Daily Archives: May 15, 2016

Restoration Ecology

The discipline of restoration ecology aims to provide a scientifically sound basis for the reconstruction of degraded or destroyed ecosystems to produce self-supporting systems. This new text provides a current, comprehensive overview of this developing area of study that is ideal for the upper-level undergraduate or graduate level course. Divided into five natural parts, Restoration Ecology opens with a look at ecological perspectives of restoration, including nutrient cycling and factors that regulate ecosystem functioning. The text then moves on to discuss the ecological theories that have shaped Restoration Ecology, and moves on to sections devoted to restoration in practice, providing accounts of real restoration of various ecosystems. The final unit delves in to the planning, implementation, monitoring and appraisal of restoration work.

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Fundamentals of Soil Ecology, David C. Coleman, D. A. Crossley Jr.

http://www.amazon.com/Fundamentals-Ecology-Second-David-Coleman/dp/0121797260/ref=ecoethicsA/

This fully revised and expanded edition of Fundamentals of Soil Ecology continues its holistic approach to soil biology and ecosystem function. Students and ecosystem researchers will gain a greater understanding of the central roles that soils play in ecosystem development and function. The authors emphasize the increasing importance of soils as the organizing center for all terrestrial ecosystems and provide an overview of theory and practice of soil ecology, both from an ecosystem and evolutionary biology point of view. This volume contains updated and greatly expanded coverage of all belowground biota (roots, microbes and fauna) and methods to identify and determine its distribution and abundance. New chapters are provided on soil biodiversity and its relationship to ecosystem processes, suggested laboratory and field methods to measure biota and their activities in ecosystems..

* Contains over 60% new material and 150 more pages
* Includes new chapters on soil biodiversity and its relationship to ecosystem function
* Outlines suggested laboratory and field methods
* Incorporates new pedagogical features
* Combines theoretical and practical approaches

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Resilient Agriculture: Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate: Laura Lengnick

Climate change presents an unprecedented challenge to the productivity and profitability of agriculture in North America. More variable weather, drought, and flooding create the most obvious damage, but hot summer nights, warmer winters, longer growing seasons, and other environmental changes have more subtle but far-reaching effects on plant and livestock growth and development.

Resilient Agriculture recognizes the critical role that sustainable agriculture will play in the coming decades and beyond. The latest science on climate risk, resilience, and climate change adaptation is blended with the personal experience of farmers and ranchers to explore:

  • The “strange changes” in weather recorded over the last decade
  • The associated shifts in crop and livestock behavior
  • The actions producers have taken to maintain productivity in a changing climate

The climate change challenge is real and it is here now. To enjoy the sustained production of food, fiber, and fuel well into the twenty-first century, we must begin now to make changes that will enhance the adaptive capacity and resilience of North American agriculture. The rich knowledge base presented in Resilient Agriculture is poised to serve as the cornerstone of an evolving, climate-ready food system.

Laura Lengnick is a researcher, policymaker, activist, educator, and farmer whose work explores the community-enhancing potential of agriculture and food systems. She directs the academic program in sustainable agriculture at Warren Wilson College and was a lead author of the report Climate Change and Agriculture in the United States: Effects and Adaptation.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
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Restorative Development: Sustainable Agriculture and the Climate Crisis | EV & N – 215 – CCTV

With the carbon sequestration techniques of soil building that are built-in to the practices of sustainable agriculture we can, as a human community, begin to devise effective means both to address climate change and to produce enough nutritious food to meet the global need for a healthy, restorative and sustainable future.

http://ecoethics.net/2014-ENVRE120/20160515-EV&N-215-Link.html

https://www.cctvcambridge.org/node/397519

https://www.cctvcambridge.org/user/3723/history

Handbook of Climate Change and Agroecosystems

“Top agricultural scientists from around the world have taken up the challenge of sustainable agriculture, with the specific focus on integrating agronomic, climatological, biophysical and socio-economic perspectives and processes. Every chapter (of the Handbook) contributes to addressing the growing food-security challenges facing the world.”

Foreword by Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University

Climate effects on agriculture are of increasing concern in both the scientific and policy communities because of the growing population and the greater uncertainty in the weather during growing seasons. Changes in production are directly linked to variations in temperature and precipitation during the growing season and often to the offseason changes in weather because of soil water storage to replenish the soil profile. This is not an isolated problem but one of worldwide interest because each country has concerns about their food security.

The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) was developed to evaluate agricultural models and intercompare their ability to predict climate impacts. In sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, South America and East Asia, AgMIP regional research teams (RRTs) are conducting integrated assessments to improve understanding of agricultural impacts of climate change (including biophysical and economic impacts) at national and regional scales. Other AgMIP initiatives include global gridded modeling, data and information technology (IT) tool development, simulation of crop pests and diseases, site-based crop-climate sensitivity studies, and aggregation and scaling.

Readership: Researchers and graduate students interested in climate change and its effects on agricultural systems.

