E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Role of Agroecology in Archieving Sustainable Agriculture"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2016)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Carol Shennan

Department of Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +1-831-345-7594
Interests: agroecology; sustainable agriculture; nutrient cycling; soil fertility and disease management; organic agriculture; sub-Saharan African smallholder agriculture

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue addresses the question, “What role does agroecology play in achieving sustainable agriculture?” Increasingly, terms like sustainable intensification, ecological intensification, and ecoagriculture are being used to describe conceptual approaches to achieving agricultural systems that are both sustainable and sufficiently productive to support a growing world population. Where does agroecology fit into this discussion? Does it represent a research discipline that offers ways of designing and managing sustainable agroecosystems building on ecological knowledge that can contribute to all these approaches? Alternatively, in some contexts, agroecology is seen as part of a social movement that promotes small-farmer based production systems, or as an underpinning of organic agriculture. This Special Issue will provide a range of viewpoints and examples of agroecology in action. We are particularly interested in representing perspectives from around the world, and that address the use of agroecological approaches at different scales of farm operations and that link farm management to landscape and watershed level processes and interactions.

Prof. Dr. Carol Shennan
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Agroecosystems
  • Biodiversity and agriculture
  • Socio-ecological systems
  • Multifunctional landscapes
  • Ecosystem services and agriculture
  • Ecological pest and disease management
  • Integrating cops and livestock
  • Agroecosystem resilience
  • Sustainability assessment

Published Papers (5 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-5
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review, Other

Open AccessArticle Indicators for the Analysis of Peasant Women’s Equity and Empowerment Situations in a Sustainability Framework: A Case Study of Cacao Production in Ecuador
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1231; doi:10.3390/su8121231
Received: 23 August 2016 / Revised: 3 November 2016 / Accepted: 21 November 2016 / Published: 25 November 2016
PDF Full-text (1647 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Family agriculture is a fundamental pillar in the construction of agroecological agri-food alternatives fostering processes of sustainable rural development where social equity represents a central aspect. Despite agroecology’s critical openness, this area has not yet incorporated an explicit gender approach allowing an appropriate
[...] Read more.
Family agriculture is a fundamental pillar in the construction of agroecological agri-food alternatives fostering processes of sustainable rural development where social equity represents a central aspect. Despite agroecology’s critical openness, this area has not yet incorporated an explicit gender approach allowing an appropriate problematization and analysis of the cultural inequalities of gender relations in agriculture, women’s empowerment processes and their nexus with sustainability. This work presents an organized proposal of indicators to approach and analyze the degree of peasant women’s equity and empowerment within a wide sustainability framework. After a thorough bibliographical review, 34 equity and empowerment indicators were identified and organized into six basic theoretical dimensions. Following the collection of empirical data (from 20 cacao-producing families), the indicators were analyzed and reorganized on the basis of hierarchical cluster analysis and explanatory interdependence into a new set of six empirical dimensions: (1) access to resources, education and social participation; (2) economic-personal autonomy and self-esteem; (3) gender gaps (labor rights, health, work and physical violence); (4) techno-productive decision-making and remunerated work; (5) land ownership and mobility; and (6) diversification of responsibilities and social and feminist awareness. Additionally, a case study is presented that analyzes equity and empowerment in the lives of two rural cacao-producing peasant women in Ecuador. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Agroecology in Archieving Sustainable Agriculture)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle A Socio-Institutional Approach to Brighten Complexity under Agricultural Pest Invasion Conditions
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 598; doi:10.3390/su8070598
Received: 28 February 2016 / Revised: 16 June 2016 / Accepted: 20 June 2016 / Published: 25 June 2016
PDF Full-text (2537 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study illustrates the inherent complexity and uncertainties surrounding the Guatemalan potato moth pest on Tenerife that has affected potato crops for several decades using a Socio-Institutional methodology and a farmers’ focus group. It focuses on detecting major socioeconomic and environmental impacts caused
[...] Read more.
This study illustrates the inherent complexity and uncertainties surrounding the Guatemalan potato moth pest on Tenerife that has affected potato crops for several decades using a Socio-Institutional methodology and a farmers’ focus group. It focuses on detecting major socioeconomic and environmental impacts caused by the pest. It identifies the stakeholders and historical decisions involved as well as systemic uncertainties. This methodology generates socially robust knowledge and introduces new variables into future decision-making processes. The results show that the efforts made so far to control the pest, based on technical and scientific knowledge, have not been commensurate with the enormous complexity of the issue. Novel alternatives to eliminate the plague and new recommendations have emerged after the application of the methodology. These alternatives and recommendations are related to breaking the reproduction cycle of the moth; promoting agro-ecological strategies and participatory processes; and dealing with uncertainties such as climate change or loss of agro-biodiversity on the island. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Agroecology in Archieving Sustainable Agriculture)

