Agriculture, ecology and the multiple bottom line - Martin Wolfe (Organic Research Centre)Martinwolfe wakelyns


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  • The last word......
  • However, another to introduce a massive amount of variation into a crop, is the production of CCPs or 'Evolutionary Breeding' as Suneson termed it in 1960
  • Agriculture, ecology and the multiple bottom line - Martin Wolfe (Organic Research Centre)Martinwolfe wakelyns

    1. 1. Agriculture, ecology and the multiple bottom line Martin Wolfe The Organic Research Centre and Wakelyns Agroforestry,Suffolk
    2. 2. Interacting Challenges on Food Production Energy trough Population growth Resources scarcity Climate instability Biodiversity services down - simultaneous solutions are needed!
    3. 3. - this is what we survive by - the natural world – or, as it is now frequently termed - Ecosystem Services Provisioning (food and water, materials, energy); Regulating (carbon sequestration, climate regulation, decomposition and detoxification, purification of water and air, pests and diseases, pollination); Supporting (nutrient dispersal and cycling, seed dispersal, primary production); Cultural (spiritual, health and recreational benefits)
    4. 4. Monoculture <ul><li>1) High productivity of few commodities with low labour input; convenience </li></ul><ul><li>2) High financial, environmental and social costs </li></ul><ul><li>3) Major negative effect on biodiversity through replacement, toxicity etc. </li></ul>
    5. 5. Yellow stripe rust of wheat
    6. 6. Boosting evolution of the pathogen (- plants, animals, humans) <ul><li>a . P. striiformis evolved as a spore-producing 'factory' – just to survive </li></ul><ul><li>b. Thus, monoculture encouraged massive population increase in the pathogen (which overcame R vars, fungicides) </li></ul><ul><li>c. Now globalisation of resistance and monoculture has selected </li></ul><ul><li>GREATER AGGRESSION AND WIDER CLIMATE TOLERANCE </li></ul><ul><li>Milus, E.A., Kristensen, K., and Hovmoller, M.S. 2009. Phytopathology 99:89-94. </li></ul>
    7. 7. Agroecological solutions <ul><li>1. Among-crop diversity – in space and time </li></ul><ul><li>2. Within-crop diversity – species, variety, genotype levels </li></ul><ul><li>3. Induced resistance – one role of weeds </li></ul><ul><li>4. For pests – the push-pull approach </li></ul><ul><li>5. For animals - the above and low density </li></ul><ul><li>6. For humans – all of the above.... </li></ul>
    8. 8. Does it have to be this way? <ul><li>Need for a paradigm shift in research and development: </li></ul><ul><li>- to break away from the 'lock-in' to genetic engineering (but not from molecular biology) </li></ul><ul><li>'Lock-in' – see Vanloqueren, G and Baret, P V Research Policy 38 (2009) 971–983 </li></ul><ul><li>“ How agricultural research systems shape a technological regime that develops genetic engineering but locks out agroecological innovations” </li></ul>
    9. 9. Is organic farming the answer? <ul><li>Crop rotation </li></ul><ul><li>Complex clover leys </li></ul><ul><li>Builds-up own crop nutrition </li></ul><ul><li>No herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, growth regulators </li></ul><ul><li>More and larger hedges </li></ul><ul><li>Smaller fields </li></ul><ul><li>More mixed farms </li></ul><ul><li>- all help, but a LONG way to go </li></ul>
    10. 10. Wheat yield trends at Wakelyns <ul><li>Early 90's – pre- organic </li></ul><ul><li>6 – 7 t/ha </li></ul><ul><li>Late 90's – conversion </li></ul><ul><li>5 – 6 t/ha </li></ul><ul><li>Early- mid 00's </li></ul><ul><li>4 – 5 t/ha </li></ul><ul><li>Late 00's </li></ul><ul><li>7 – 8 t/ha </li></ul><ul><li>Most recent </li></ul><ul><li>9 – 10 t/ha </li></ul>NO inputs (other than tractor diesel)
    11. 11. What can ecology offer? DARWIN, C. (1859) On The Origin Of Species By Means Of Natural Selection “ So in the general economy of any land, the more widely and perfectly the animals and plants are diversified for different habits of life, so will a greater number of individuals be capable of there supporting themselves.”
    12. 12. Feed-back systems Linking biodiversity and ecosystems: towards a unifying ecological theory Loreau, M (2010) Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 2010 365, 49-60
    13. 13. Unifying concepts in ecology (Loreau 2010) <ul><li>There are positive correlations between: </li></ul><ul><li>A) DIVERSITY AND STABILITY </li></ul><ul><li>(e.g. wheat populations) </li></ul><ul><li>B) DIVERSITY AND PRODUCTIVITY </li></ul><ul><li>(e.g. large-scale natural grassland projects) </li></ul>
    14. 14. Within-crop diversity: wheat populations POSITIVE Capacity : more phenotypic and genotypic variation Complementation : different genotypes complement each other Compensation : if some fail, others take their place Change : evolutionary shifts in response to selection NEGATIVE Competition : may work against the four ‘Cs’ above.
    15. 15. Y - 36 crosses; Q – 66 crosses; YQ – 107 crosses (Total crosses – 190 rather than 210 because of Bezostaya) (NB Mixtures have only 9 (Y), 12 (Q) or 20 (YQ) fixed components)‏
    16. 16. Resilience Variance in trial performance Populations Mixtures Relative yield difference Postv Postv Negtv Negtv
    17. 17. Project 3: SOLIBAM The SOLIBAM diagram (Strategies for Organic and Low-input Integrated Breeding and Management) – an EU project started in March 2010:
    18. 18. 'MAGIC' populations at NIAB <ul><li>ELITE </li></ul><ul><li>Alchemy, Brompton, Claire, Hereward, Rialto, Robigus, Soissons, Xi19 </li></ul><ul><li>DIVERSE </li></ul><ul><li>Banco, Bersee, Brigadier, Copin, Cordiale, Flamingo, Gladiator, Holdfast, Kloka, Maris Fundin, Robigus, Slejpner, Soissons, Staring, Steadfast, Stetson </li></ul>
    19. 19. Diversity and Productivity Natural grassland experiments
    20. 20. BIODEPTH project: biomass and diversity at eight European sites
    21. 21. Cedar Creek: Biomass and biodiversity improves with time
    22. 22. - and the importance of perenniality
    23. 23. Advantages of long-term perennial grassland versus annual wheat <ul><li>A. Above Ground </li></ul><ul><li>Higher N yield, no inputs </li></ul><ul><li>Perennials dominant, high diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Pollinators, herbivores, detrivores more, more diverse </li></ul><ul><li>B. Below Ground </li></ul><ul><li>Roots longer, deeper </li></ul><ul><li>Food webs more diverse and structured </li></ul><ul><li>Soil: more C and N, better structure, less leaching </li></ul><ul><li>Better water quality (reduced NO3-N load) </li></ul><ul><li>(Glover et al., 2010) </li></ul>
    24. 24. Root biomass below native perennial prairie versus crop land in Kansas (Culman et al. 2010)
    25. 25. - leading to the ultimate step AGROFORESTRY - the integration of tree management into agriculture - and the cultivation of woodland edge
    26. 27. Advantages of tree integration <ul><li>Achieves ecosystem intimacy </li></ul><ul><li>Carbon capture and storage </li></ul><ul><li>Ammonia abatement </li></ul><ul><li>Nutrient cycling </li></ul><ul><li>Produces food, fuel and fibre </li></ul><ul><li>Biodiversity </li></ul><ul><li>Crop and animal protection and nutrition </li></ul><ul><li>Also protects soil, water and air </li></ul><ul><li>Employment opportunities; pension scheme </li></ul><ul><li>Inputs needed: </li></ul><ul><li>Soil, sun, air, water – and some labour </li></ul>
    27. 28. Winter wheat and hazel in 2006
    28. 29. Clover ley in 2008
    29. 30. Potato crop in 2009
    30. 31. Hazel coppice recovery on single row (4 months)
    31. 32. Wheat populations and diverse hardwood trees