Towards a More Sustainable Agriculture

  • Paoletti M
  • Gomiero T
  • Pimentel D
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Abstract

Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences is pleased to devote these issues to research in Sustainable Agriculture. The general topic of “sustainability” has been discussed in many regards—from housing to population growth, land usage to the effects of pollution on the environment, and so on. Intertwined among all the issues encompassed by sustainability is that of a sustainable food source, without which global society would certainly crumble. These very timely and thoughtful reports take a careful look at issues confronting conversion of our agricultural base into a truly sustainable model. In particular, organic approaches are mentioned and discussed. But also importantly, uses of the wild landscape as food sources are examined and education of the populace on the needs and methods of sustainability are discussed. Throughout the issue, the authors make a case for the need to achieve more sustainability of our food and fiber supply, as well as the consequences for not doing so. We are especially indebted to Guest Editor Professor Tiziano Gomiero for taking the lead on this project, along with David Pimentel and Maurizio G. Paoletti for their contributions. It is important to note that Professors Pimentel and Paoletti are long-time members of the CRPS editorial board and the Guest Editors’ collective talents can be seen throughout the issue. This is the third in a series of special issues that are periodically published by CRPS. We hope that these articles will provide an enduring science-based backdrop for technical, social, and policy-making decisions required to deal with environmental challenges facing our changing world. 1 Foreword: Towards a More Sustainable Agriculture Dennis J. Gray and Robert N. Trigiano 2 Towards A More Sustainable Agriculture Introduction to the Special Issue Maurizio G. Paoletti, Tiziano Gomiero, and David Pimentel 6 Is There a Need for a More Sustainable Agriculture? Tiziano Gomiero, David Pimentel, and Maurizio G. Paoletti 24 Resources and Cultural Complexity: Implications for Sustainability Joseph A. Tainter 35 Food for Thought: A Review of the Role of Energy in Current and Evolving Agriculture David Pimentel 45 Food Security and Fossil Energy Dependence: An International Comparison of the Use of Fossil Energy in Agriculture (1991–2003) Nancy Arizpe, Mario Giampietro, and Jesus Ramos-Martin 64 Ecology in Sustainable Agriculture Practices and Systems C. A. Francis and P. Porter 74 Pest Control in Agro-ecosystems: An Ecological Approach George Ekstr¨om and Barbara Ekbom 95 Environmental Impact of Different Agricultural Management Practices: Conventional vs. Organic Agriculture Tiziano Gomiero, David Pimentel, and Maurizio G. Paoletti 125 An Heuristic Framework for Identifying Multiple Ways of Supporting the Conservation and Use of Traditional Crop Varieties within the Agricultural Production System Devra I. Jarvis, Toby Hodgkin, Bhuwon R. Sthapit, Carlo Fadda, and Isabel Lopez-Noriega 177 Agroecosystem Management and Nutritional Quality of Plant Foods: The Case of Organic Fruits and Vegetables K. Brandt, C. Leifert, R. Sanderson, and C. J. Seal 198 Edible and Tended Wild Plants, Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Agroecology Nancy J. Turner, Łukasz Jakub Łuczaj, Paola Migliorini, Andrea Pieroni, Angelo Leandro Dreon, Linda Enrica Sacchetti, and Maurizio G. Paoletti 226 Innovative Education in Agroecology: Experiential Learning for a Sustainable Agriculture C. A. Francis, N. Jordan, P. Porter, T. A. Breland, G. Lieblein, L. Salomonsson, N. Sriskandarajah, M.Wiedenhoeft, R. DeHaan, I. Braden, and V. Langer

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Authors

  • M.G. Paoletti

  • T. Gomiero

  • D. Pimentel

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