Review

Jump to: Research, Other

Open AccessReview The Eco-Evolutionary Imperative: Revisiting Weed Management in the Midst of an Herbicide Resistance Crisis
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1297; doi:10.3390/su8121297
Received: 14 October 2016 / Revised: 22 November 2016 / Accepted: 3 December 2016 / Published: 9 December 2016
PDF Full-text (378 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Modern weed science is at a crossroads. Born out of advances in chemistry, it has focused on minimizing weed competition with genetically uniform crops and heavy reliance on herbicides. Paradoxically, the success obtained with such an approach and the reluctance to conduct integrated
[...] Read more.
Modern weed science is at a crossroads. Born out of advances in chemistry, it has focused on minimizing weed competition with genetically uniform crops and heavy reliance on herbicides. Paradoxically, the success obtained with such an approach and the reluctance to conduct integrated and multidisciplinary research has resulted in unintended, but predictable, consequences, including the selection of herbicide resistant biotypes. Advances in eco-evolutionary biology, a relatively recent discipline that seeks to understand how local population dynamics arise from phenotypic variation resulting from natural selection, habitat distribution, and propagule dispersal across the landscape are transforming our understanding of the processes that regulate agroecosystems. Within this framework, complementary tactics to develop alternative weed management programs include the following: (1) weed scientists must recognize that evolution occurs within crop fields at ecologically-relevant time scales and is rooted in the inherent variation that exists in all populations; (2) weed management should recognize that the probability of a resistant mutant is directly related to the population size; (3) farmers need to acknowledge that herbicide resistance transcends any one farm and should coordinate local practices with regional actions; (4) incentives should be developed and implemented to help the adoption of eco-evolutionary management programs; and (5) risk analysis can help incorporate an eco-evolutionary perspective into integrated weed management programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Agroecology in Archieving Sustainable Agriculture)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview Diversification, Yield and a New Agricultural Revolution: Problems and Prospects
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1118; doi:10.3390/su8111118
Received: 21 September 2016 / Revised: 18 October 2016 / Accepted: 25 October 2016 / Published: 1 November 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (258 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The sustainability of society hinges on the future of agriculture. Though alternatives to unsustainable, high-input industrial agriculture are available, agricultural systems have been slow to transition to them. Much of the resistance to adopting alternative techniques stems from the perceived costs of alternative
[...] Read more.
The sustainability of society hinges on the future of agriculture. Though alternatives to unsustainable, high-input industrial agriculture are available, agricultural systems have been slow to transition to them. Much of the resistance to adopting alternative techniques stems from the perceived costs of alternative agriculture, mainly in terms of yields. The general assumption is that agriculture that is less harmful to people and wildlife directly will be indirectly more harmful because of yield losses that lead to food shortages in the short-term and agricultural extensification in the long-term. Though the yield gap between industrial and alternative forms of agriculture is often discussed, does industrial agriculture actually produce the highest yields? In addition, to what aspects of the food system is yield relevant? We review the evidence for differences in crop yields between industrial and alternative systems and then evaluate the contribution of yields in determining whether people are fed, the land in production, and practices farmers will adopt. In both organic and conservation agriculture, different combinations of crops, climate and diversification practices outperformed industrial agriculture, and thus we find little evidence that high input systems always outperform alternative forms of agriculture. Yield, however, is largely irrelevant to determining whether people are fed or the amount of land in production. A focus on increasing yields alone to feed the world or protect biodiversity will achieve neither goal. To promote sustainable agriculture, we must move past focusing on these oversimplified relationships to disentangling the complex social and ecological factors, and determine how to provide adequate nutrition for people while protecting biodiversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Agroecology in Archieving Sustainable Agriculture)
Figures

Figure 1

Other

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessConcept Paper Cover Crops as an Agroecological Practice on Organic Vegetable Farms in Wisconsin, USA
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 55; doi:10.3390/su9010055
Received: 6 October 2016 / Revised: 12 December 2016 / Accepted: 14 December 2016 / Published: 1 January 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (523 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Global agricultural and food systems face the challenge of feeding a growing world population in the face of finite and diminishing resources. To guide the redesign of agricultural systems, farmers and policymakers are increasingly turning to agroecology. Organic agriculture has historically integrated agroecological
[...] Read more.
Global agricultural and food systems face the challenge of feeding a growing world population in the face of finite and diminishing resources. To guide the redesign of agricultural systems, farmers and policymakers are increasingly turning to agroecology. Organic agriculture has historically integrated agroecological practices within its regulatory framework; however, questions remain as to the extent to which organic farmers are maintaining and expanding agroecological practices. In this paper, we will address convergences and divergences of agroecological and organic practices. Using cover cropping as a model agroecological practice, we conduct a preliminary assessment on the degree to which organic vegetable farms in Wisconsin, USA are integrating agroecological concepts into their farm management, drawing upon the results of a 2013 cover cropping practice survey. The survey data demonstrates varying degrees of complexity and diversity in cover cropping practices, potentially illustrating the desire of organic farmers to promote a high degree of agroecosystem services. Farmers’ integration of cover crop diversity and complexity was not correlated to farm size or revenue. These results offer preliminary evidence that Wisconsin’s organic vegetable farmers are integrating agroecological practices on their farms, even as growth in the organic market continues to occur. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Agroecology in Archieving Sustainable Agriculture)
Figures

Figure 1

Journal Contact

MDPI AG
Sustainability Editorial Office
St. Alban-Anlage 66, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
E-Mail: 
Tel. +41 61 683 77 34
Fax: +41 61 302 89 18
Editorial Board
Contact Details Submit to Sustainability Edit a special issue Review for Sustainability
logo
loading...
Back to Top