Building Resilience

We apply resilience theory to study the impacts of management options on yield stability and soil functioning under stress 

Agriculture 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.  

Current Research Activities

  • Potential of conservation practices to mitigate drought in rainfed cropping systems and the underlying mechanisms (Leah Renwick)
  • Coping with water shortages in California: how healthy soils can help? (Leah Renwick, Meng Li, Emad Jahanzad)
  • Improving resilience through integration of crop and livestock production in Brazil (Caitlin Peterson)
  • Impact of soil health building management practices on insect resistance: Development of next generation IPM for California specialty crops (Jennifer Schmidt)