Ecological Principles of Agriculture is a text for students of agriculture and ecology. Its strength can be found in its versatility. Agricultural students with no prior coursework in ecology will find it invaluable as an introduction to ecological principles, while ecology students will gain insight into the practical application of these principles with respect to agriculture. This text will help students understand the ecological processes inherent in any agricultural system as well as their implications in agricultural management. Without discussing every different type of agricultural practice (an impossible task), students will come away with an understanding of how to apply these principles to agricultural design, management and problem-solving in very specific situations.
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION TO AGROECOLOGY. THE AGRICULTURAL FIELD AS AN ECOSYSTEM: Carbon and Energy in the Agroecosystem. Community Ecology. Nutrient Recycling and Decomposition. ADAPTATIONS OF ORGANISMS TO THE ECOSYSTEM: Physical Factors and the Agroecosystem. Growth and Dynamics of Populations. Niches and Competition. Adaptation of Plant Cultivars. ABUNDANCE IN THE ECOSYSTEM: Predation and Parasitism. INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT: Agricultural Pests. Principles of Pest Management. MONOCULTURE VS POLYCULTURE: Agriculture in the Landscape. Cropping Systems. CONSERVATION OF RESOURCES: Conservation of Nutrients. Water Conservation and the Politics of Irrigation. Energy Conservation and Animal Agriculture. HUMAN POPULATION AND IMPACT: Political and Socioeconomic Issues of Agroecology. Issues in Tropical Agriculture. Human Population Growth.