An international journal titled Agriculture Ecosystems and Environment offers a scientific approach that explains the interaction between agroecosystems and the environment. This journal provides a valuable resource for those looking for scientific articles to help them better understand how changes in the environment impact agricultural ecosystems.
Agroecosystems are also known as agricultural ecosystems. People design these controlled, earth-friendly systems for the production of food and fiber.
Agroecosystems are contained within larger landscapes. These ecosystems are based on relationships and consist of active associations between:
- Flora and fauna
These complex systems use two interacting elements: biotic and abiotic.
Biotic elements are derived from living organisms or are associated with them in some way. In an agricultural ecosystem's environment, biotic elements consist of these living organisms along with their secondary relationships which include:
- Competition for food resources
- Predatory relation relationship between organisms or animals
- Symbiotic relationships
Abiotic elements are the opposite of biotic, because they are not derived from living organisms, but instead include non-living environmental factors including:
- Wind patterns
It is the combination of biotic and abiotic interactions that build a healthy agricultural ecosystem. In the same way, when careless practices lead to the destruction of these elements, negative side effects produce a deficient environment.
Negative Effects on the Agricultural Environment
Environmental abuse brings about environmental contamination as a result of human behavior. This abuse isn't limited to pollutants, but can include factors such as misuse. Over decades the agricultural environment has suffered due to:
These practices have led to topsoil depletion, groundwater contaminants and high food production costs. They have also changed the economics of rural communities and have negatively impacted their social conditions. However, in America, steps within the agricultural industry have changed over the past few decades to take steps toward building a sustainable agricultural environment.
Goals for a Sustainable Agricultural Environment
For an agricultural environment to be truly sustainable, it must meet present needs without compromising the needs of future generations. Within the farming industry, sustainable agriculture has received more and more support as people begin to understand its importance. It has grown in popularity and gained support with government on state and local levels along with the backing by many universities.
What some people don't realize is that sustainable agriculture not only benefits the environment, it also provides advantages to local communities, small farm owners, as well as to the consumer. With this in mind, the three major goals of sustainable agriculture include:
- Environmental health
- Economic profitability
- Social and economic equity
Importance of Green Agricultural Infrastructure
Farmland takes in a variety of landscapes including:
- Wildlife habitat that sustains native species
- Provides ecosystem advantages like water filtration and carbon sequestration
When you take into consideration the projected population growth over the next 25 years, it is important to make plans now on the local and state levels to take steps to keep agricultural infrastructure in place. In fact, in many areas, plans should be made to add green and open space.
Books, Journals and Websites on Agriculture Ecosystems and Environment
For scientific details and statistics dealing with agroecosystems the articles published in Agriculture Ecosystems and Environment are an excellent resource for information that deals with agriculture and how it influences the environment. The following books and publications will provide more information: