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

Alia Tsang alia at dietrick.org
Wed Nov 12 10:56:47 EST 2014


Enjoy!

On Wed, Nov 12, 2014 at 2:38 PM, Hannah Roessler
<hannahroessler at hotmail.com> wrote:
> 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 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
>> > _______________________________________________
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>> > 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 --
>> >
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>> 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 --
>
> _______________________________________________
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> 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 --
>
>
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