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Producing food whilst preserving biodiversity

Source: uni-goettingen.de

In nature conservation and agriculture, there are two opposing views of how to combine high biodiversity and sustainable food production: nature conservation should either be integrated into agricultural land, or segregated into protected areas in order to enable maximum yields in the food production areas. Researchers at the University of Göttingen advocate coordinated approaches that combine nature conservation and agricultural production in sustainably managed landscapes. The results have been published in the journal People and Nature.

“Many researchers argue that agricultural production on existing land should be intensified to increase yields while reducing agricultural pressure on the last areas of wilderness. This approach is being pursued primarily in tropical countries,” explains Dr Ingo Grass from the Division of Agroecology at the University of Göttingen, first author of the study. “However, biodiversity and agriculture are often closely intertwined and many species are also beneficial to the farmer. In the agricultural landscapes of Europe, many species worth protecting have adapted to extensively cultivated habitats. These species are threatened by increasing agricultural intensification,” adds Professor Teja Tscharntke, Head of Division. MORE

Header image: Laura Sutcliffe.

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