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Environments 2016, 3(2), 12; doi:10.3390/environments3020012

Making Rice Production More Environmentally-Friendly

1
SRI International Network and Resources Center, International Programs, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
2
Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Yu-Pin Lin, Dirk S. Schmeller, Wei-Cheng Lo and Wan-Yu Lien
Received: 19 February 2016 / Revised: 15 April 2016 / Accepted: 16 April 2016 / Published: 3 May 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [237 KB, uploaded 3 May 2016]   |  

Abstract

Irrigated rice production is one of the most essential agricultural activities for sustaining our global population, and at the same time, one of the agricultural sectors considered most eco-unfriendly. This is because it consumes a larger share of available freshwater resources, competing with varied ecosystems as well as other economic sectors; its paddy fields are responsible for significant emission of greenhouse gases; and the reliance on chemical fertilizers and various agrochemicals contributes to pollution of soils and water systems. These stresses on soils, hydrology and atmosphere are actually not necessary for rice production, which can be increased by modifying agronomic practices though more agroecologically-sound management practices. These, combined under the rubric of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), can reduce requirements of irrigation water, chemical fertilizer and agrochemicals while increasing paddy yields and farmer’s net incomes. Here we discuss how irrigated rice production can be made more eco-friendly for the benefit of farmers, consumers and the environment. This is achieved by introducing practices that improve the growth and functioning of rice plants’ root systems and enhance the abundance, diversity and activity of beneficial soil organisms that live around plant roots and within the plants themselves as symbiotic endophytes. View Full-Text
Keywords: endophytes; microbiome; plant–microbe interaction; rhizobacteria; rhizosphere; rice; soil biota; System of Rice Intensification endophytes; microbiome; plant–microbe interaction; rhizobacteria; rhizosphere; rice; soil biota; System of Rice Intensification
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Uphoff, N.; Dazzo, F.B. Making Rice Production More Environmentally-Friendly. Environments 2016, 3, 12.

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