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Managing Biodiversity in Agricultural Ecosystems

Edited by Devra I. Jarvis, Christine Padoch, and H. D. Cooper

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Paper, 512 pages, 34 line drawings, 55 tables
ISBN: 978-0-231-13649-5
$36.00 / £25.00

May, 2007
Cloth, 512 pages, 34 line drawings, 55 tables
ISBN: 978-0-231-13648-8
$105.00 / £72.50

Published in three other languages and growing, Managing Biodiversity in Agricultural Ecosystems takes a look at how farmers manage, maintain, and benefit from biodiversity in agricultural production systems. The volume includes the most recent research and developments in the maintenance of local diversity at the genetic, species, and ecosystem levels. Chapters cover the assessment and farmer management practices for crop, livestock, aquatic, and associated diversity (such as pollinators and soil microorganisms) in agricultural ecosystems; examine the potential role of diversity in minimizing pest and disease pressures; and present studies that exemplify the potential nutritional, ecosystem service, and financial values of this diversity under changing economic and environmental conditions. The volume contains perspectives that combine the thinking of social and biological scientists.

Inappropriate or excessive use of inputs can cause damage to biodiversity within agricultural ecosystems and compromise future productivity. This book features numerous case studies that show how farmers have used alternative approaches to manage biodiversity to enhance the stability, resilience, and productivity of their farms, pointing the way toward improved biodiversity on a global scale. As custodians of the world's agricultural biodiversity, farmers are fully invested in ways to create, sustain, and assist in the evolution and adaptation of a variety of plant and animal species. Thus this text is mandatory reading for conservationists, environmentalists, botanists, zoologists, geneticists, and anyone interested in the health of our ecosystem.

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About the Author

Devra I. Jarvis is senior scientist, Agricultural Biodiversity and Ecosystems, in the Diversity for Livelihoods Programme at Bioversity International in Rome. She is the principal author of A Training Guide for In Situ Conservation On-Farm, which has been translated into Spanish, Russian, Arabic, and Chinese, and "A global perspective of the richness and evenness of traditional crop-variety diversity maintained by farming communities," published in the journal PNAS with twenty-eight coresearchers from five continents, which provides global indicators to monitor the loss of diversity in farmers' fields.

Christine Padoch is the Matthew Calbraith Perry Curator of Economic Botany at the New York Botanical Garden and an anthropologist. She was the associate scientific coordinator of the worldwide Project on People, Land Management and Environmental Change (PLEC) of the United Nations University. Her books include Conservation of Neotropical Forests: Working from Traditional Resource Use and People of the Tropical Rain Forest.

H. David Cooper is senior programme officer for implementation and technical support at the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Montreal. He was the coordinator and principal author of the Food and Agriculture Organization's first report on the State of the World's Plant Genetic Resources and a lead author on Food and Cultivated Ecosystems in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. He is the editor of Broadening the Genetic Base of Crop Production.

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