Thursday, 11 October 2018

Polyculture doubles CO2 sequestration (online)

Species-rich forests store twice as much carbon as monocultures

Species-rich subtropical forests can take up, on average, twice as much carbon as monocultures. An international research team with the involvement of the University of Zurich has evaluated data from forests grown specifically for this purpose in China with a total of over 150,000 trees. After eight years, such species-rich forest plots stored an average of 32 tons of carbon per hectare in above ground biomass. By contrast, monocultures averaged only 12 tons of carbon per hectare—less than half as much.

Kevin Anderson's radical response to IPCC (online)

Professor Kevin Anderson responds to the IPCC report
The UK's foremost radical expert gives his response, and his challenge: 'The responsibility for global emissions is heavily skewed towards the lifestyles of a relatively few high emitters. Almost 50% of global carbon emissions arise from the activities of around 10% of the global population, increasing to 70% of emissions from just 20% of citizens. Impose a limit on the per-capita carbon footprint of the top 10% of global emitters, equivalent to that of an average European citizen, and global emissions could be reduced by one third in a year or two.'

Agroforestry greens The Sahel (Journal)

Hydraulic Redistribution by Native Sahelian Shrubs: Bioirrigation to Resist In-Season Drought

Hydraulic redistribution (HR) by woody vegetation has been proposed as a potential water source for crops in intercropped systems. The native woody shrub, Guiera senegalensis, grows across the African Sahel and has shown profound yield benefits to associated pearl millet crops, especially in drought years. The authors tested whether this benefit resulted from the shrubs performing hydraulic redistribution (HR). They found millet biomass production when intercropped with shrubs was over 900% greater than crops grown without shrubs. This finding illuminates HR and water transfer as an important mechanism in agroforestry in a region where food security is a serious issue.

Latest IPCC report (online)

IPCC Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C

An IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty. For those working to inspire effective action on climate, start with section 4.3.3, pp.71-77, here:

Photo celebration of small farmers (exhibition)

300 photographs, 50 farming communities, 47 photographers, 6 continents. In London and simultaneously all over the world. 

An exhibition celebrating small-scale farming and agro-ecology. This is about people, not production lines; farms not factories; agri-culture, not agri-business. This is about a fair and just farming system that regenerates the Earth and does not cost the planet. For the last three years, We Feed the World has captured the triumphs and challenges of 50 communities around the world. These extraordinary images and their incredible stories aim to forge a new and positive narrative about the farmers who really feed the world.

Monday, 8 October 2018

Crop nibblers and how to stop them (online)

Crop Nibblers; Who Else is Eating Your Crops

Victoria Burton of The Permaculture Assciation Britain and Alice Ambler of The James Hutton Institute present three articles looking at common or gaden pests; invertebrates, birds and small mammals. The articles cover how to find out what's nibbling your crops, why they want to, and some environmentally friendly ways to stop them.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Evidence for permaculture principles (journal)

Permaculture—Scientific Evidence of Principles for the Agroecological Design of Farming Systems

Permaculture practitioners have long been using design principles without them ever being scrutinized. Here, the authors review the scientific literature to evaluate the scientific basis for the design principles proposed by permaculture co-originator, David Holmgren. Scientific evidence for all twelve principles is presented. Even though permaculture principles describing the structure of favorable agroecosystems were quite similar to the agroecological approach, permaculture in addition provides principles to guide the design, implementation, and maintenance of resilient agroecological systems.