Food-Matters
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Soil in the Environment: Crucible of Terrestrial Life

Key for every course in soil science, earth science, and environmental disciplines, this textbook engages students to critically look at soil as the central link in the function and creation of the terrestrial environment. For the first time, Dr. Hillel brilliantly discusses soils as a natural body that is engaged in dynamic interaction with the atmosphere above and the strata below that influences the planet’s climate and hydrological cycle, and serves as the primary habitat for a versatile community of living organisms.

Soil in the Environment offers a larger perspective of soil’s impact on the environment by organizing chapters among three main processes: Physical, Chemical and Biology. It provides students of geology, physical science, and environmental studies with fundamental information and tools for meeting the natural resource challenges of the 21st Century, while providing students of soil science and ecology with the understanding of physical and biological interactions necessary for sustainability.

* First textbook to unite soil science and the environment beyond what is traditionally taught
* Incorporates current knowledge of such hot topics as climate change, pollution control, human expropriation of natural resources, and the prospects for harmonious and sustainable development
* Organized in a student-friendly format with examples, discussion boxes, and key definitions in every chapter
* Full color throughout

Companion Website includes:
1. Suggested field trips
2. Exercises and figures per chapter
3. Cross references to articles with links from Hillel’s Encyclopedia of Soils in the Environment 4-vol set

Food-Matters
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Miraculous Abundance: One Quarter Acre, Two French Farmers, and Enough Food to Feed the World: Perrine Hervé-Gruyer, Charles Hervé-Gruyer, Eliot Coleman

http://www.amazon.com/Miraculous-Abundance-Quarter-French-Farmers/dp/1603586423/ref=ecoethicsA/

The Bec Hellouin model for growing food, sequestering carbon, creating jobs, and increasing biodiversity without using fossil fuels

When Charles and Perrine Hervé-Gruyer set out to create their farm in an historic Normandy village, they had no idea just how much their lives would change. Neither one had ever farmed before. Charles had been circumnavigating the globe by sail, operating a floating school that taught students about ecology and indigenous cultures. Perrine had been an international lawyer in Japan. Each had returned to France to start a new life. Eventually, Perrine joined Charles in Normandy, and Le Ferme du Bec Hellouin was born.

Bec Hellouin has since become a celebrated model of innovative, ecological agriculture in Europe, connected to national and international organizations addressing food security, heralded by celebrity chefs as well as the Slow Food movement, and featured in the inspiring César and COLCOA award-winning documentary film, Demain (“Tomorrow”). Miraculous Abundance is the eloquent tale of the couple’s evolution from creating a farm to sustain their family to delving into an experiment in how to grow the most food possible, in the most ecological way possible, and create a farm model that can carry us into a post-carbon future―when oil is no longer moving goods and services, energy is scarcer, and localization is a must.

Today, the farm produces a variety of vegetables using a mix of permaculture, bio-intensive, four-season, and natural farming techniques–as well as techniques gleaned from native cultures around the world. It has some animals for eggs and milk, horses for farming, a welcome center, a farm store, a permaculture school, a bread oven for artisan breads, greenhouses, a cidery, and a forge. It has also become the site of research focusing on how small organic farms like theirs might confront Europe’s (and the world’s) projected food crisis.

But in this honest and engaging account of the trials and joys of their uncompromising effort, readers meet two people who are farming the future as much as they are farming their land. They envision farms like theirs someday being the hub for a host of other businesses that can drive rural communities―from bread makers and grain millers to animal care givers and other tradespeople.

Market farmers and home gardeners alike will find much in these pages, but so will those who’ve never picked up a hoe. The couple’s account of their quest to design an almost Edenlike farm, hone their practices, and find new ways to feed the world is an inspiring tale. It is also a love letter to a future in which people increasingly live in rural communities that rely on traditional skills, locally created and purveyed goods and services, renewable energy, and greater local governance, but are also connected to the larger world.

Food-Matters
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A Soil Owner’s Manual: How to Restore and Maintain Soil Health: Jon Stika, Eve Stika

http://www.amazon.com/Soil-Owners-Manual-Restore-Maintain/dp/1530431263/ref=ecoethicsA/

A Soil Owner’s Manual: Restoring and Maintaining Soil Health, is about restoring the capacity of your soil to perform all the functions it was intended to perform. This book is not another fanciful guide on how to continuously manipulate and amend your soil to try and keep it productive. This book will change the way you think about and manage your soil. It may even change your life. If you are interested in solving the problem of dysfunctional soil and successfully addressing the symptoms of soil erosion, water runoff, nutrient deficiencies, compaction, soil crusting, weeds, insect pests, plant diseases, and water pollution, or simply wish to grow healthy vegetables in your family garden, then this book is for you. Soil health pioneer Jon Stika, describes in simple terms how you can bring your soil back to its full productive potential by understanding and applying the principles that built your soil in the first place. Understanding how the soil functions is critical to reducing the reliance on expensive inputs to maintain yields. Working with, instead of against, the processes that naturally govern the soil can increase profitability and restore the soil to health. Restoring soil health can proactively solve natural resource issues before regulations are imposed that will merely address the symptoms. This book will lead you through the basic biology and guiding principles that will allow you to assess and restore your soil. It is part of a movement currently underway in agriculture that is working to restore what has been lost. A Soil Owner’s Manual: Restoring and Maintaining Soil Health will give you the opportunity to be part of this movement. Restoring soil health is restoring hope in the future of agriculture, from large farm fields and pastures, down to your own vegetable or flower garden.

