Conventional field-crop production heavily relies on pesticides, negatively influence human and environmental health. Recent ecological research indicates that interspecific and intraspecific diversity can equally influence primary productivity and crop resilience versus biotic and abiotic stress, fostering improved crop productivity via complex ecological interactions and less pesticide use. In most crop fields, however, species or genetic diversity is virtually absent. Our evidence strongly indicates that cultivar and species mixtures can both reduce pest abundance and increase crop productivity. Further, complementarity among plant species in mixtures can mitigate negative influences of abiotic stress, particularly drought.Increasing plant species or genotypic diversity in agroecosystems modifies current production simply, but provides cascading ecological effects that will reduce pesticide reliance and stabilize, or even improve, yields in the face of stress.
|Effective start/end date||4/15/16 → 4/14/21|
- National Institute of Food and Agriculture: $471,324.00