1st Edition

Introduction to Agroecology Principles and Practices

By Paul Wojtkowski Copyright 2006
    424 Pages
    by CRC Press

    404 Pages
    by CRC Press

    A crucial reference/textbook that provides a wide spectrum of information in one easily understandable source

    The essence of agroecology lies in harnessing and harmonizing the forces of nature for productive purpose. Introduction to Agroecology: Principles and Practices comprehensively explains how this is done, providing a detailed, inclusive look at the underlying theories, concepts, and practices. This allows the reader to explore the full range of possibilities of the nature/agricultural interface and to view agroecology in its entirety, all while providing a clear understanding of the inherent complexity. Productive threats to cropping such as soil depletion, drought, plant-eating insects, heat and cold, weeds, and small and large animals are discussed in depth—with preventative strategies for each—all together in one easy-to-use book.

    This unique introductory reference source is not only aimed at the novice, but also the more advanced student. In a departure from the norm for introductory material, extensive endnotes elaborate upon the basic information, presenting a full look at the arguments and controversies within the field. The endnotes include over 500 citations, offering a broad window that encompasses ecology, sociology, conservation and environmental studies, and several other fields. The text also contains numerous charts, figures, and tables to clarify data and ideas.

    Introduction to Agroecology reviews and discusses:

    • agroecological goals, such as profit, quality of life, and minimum disturbance of the natural ecosystem
    • spatial principles, with resource concepts such as capture, production, balance, and biodiversity
    • planting densities, ratios, and spatial patterns
    • facilitation of nutrient and water capture-transfer
    • ecosystem governance
    • certainty-sustainability
    • threats, such as drought, wind, flood, temperature, and fire
    • the use of fences, repellant plants, fauna, and other means to stave off large animal threats
    • basic insect countermeasures
    • agrotechnologies
    • subdivision, scaling, design packages, agrobiodiversity adjustments, and mimicry
    • monocultures
    • seasonal intercropping
    • facilitative and productive agroforestry
    • the use of reservoirs, corridors, wind structures, riparian buffers, firebreaks, and other means as auxiliary systems
    • land modification
    • social and community agroecology
    • core approaches to alternative agriculture, including genetic, microbial, varietal, rotational, and others
    • agroecosystem design
    • many, many more topics

    Introduction to Agroecology is a unique and accessible reference for those who seek a deeper understanding of the mechanisms and practices that provide a solid foundation for the study of agroecology, including researchers, extension advisors, instructors, and students.

    • Preface
    • Acknowledgments
    • Chapter 1. Introduction
    • Agroecology
    • Agroecological Goals
    • Mainstream Agriculture
    • Agroecological Tools
    • Alternative Agriculture
    • Chapter 2. Spatial Principles
    • Essential Resources
    • Resource Concepts
    • Biodiversity
    • Measuring Growth and Yield
    • Planting Density
    • Planting Ratios
    • Spatial Patterns
    • Specific Interaction Zones
    • Supplementary Additions
    • Chapter 3. Agrobionomic Concepts
    • Species Governance
    • Ecosystem Governance
    • Chapter 4. Productivity Threats
    • Certainty-Sustainability
    • General Countermeasures
    • Threat Levels
    • Specific Interaction Zones
    • Climatic Threats
    • Integrated Weed Management
    • Larger Fauna
    • Chapter 5. Insects and Plant Diseases
    • Management
    • Basic Insect Countermeasures
    • Underlying Concepts
    • Emphasis
    • Chapter 6. Agroecological Concepts
    • Agricultural Plants
    • Agroecosystems
    • Agrotechnologies
    • Chapter 7. Monocultures
    • Ecological Underpinnings
    • Economic Underpinnings
    • Monocultural Agrotechnologies
    • Chapter 8. Seasonal Intercropping
    • Pairings
    • Ecological Underpinnings
    • Economic Underpinnings
    • Seasonal Agrotechnologies
    • Chapter 9. Facilitative Agroforestry
    • Pairings
    • Ecological Underpinnings
    • Economic Underpinnings
    • Agrotechnologies
    • Chapter 10. Productive Agroforestry
    • Pairings
    • Ecological Underpinnings
    • Economic Underpinnings
    • Agrotechnologies
    • Chapter 11. Temporal Agrotechnologies
    • Ecological Underpinnings
    • Economic Underpinnings
    • Temporal Agrotechnologies
    • Chapter 12. Auxiliary Systems
    • Ecological Underpinnings
    • Economic Underpinnings
    • Auxiliary Agrotechnologies
    • Chapter 13. Land Modification Agrotechnologies
    • Ecological Underpinnings
    • Economic Underpinnings
    • Agrotechnologies
    • Chapter 14. Social, Community, and Economic Agroecology
    • The Human Experience
    • Indigenous Farming Practices
    • Human Impediments and Encouragements
    • Quality of Life
    • Economic Gains
    • Chapter 15. Agricultural Alternatives
    • The Base
    • Core Approaches
    • Combinations
    • Composite Approaches (Alternative Agriculture)
    • Chapter 16. Agroecosystem Design
    • Optimization
    • Variables
    • Agrotechnologies
    • Chapter 17. Agricultural Landscapes
    • Factors
    • Legal Boundaries
    • Overall Land-Use Intensity
    • Economic Factors
    • Plot Types
    • Interecosystem Complementarity
    • Basic Landscape Forms
    • Landscape Integration
    • Starting Points
    • Cultural Motifs
    • Change
    • Chapter 18. Summary
    • Natural Mandates
    • Cultural Mandates
    • Mainstream Agriculture
    • Agroforestry
    • Agroecology
    • Conclusion
    • Notes
    • References
    • Index


    Paul Wojtkowski