Agricultural Biodiversity

The Wildlife Society defines biodiversity as "the richness, abundance, and variability of plant and animal species and communities, and the ecological processes that link them with one another and with soil, air, and water." Many of our industrialized farming operations have emphasized monoculture approaches for intensive, high-yield production, and have not taken full advantage of enhancing or incorporating more biodiversity on the farm. And although approximately 7,000 plant species have been cultivated and collected for food by humans since agriculture began more than 12,000 years ago, 90% of our food today comes from only about 15 plant and 8 animal species.

Incorporating biodiversity on your farm may include increasing the variety of genes, species, ecosystems, and ecological processes. Small farmers are taking the lead in incorporating more agricultural and wildlife biodiversity into their farming practices through integrated pest management, whole farm planning, and multiple-use management. By finding ways of incorporating more biodiversity on their farm, many farmers are realizing increased agricultural productivity, while at the same time reducing the financial liability of relying on a single crop or service for income.

Agro-forestry, integrated farming, and sustainable agricultural system planning can all improve wildlife biodiversity and reduce financial liabilities associated with a single crop or service operation, by providing an increased variety of organisms that we can use for commerce or subsistence, different kinds of recreational opportunities, and improved ecological services such as the cleaning of air and water. Below are several links to help you explore the benefits of wildlife biodiversity on your farm.

UF/IFAS Sites

UF/IFAS Publications

State & Federal Agencies

Other University Sites

Organizations & Associations

Related Links

 

UF/IFAS Sites
UF/IFAS Publications
State & Federal Agencies
Other University Sites
Organizations & Associations