Agricultural Intensification

Landscape fragmentation and farming can affect the diversity of plants and pollinators harbored by linear landscape elements (LLE) in agroecosystems. To assess the role of these habitats in sustaining plant-pollinator communities, twenty portions of LLE (road verges) were studied during two consecutive field seasons in the Argentine Pampas.
Elsevier, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, Volume 292, 15 April 2020
Nitrous oxide (N2O) is the most important greenhouse gas produced by agricultural soils and is a byproduct of microbial nitrification and denitrification processes. The N2O emission rates depend on soil, climatic and management factors. The objectives of this study were i) to evaluate N2O emissions during a barley crop period and its subsequent barley-maize interperiod, under two management systems, and ii) to relate the N2O flux rates with soil mineral N content, waterfilled pore space (WFPS) and soil temperature.
Elsevier, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Volume 34, February 2019
There is worldwide concern about the environmental costs of conventional intensification of agriculture. Growing evidence suggests that ecological intensification of mainstream farming can safeguard food production, with accompanying environmental benefits; however, the approach is rarely adopted by farmers. Our review of the evidence for replacing external inputs with ecosystem services shows that scientists tend to focus on processes (e.g., pollination) rather than outcomes (e.g., profits), and express benefits at spatio-temporal scales that are not always relevant to farmers.
Elsevier, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, Volume 254, 15 February 2018
Globally, agriculture has intensified during the past 50 years due to increased mechanization, changes in the timing of farming operations, grassland conversion to cropland, and increased agrochemical inputs. Birds associated with farmlands and grasslands in North America have experienced severe declines over the last several decades, prompting the need for a comprehensive review of the drivers, mechanisms and magnitude of effects on bird populations.
The rapid global conversion of biodiverse landscapes to intensively managed arable fields may decrease microbial diversity and threaten the long-term fertility of native soils. Previous laboratory and experimental studies provide conflicting results: some have recorded declines in overall microbial diversity and certain beneficial microorganisms under intensified cultivation while others report no change (or even increased) diversity. However, few studies have been carried out in actual agricultural fields.
Elsevier, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Volume 8, June 2014
Sub-Saharan Africa needs to produce more food, feed, and fiber to support its growing population and intensification of smallholder agriculture is a crucial component of any strategy towards this goal. Sustainable Intensification (SI) acknowledges that enhanced productivity needs to go hand in hand with the maintenance of other ecosystem services and enhanced resilience to shocks. A very diverse group of smallholders dominate SSA agriculture, with large heterogeneity in socio-technical conditions, famer typologies, production objectives, and the biophysical environment.