Global perspectives, key facts and figures, useful literature & links

This site was developed and maintained by the Instructor and students in BIOL 3068: Agroecosystems at Dalhousie University over the period 1998 to 2001. It has not been updated. However some of the student papers and resources may still be of interest to visitors.

Site Contents

An agroecosystems perspective of grazing management

Intensive rotational grazing (top right) results in greatly increased productivity compared to the traditional continuous grazing or "back 40" approach (bottom right). Rotational grazing also stimulates proliferation of legumes and can eliminate the need for nitrogen fertilizers. On the other hand, the traditional systems are better for conservation of biodiversity because the livestock leave many untouched patches.

An agroecosystems perspective helps to identify these sorts of tradeoffs and contributes to strategies for realizing both high productivity of domesticated species and conservation of wild species.

Agroecosystems can be defined spatially as individual crops or farms. They occupy approximately 35% of the ice-free land area. Biodiversity varies from enhanced to impoverished in comparison to the pristine systems that were converted to agriculture. Agroecosystems are important in our daily lives, and have significant impacts on adjacent ecosystems and on global ecological processes, yet they are largely overlooked in most university biology curricula. This site provides an overview of agriculture, viewed from an ecosystems perspective, and a gateway to more detailed information.

This site is maintained by the Agroecosystems class (Biology 3068) at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada. Site documents may be copied for use in non-commercial, educational documents; please acknowledge source. Photographs, unless otherwise acknowledged, were taken by the Instructor (David Patriquin).


Pages and links for
student projects*

*These materials are designed for Dalhousie University students but may be of interest to others.

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  • Style for in-text references to Web Pages: Parenthetical or In-text references to Web Pages are given as the page title in upper case, preceeded by an asterisk, e.g. this page would be cited in the text as (*AGROECOSYSTEMS). Links are given with the full citations in the Cited Literature and Links section. See Citation Style for more details.

    Site maintained by D.G. Patriquin
    & the Agroecosystems Class,
    Dalhousie University, Canada
    Site Posted April 26, 1998
    Modifications ongoing (Jan 2001)

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