne, Peter M. Downey, Qi Yao
      Particulate matter emitted from tunnel-ventilated animal feeding operations (AFOs) is known to transport malodorous compounds. As a mitigation strategy, vegetative environmental buffers (VEBs) are often installed surrounding AFOs to capture particulates and induce lofting and dispersion. Currently, point measurements are the primary means by which VEB performance has been investigated. The existing techniques lack spatial and temporal resolution and fail to assign the observed particulate reduction to capture, lofting, or dispersion. This study presents a technique for estimating the capture efficiency of a VEB using lidar and attributes all observed reduction to particulate capture, thereby delineating the effects of capture and lofting. The experiments revealed a capture efficiency ranging from 21 to 74%. Instantaneous lidar scans showed periodic lofting well above the VEB, but when scans were averaged over several hours, the plumes appeared Gaussian. This paper documents experimental evidence quantifying the capture efficiency of a VEB. It also establishes an experimental framework for future studies on the efficacy of various emissions mitigation strategies.

      PubDate: 2017-03-04T07:58:12Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.02.006
      Issue No: Vol. 240 (2017)
  • Economic, policy, and social trends and challenges of introducing oilseed
           and pulse crops into dryland wheat cropping systems
    • Authors: Tai Maaz; J.D. Wulfhorst; Vicki McCracken; John Kirkegaard; David R. Huggins; Ildiko Roth; Harsimran Kaur; William Pan
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 14 April 2017
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment
      Author(s): Tai Maaz, J.D. Wulfhorst, Vicki McCracken, John Kirkegaard, David R. Huggins, Ildiko Roth, Harsimran Kaur, William Pan
      The productivity of semi-arid, cereal-based agroecosystems is inherently limited by water and nutrient availability, with water limitations expected to be exacerbated by climate change. While previous studies have identified agronomic, economic, and environmental benefits of rotating oilseed, pulse, and cover crops with cereals for mitigating the effects of increasing temperatures and water shortages, the successful integration of alternative crops into cereal based systems is contingent upon economic, social, and policy conditions. This paper analyses the historical spatial and temporal trends in crop diversification in three distinct cropping regions, including the Canadian prairies, Australian wheat belt, and the inland Pacific Northwest USA (iPNW). The first objective was to identify key sociological, economic, and policy drivers that corresponded with historical crop intensification and diversification in Canada and Australia over the last 50 years. The second objective was to identify key economic, policy, and social constraints that have historically limited intensification and diversification in the iPNW, a cereal-dominated region. In Canada and Australia, public policy played a critical role in the adoption of alternative crops through investments in research and boundary-spanning agencies, as well as extension and grower-led efforts. Policies also provided incentives for market development and risk management strategies. Grower perceptions of risk, the ability to utilize existing resources and knowledge, and access to markets were important social considerations for crop diversification. Given the competitiveness of wheat in the iPNW, the largest opportunities for diversification in the iPNW would be provided by (1) the adoption of a crop rotation approach to the economics that capture relative commodity prices, yield stability, and the effects of alternative crops on subsequent wheat performance, (2) the transition away from coupled crop insurance to income-supported, whole farm risk management, and (3) the establishment of multi-commodity groups that replace single crop commodity commissions in the interest of market-driven crop diversification.

      PubDate: 2017-04-19T08:16:46Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.03.018
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