Trade-offs between agriculture and ecosystems

As development of tropical agriculture accelerates, compelling evidence is accumulating about how land conversion and management alter ecosystems. Far less is known about how to mitigate these undesirable effects of agriculture, especially while maintaining or improving yields. Below is an example of a research project under this research theme:

Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Global Agriculture

CollaboratorsGlobal Landscapes Initiative at the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota

Description: Currently, the food system contributes about a third of total anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Improving cropland ’emissions efficiency’ – the amount of food produced relative to greenhouse gas emissions associated with this production – is necessary to jointly meet future climate and food targets. While agricultural expansion (e.g., forest clearing for croplands) is a commonly-recognized source of carbon dioxide emissions, agricultural management is also associated with net emissions, including nitrous oxide from fertilizer application, methane from rice flooding, and carbon dioxide from peatland draining. This project aims to assess the emissions efficiency of global croplands, with focus on individual crops and countries.