Organic agriculture supports biodiversity and sustainable food production
Harmon, Alison H.
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Biodiversity is vital to several important ecosystem services that ensure sustainability of food production. In organic agriculture, land management practices that promote biodiversity and soil quality are emphasized and the goal is to maintain a sustainable agricultural system. Soil quality or soil health is the foundation for all agriculture and natural plant communities and a primary indicator of sustainable land management. Soil quality is affected by farm management and land use decisions. This article presents a review of the literature on the question: How do organic agriculture and conventional agriculture differ in regard to their impact on biodiversity and ecosystem services? All of the 22 articles identified in this review reported a significant increase in at least one variable that indicated enhanced biodiversity and/or ecosystem services on sites farmed using an organic farming system compared to sites farmed using a conventional farming system. This review underlines the importance of biodiversity, particularly soil biodiversity, to sustainable food production and underscores the need for further ecological studies on the links between farm management systems and soil quality.
Underwood, Teri, Christine McCullum-Gomez, Alison Harmon, and Susan Roberts. “Organic Agriculture Supports Biodiversity and Sustainable Food Production.” Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition 6, no. 4 (October 2011): 398–423. doi:10.1080/19320248.2011.627301.