[permaculture] Breeding plants in diverse communities may lead to more productive plants

Eleanor Farlow eefarlow at gmail.com
Wed Nov 12 09:24:42 EST 2014


Hi,
I would love a pdf of this article!

Thanks,

Eleanor


On Tue, Nov 11, 2014 at 7:20 PM, Lawrence London <lfljvenaura at gmail.com>
wrote:

> Even in the early years of the new "organic" agriculture [organic
> gardening, organic farming, biointensive, regenerative, biological,
> natural, beyondorganic agriculture]
> there was considerable emphasis placed on polyculture and taking that to
> extreme limits, permaculture; also companion cropping, succession cropping,
> intercropping/interplanting.
> It was an assumed fact that this would be practiced if you were gardening
> or farming naturally.
> You write: "Would experiments on intercropping, for example, show even
> greater benefits if the plant varieties tested were
> bred in an diverse ecosystem rather than monoculture? Are standard garden
> catalog variety seeds suitable genetics for permaculture?"
> I like your use of the term permaculture instead of agriculture. Yes, I
> would assume that non-gmo, untreated, preferably organically grown seeds
> would be just fine for such an experiment.
> If you could make plantings in "old" soil, minimally conditioned and
> amended, you might get more interesting results.
> A permaculture educational curriculum should absolutely have a section on
> what to do, or preferably what not to do, with the soil on your land or
> land you're working that you rent or are loaned. This should involve an in
> depth look at soil types, the nature of the terrain, i.e. grades, slopes
> and all other features including a comprehensive plant inventory. Part of
> this section of such a course should contain one key question: Are there
> any parts of this land that should not be driven on or worked with a
> tractor or rototiller, ever, only selectively hand worked with some places
> not even walked on. This is a very valid question. Doing crop plant
> development on raw untouched land allows plants to grow in more natural
> conditions than in specially prepared soil. The only amendments would be
> well aged compost mixed with N, P & K (from rock dusts) as needed and
> microbially-enhanced compost tea.
>
> On Tue, Nov 11, 2014 at 3:27 PM, Alia Tsang <alia at dietrick.org> wrote:
>
> > This article was interesting (though I'm still working on digesting
> > it). It suggests that the offspring of plants that have been growing
> > in a diverse setting for generations (8 years in this experiment) are
> > more productive (as measured by above ground biomass) than plants that
> > have been growing for generations in monoculture. The probable
> > mechanism is greater niche differentiation, or specialization, which
> > reduces competition. The implications for plant breeding could be
> > interesting to think about. Would experiments on intercropping, for
> > example, show even greater benefits if the plant varieties tested were
> > bred in an diverse ecosystem rather than monoculture? Are standard
> > garden catalog variety seeds suitable genetics for permaculture?
> >
> > The study doesn't look at what's going on belowground, unfortunately.
> > (And they used a really artificial agricultural soil + sand + perlite
> > mix to test the plants on.)
> >
> > Article link and abstract below, I can send a PDF to anyone interested.
> >
> > Alia
> >
> > Selection for niche differentiation in plant communities increases
> > biodiversity effects
> > http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v515/n7525/full/nature13869.html
> >
> > In experimental plant communities, relationships between biodiversity
> > and ecosystem functioning have been found to strengthen over time1, 2,
> > a fact often attributed to increased resource complementarity between
> > species in mixtures3 and negative plant–soil feedbacks in
> > monocultures4. Here we show that selection for niche differentiation
> > between species can drive this increasing biodiversity effect. Growing
> > 12 grassland species in test monocultures and mixtures, we found
> > character displacement between species and increased biodiversity
> > effects when plants had been selected over 8 years in species mixtures
> > rather than in monocultures. When grown in mixtures, relative
> > differences in height and specific leaf area between plant species
> > selected in mixtures (mixture types) were greater than between species
> > selected in monocultures (monoculture types). Furthermore, net
> > biodiversity and complementarity effects1, 2 were greater in mixtures
> > of mixture types than in mixtures of monoculture types. Our study
> > demonstrates a novel mechanism for the increase in biodiversity
> > effects: selection for increased niche differentiation through
> > character displacement. Selection in diverse mixtures may therefore
> > increase species coexistence and ecosystem functioning in natural
> > communities and may also allow increased mixture yields in agriculture
> > or forestry. However, loss of biodiversity and prolonged selection of
> > crops in monoculture may compromise this potential for selection in
> > the longer term.
> > _______________________________________________
> > permaculture mailing list
> > permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> > subscribe/unsubscribe|user config|list info|make a donation toward list
> > maintenance:
> > http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
> > message archives: http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/permaculture
> > message archive mirrors:
> > https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en#!forum/permaculturelist
> > http://permacultureforum.blogspot.com
> > http://permaculturelist.wordpress.com
> > Google message archive search:
> > site: lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/permaculture [searchstring]
> > Permaculture Institute USA http://permaculture.org
> > How to permaculture your urban lifestyle
> > http://www.ipermie.net
> > Avant Geared  http://www.avantgeared.com
> > https://plus.google.com/+Avantgeared
> > Permaculture: -- portal to an expanding global network of landtech
> > pioneers practicing and teaching permaculture
> > while designing ecological, biointensive land use systems with integrated
> > elements for synergy, sustainability, regeneration and enhanced
> > nature-compatible
> > human habitat --
>
>
>
>
> --
> Lawrence F. London
> lfljvenaura at gmail.com
> http://www.avantgeared.com
> https://plus.google.com/+Avantgeared
> Ello: https://ello.co/ecoponderosa <https://ello.co/ecoponderosa>
> Twitter: @ecoponderosa <https://twitter.com/ecoponderosa>
> Reddit: ecoponderosa
> Cellphone: lfljcell at gmail.com
> _______________________________________________
> permaculture mailing list
> permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> subscribe/unsubscribe|user config|list info|make a donation toward list
> maintenance:
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
> message archives: http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/permaculture
> message archive mirrors:
> https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en#!forum/permaculturelist
> http://permacultureforum.blogspot.com
> http://permaculturelist.wordpress.com
> Google message archive search:
> site: lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/permaculture [searchstring]
> Permaculture Institute USA http://permaculture.org
> How to permaculture your urban lifestyle
> http://www.ipermie.net
> Avant Geared  http://www.avantgeared.com
> https://plus.google.com/+Avantgeared
> Permaculture: -- portal to an expanding global network of landtech
> pioneers practicing and teaching permaculture
> while designing ecological, biointensive land use systems with integrated
> elements for synergy, sustainability, regeneration and enhanced
> nature-compatible
> human habitat --
>


More information about the permaculture mailing list