9.6 Chapter Resources

Summary

In agriculture and horticulture, soil generally refers to the medium for plant growth, typically material within the upper meter or two. Soil plays a key role in plant growth. Beneficial aspects to plants include providing physical support, heat, water, nutrients, and oxygen. Heat, light, and oxygen are also obtained by the atmosphere, but the roots of many plants also require oxygen. The prevailing agricultural system has delivered tremendous gains in productivity and efficiency. Food production worldwide has risen in the past 50 years. On the other hand, agriculture profoundly affects many ecological systems. Negative effects of current practices include ecological concerns, economic and social concerns and human health concerns. Pesticides from every chemical class have been detected in groundwater and are commonly found in groundwater beneath agricultural areas. Despite impressive production gains, excessive use of pesticides has proven to be ecologically unsound, leading to the destruction of natural enemies, the increase of pest resistance pest resurgence and outbreaks of secondary pests. These consequences have often resulted in higher production costs and lost markets due to undesirable pesticide residue levels, as well as environmental and human health costs. Alternative and sustainable practices in farming and land use include organic agriculture, integrated pest management and biological control.

Review Questions

  1. What is the importance of soil to our society today?
  2. Explain some negative impacts of conventional agriculture.
  3. Explain the three characteristics of POPs that make them difficult to eradicate from the environment.
  4. Explain the grasshopper effect.
  5. Define terms pest and pesticide.
  6. Explain the advantages of IPM approach.

References

Kelly, L. (2005). The global integrated pest management facility. World Bank, Washington, DC. © World Bank. Retrieved from https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/19053. Available under Creative Commons Attribution License License 3.0 (CC BY 3.0). Modified from Original.

NAL. (2007). Sustainable agriculture: Definitions and terms. Retrieved from http://afsic.nal.usda.gov/sustainable-agriculture-definitions-and-terms-1#toc1. Modified from Original.

Theis T. & Tomkin J. (Eds.). (2015). Sustainability: A comprehensive foundation. OpenStax CNX. Retrieved from http://cnx.org/contents/1741effd-9cda-4b2b-a91e-003e6f587263@43.5. Available under Creative Commons Attribution License License 3.0 (CC BY 3.0).  Modified from Original.

World Bank. (2004). Persistent organic pollutants: Backyards to borders. Washington, DC. © World Bank. Retrieved from https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/14896. Available under Creative Commons Attribution License License 3.0 (CC BY 3.0 IGO). Modified from Original.

World Bank. (2005). Sustainable pest management: Achievements and challenges. Washington, DC. © World Bank. Retrieved from https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/8646. Available under Creative Commons Attribution License License 3.0 (CC BY 3.0). Modified from Original.

World Bank. (2008). Sustainable land management sourcebook. Washington, DC. © World Bank. Retrieved from https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/6478. Available under Creative Commons Attribution License License 3.0 (CC BY 3.0). Modified from Original.

World Bank; Food and Agriculture Organization; International Fund for Agricultural Development. (2009). Gender in agriculture sourcebook. Washington, DC: World Bank. © World Bank. Retrieved from https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/6603. Available under Creative Commons Attribution License License 3.0 (CC BY 3.0 IGO). Modified from Original.

 

Page attribution: Essentials of Environmental Science by Kamala Doršner is licensed under CC BY 4.0. Modified from the original.

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Environmental Biology by Matthew R. Fisher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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