06 May '11, 3pm

Diversity is Key to Sustainable Farming, So Why's It So Damn Hard?

Diversity is Key to Sustainable Farming, So Why's It So Damn Hard?

Diversity and Resilience We know for a fact that ecosystems rely on an astoundingly broad community of plants, animals, microorganisms and fungi to keep functioning. The more diverse the system, the better, because if one species gets hit by disease, famine or some other form of shock, there are other elements playing a similar role in the system that can pick up the slack. This is what is often referred to as resilience—the ability of a system to adapt and reorganize itself in the face of shocks. Complex Networks of Relationships But in reality it is not just the diversity of species, but also the diversity of useful relationships between those species, that builds resilience. You could have 10,000 different species of monkey in one rainforest, but if they all played the same—or very similar—roles within the ecosystem of that forest, the diversity would not contribute to ...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/05/diversity-key-sus...

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