Soil Biology and Cropland Ecology

ckuhlCrops, SoilLeave a Comment

Biological communities are an important foundation for crop production. In many ways, these communities a unit in and of themselves, with multiple niches occupied by diverse species that ultimately contribute to a whole. Understanding how these communities function and contribute to a food production system is crucial to making regenerative food systems transferable across regions.

The connections between soil chemical characteristics and insect communities remain poorly understood. Our research explores how community structure and functional traits affect soil health parameters, and ultimately contribute to healthy crop plants.

Plant diversity can support crop production in several ways. Synergisms among plants, either directly or through the legacy left from previous cropping cycles, may be an important tool for increasing crop yields profitably. Our research is investigating which plant synergisms foster crop production and whether there is a minimum amount of functional plant diversity. Also, plant diversity supports diverse insect communities, and our research is unravelling how these complex networks contribute to pest management in cropland.

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