Landis, D. A., M. M. Gardiner, and J. Tompkins. 2012. Using native plant species to diversify agriculture. Pages 276-292 in G. M. Gurr, S. D. Wratten, and W. E. Snyder, eds. Biodiversity and Pest Management. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
The human activity of agriculture has pervasive influences on the health of the Earth’s ecosystems. At present, over one-third of Earth’s ice-free land surface is devoted to agriculture and grazing systems (Foley et al., 2007) and the continuing intensification of agriculture is resulting in losses of biodiversity and ecosys-tem function (Flynn et al., 2009; Geiger et al., 2010). Given continued expansion of human populations and the increasing expectation of higher standards of living, agriculture is likely to continue to extend its footprint on the globe. In this context, we explore whether there are ways of sustaining agricultural productivity while also enhancing the range of benefits that humans obtain from the biodiversity in such working landscapes.
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