Soil Fertility and Biodiversity in Organic Farming

  title={Soil Fertility and Biodiversity in Organic Farming},
  author={Paul F. Maeder and Andreas Fliessbach and David Dubois and Lucie Gunst and Padruot Men Fried and Urs A. Niggli},
  pages={1694 - 1697}
An understanding of agroecosystems is key to determining effective farming systems. Here we report results from a 21-year study of agronomic and ecological performance of biodynamic, bioorganic, and conventional farming systems in Central Europe. We found crop yields to be 20% lower in the organic systems, although input of fertilizer and energy was reduced by 34 to 53% and pesticide input by 97%. Enhanced soil fertility and higher biodiversity found in organic plots may render these systems… 

Organic Agriculture and Biodiversity

Organic farming produces clear benefits for biodiversity in comparison to conventional farming. Depending on altitude, organic farms have between 46 and 72 percent more semi-natural habitats and host

Plant Diseases and Management Approaches in Organic Farming Systems.

Crop-loss assessment relating productivity to all yield-forming and -reducing factors would benefit organic production and sustainability evaluation.

Effects of increasing fertilization in organic farming fodder cultivation and market crop systems

In 1992, on experimental stations of the Saxony State Institute of Agriculture, two organic field trials were set up on loamy sand and a loess loam in western Saxony, eastern Germany. In these

Biomass and bioenergy production in organic agriculture. Consequences for soil fertility, environment, spread of animal parasites and socio-economy. BioConcnes, a 4-year interdisciplinary project.

Energy production and energy use in organic agriculture (OA) need to be addressed in order to reduce the reliance on non-renewable fossil fuels and minimize greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Thus,

An Environmental, Energetic and Economic Comparison of Organic and Conventional Farming Systems

Various organic technologies have been utilized for about 6,000 years to make agriculture sustainable while at the same time conserving soil, water, energy and biological resources. Benefits of

Effects of organic matter input on soil microbial properties and crop yields in conventional and organic cropping systems

Unlike conventional cropping systems, which are characterised by targeted short-term fertility management, organic farming systems depend on long-term increase in soil fertility and promotion of soil



Soil phosphorus dynamics in cropping systems managed according to conventional and biological agricultural methods

The effects of conventional and biological farming systems on soil P dynamics were studied by measuring some microbiological parameters after 13 years of different cropping systems. The treatments

Legume-based cropping systems have reduced carbon and nitrogen losses

In agricultural systems, optimization of carbon and nitrogen cycling through soil organic matter can improve soil fertility and yields while reducing negative environmental impact. A basic tenet that

Arbuscular mycorrhizae in a long-term field trial comparing low-input (organic, biological) and high-input (conventional) farming systems in a crop rotation

Soils from the low-input farming systems had a greatly enhanced capacity to initiate AM symbiosis, although the relative differences in this capacity remained similar when propagules of the AM fungus Glomus mosseae were experimentally added to the soils, although overall root colonization by AM fungi was 2.8 times higher.

Global environmental impacts of agricultural expansion: the need for sustainable and efficient practices.

  • D. Tilman
  • Medicine, Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1999
The anticipated next doubling of global food production would be associated with approximately 3-fold increases in nitrogen and phosphorus fertilization rates, a doubling of the irrigated land area, and an 18% increase in cropland, which would have dramatic impacts on the diversity, composition, and functioning of the remaining natural ecosystems.

Environmental and Economic Costs of Soil Erosion and Conservation Benefits

With the addition of a quarter of a million people each day, the world population's food demand is increasing at a time when per capita food productivity is beginning to decline.

Sustainability of three apple production systems

Escalating production costs, heavy reliance on non-renewable resources, reduced biodiversity, water contamination, chemical residues in food, soil degradation and health risks to farm workers

Effects of Bio-dynamic, Organic and Conventional Farming on Ground Beetles (Col. Carabidae) and Other Epigaeic Arthropods in Winter Wheat

The activity- density of carabids, staphylinids and spiders was higher in the bio-dynamic and the organic than in the conventional plots in all three years, and the difference between the conventional and the biodynamic, organic plots was significant.