Building Resilience

midwest-drought-d0c14e980ac7cbf1Agriculture is a source of global warming but also provides solution to decrease cropping systems vulnerability to changes in climate if adequate production measures that hold substantial mitigation and adaptation potential are adopted.  Climate-smart agriculture represents a set of management strategies that 1) help adapt agroecosystems to changes in climate by increasing resilience to weather variations and changes in resource availability while 2) mitigating drivers of global warming by sequestering carbon and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. Using integrated long-term approaches, we study the impact of management practices that sequester carbon and promote biodiversity on system stability and crop ecophysiology and soil biological functioning under stress in a diversity of agroecosystems. We apply resilience theory to crop production systems to identify biophysical indicators of resilience and their relation to systems sustainability  to inform shifts in management practices and land use.  

IMG_3634Current Research Activities

  • Potential of conservation practices to mitigate drought in rainfed cropping systems (UofGuelph, Leah Renwick, picture)
  • Improving resilience through integration of crop and livestock production in Brazil (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Caitlin Peterson)
  • Investigate impact of climate-smart management decisions on soil functions and resource use efficiency in organic tomato and corn  (Russel Ranch, ASI, Caitlin Peterson and interns).
  • Potential of soil health and mycorrhizae to mitigate water stress in Almond (ABC, Chris Vasilikiotis, Tamara McClung, Volder lab)
  • Development of next generation IPM for California specialty crops through soil health management (CTRI, With C.Nansen and R.Vannette)