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

Hannah Roessler hannahroessler at hotmail.com
Wed Nov 12 09:38:05 EST 2014


Hello there,
I too would love a pdf of this article.
Thank you,
Hannah

> Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2014 09:24:42 -0500
> From: eefarlow at gmail.com
> To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [permaculture] Breeding plants in diverse communities may lead to more productive plants
> 
> 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.
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> > > Permaculture: -- portal to an expanding global network of landtech
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> > > elements for synergy, sustainability, regeneration and enhanced
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> > --
> > Lawrence F. London
> > lfljvenaura at gmail.com
> > http://www.avantgeared.com
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> > Ello: https://ello.co/ecoponderosa <https://ello.co/ecoponderosa>
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> > 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 --
> >
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> 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 --
 		 	   		  


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