Power-law productivity of highly biodiverse agroecosystems supports land recovery and climate resilience

Research showing dynamic gains--in terms of biodiversity, food production, carbon sequestration--resulting from synecological faming approach in plots in Japan and Burkina Faso.

In experiments over several years on test plots polyculture based approach, the author demonstrates multiple gains that address issues ranging from self-sufficiency of economically viable food production to stopping desertification. 

From the paper: "Despite the no-input practice except water and introduction of seeds and seedlings, on-site observation implied overall and multiple increases in ecosystem functions along with the ecological succession in the fields, such as improvement in crop yield, the establishment of a complex food chain that supported ecological regulation of pests, thick development of porous soil structure, increased humus and soil organic matter, improved water retention and permeability, and the resulting activation of soil microbiota"

While this approach will be no surprise to many regenerative practitioners, it serves as an opening challenge to the high input / yield approaches and trade based strategies that have been advocated at the international level by development agencies for decades. 

Interestingly, the methodology described in the paper also suggests a response to the challenge of diminishing available of arable land under traditional agricultural practices with the approach helping to recover and increase both ecosystem and food production potential on degraded land.  

Published in npj Sustainable Agriculture

by Masatoshi Funabashi

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