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current agricultural practices
-new crop varieties
introduction of scientifically developed food crops that can produce high yields
-prevented starvation, but method destroyed future food production
environmental impact of agriculture
1) declining biodiversity
2) soil erosion
5) chemical fertilizers
-farmers only use a few varieties for crops
-domesticated crops have less genetic diversity
-selective breeding leads to crop uniformity
-result= disease vulnerability, pests evolve quicker
loss of soil from tilling (plowing) and wind/water effects
-soil= organic (topsoil) and inorganic matter
-topsoil is lost, leaving subsoil
-solutions= less plowing, no-till agriculture, more perennials, less annual plants
salt build-up in soil due to irrigation
-salt can kill plants (as water evaporates, salt builds up)
-solutions= new irrigation system that delivers water directly to roots, adding water to salt-damaged land
expansion of desert into cropland
-causes= overgrazing, improper irrigation, deforestation
-solutions= drought-tolerant plants, retiring the land
excessive use of chemical fertilizers
-decreases organic matter in soil
-leads to fertilizer pollution in soil
-solution= organic fertilizers, crop rotation with leguminous crops (nitrogen fixation)
chemicals used to control insects, bacteria, fungi,etc
~insects are becoming resistant to pesticides
~untested for health effects
~leads to pollution of soil and water
~disrupts food chains
~biological control (using organisms to eat the insects)
~combining chemical pesticides and biological control only when necessary
developed vs. developing countries
-developed countries have overnourishment
-developing countries have under/malnourishment (poverty is main cause of malnourishment)
-wild populations have more genetic diversity
-domesticated populations have less genetic diversity
plant from asia, all parts of the plant are edible (leaves, tendrils, flower, root, seeds)
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