Part of the book: Organic Agriculture Towards Sustainability
Ecosystems are the basis of life and all human activities. Conservation of biological diversity is very important for the proper functioning of the ecosystem and for delivering ecosystem services. Maintaining high biodiversity in agroecosystems makes agricultural production more sustainable and economically viable. Agricultural biodiversity ensures, for example, pollination of crops, biological crop protection, maintenance of proper structure and fertility of soils, protection of soils against erosion, nutrient cycling, and control of water flow and distribution. The effects of the loss of biodiversity may not be immediately apparent, but they may increase the sensitivity of the ecosystems to various abiotic and biotic stresses. The combination of biodiversity conservation with profitable food production is one of the tasks of modern sustainable agriculture that faces the necessity of reconciling the productive, environmental, and social goals. As further intensification of production and increase in the use of chemical pesticides, fertilizers, and water to increase yields are increasingly criticized, global agriculture is looking for other biological and agrotechnical methods in order to meet the requirements of global food production.
Part of the book: Organic Farming