Food-Matters
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The Carbon Farming Solution: A Global Toolkit of Perennial Crops and Regenerative Agriculture Practices for Climate Change Mitigation and Food Security: Eric Toensmeier, Dr. Hans Herren

With carbon farming, agriculture ceases to be part of the climate problem and becomes a critical part of the solution

Agriculture is rightly blamed as a major culprit of our climate crisis. But in this groundbreaking new book, Eric Toensmeier argues that agriculture―specifically, the subset of practices known as “carbon farming”―can, and should be, a linchpin of a global climate solutions platform.

Carbon farming is a suite of agricultural practices and crops that sequester carbon in the soil and in aboveground biomass. Combined with a massive reduction in fossil fuel emissions―and in concert with adaptation strategies to our changing environment― carbon farming has the potential to bring us back from the brink of disaster and return our atmosphere to the “magic number” of 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide. Toensmeier’s book is the first to bring together these powerful strategies in one place, including in-depth analysis of the available research and, where research is lacking, a discussion of what it will take to get us there.

Carbon farming can take many forms. The simplest practices involve modifications to annual crop production. Although many of these modifications have relatively low sequestration potential, they are widely applicable and easily adopted, and thus have excellent potential to mitigate climate change if practiced on a global scale. Likewise, grazing systems such as silvopasture are easily replicable, don’t require significant changes to human diet, and―given the amount of agricultural land worldwide that is devoted to pasture―can be important strategies in the carbon farming arsenal. But by far, agroforestry practices and perennial crops present the best opportunities for sequestration. While many of these systems are challenging to establish and manage, and would require us to change our diets to new and largely unfamiliar perennial crops, they also offer huge potential that has been almost entirely ignored by climate crusaders.

Many of these carbon farming practices are already implemented globally on a scale of millions of hectares. These are not minor or marginal efforts, but win-win solutions that provide food, fodder, and feedstocks while fostering community self-reliance, creating jobs, protecting biodiversity, and repairing degraded land―all while sequestering carbon, reducing emissions, and ultimately contributing to a climate that will remain amenable to human civilization. Just as importantly to a livable future, these crops and practices can contribute to broader social goals such as women’s empowerment, food sovereignty, and climate justice.

The Carbon Farming Solution does not present a prescription for how cropland should be used and is not, first and foremost, a how-to manual, although following up on references in a given section will frequently provide such information. Instead, The Carbon Farming Solution is―at its root―a toolkit. It is the most complete collection of climate-friendly crops and practices currently available. With this toolkit, farmers, communities, and governments large and small, can successfully launch carbon farming projects with the most appropriate crops and practices to their climate, locale, and socioeconomic needs.

Toensmeier’s ultimate goal is to place carbon farming firmly in the center of the climate solutions platform, alongside clean solar and wind energy. With The Carbon Farming Solution, Toensmeier wants to change the discussion, impact policy decisions, and steer mitigation funds to the research, projects, and people around the world who envision a future where agriculture becomes the protagonist in this fraught, urgent, and unprecedented drama of our time. Citizens, farmers, and funders will be inspired to use the tools presented in this important new book to transform degraded lands around the world into productive carbon-storing landscapes.

Food-Matters
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The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health

http://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Half-Nature-Microbial-Health/dp/0393244407/ref=ecoethicsA/

A riveting exploration of how microbes are transforming the way we see nature and ourselves―and could revolutionize agriculture and medicine.

Prepare to set aside what you think you know about yourself and microbes. Good health―for people and for plants―depends on Earth’s smallest creatures. The Hidden Half of Nature tells the story of our tangled relationship with microbes and their potential to revolutionize agriculture and medicine, from garden to gut.

When David R. Montgomery and Anne Biklé decide to restore life into their barren yard by creating a garden, dead dirt threatens their dream. As a cure, they feed their soil a steady diet of organic matter. The results impress them. In short order, the much-maligned microbes transform their bleak yard into a flourishing Eden. Beneath their feet, beneficial microbes and plant roots continuously exchange a vast array of essential compounds. The authors soon learn that this miniaturized commerce is central to botanical life’s master strategy for defense and health.

They are abruptly plunged further into investigating microbes when Biklé is diagnosed with cancer. Here, they discover an unsettling truth. An armada of bacteria (our microbiome) sails the seas of our gut, enabling our immune system to sort microbial friends from foes. But when our gut microbiome goes awry, our health can go with it. The authors also discover startling insights into the similarities between plant roots and the human gut. We are not what we eat. We are all―for better or worse―the product of what our microbes eat.

This leads to a radical reconceptualization of our relationship to the natural world: by cultivating beneficial microbes, we can rebuild soil fertility and help turn back the modern plague of chronic diseases. The Hidden Half of Nature reveals how to transform agriculture and medicine―by merging the mind of an ecologist with the care of a gardener and the skill of a doctor.

Food-Matters
Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
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