Diversified farming systems, biodiversity, and multi-functional agriculture

Farming systems utilizing a suite of management practices thatDFS 1 enhance agro-biodiversity and ecosystem services (“biologically diversified farming systems”) can provide many benefits to growers, the environment, and society. For example, amending soils with  composts or green manures, planting polycultures and insectary strips, and protecting remnant natural habitats may reduce input costs, enhance resilience to climate and market shocks, and improve farmer livelihoods and environmental health. Despite these benefits, many farmers face market and regulatory barriers that impede their ability to adopt diversified farming management practices, potentially influencing both the long-term viability of the ecological resource base and the socioeconomic Female Osmia lignaria visiting an apple blossumresilience of rural agricultural communities. Working with an interdisciplinary team in California’s highly productive Central Coast region, we are studying how ecological diversification affects ecosystem services, how growers’ perceive and experience the benefits and costs of ecological diversification, and how diversification affects the productivity and socioeconomic viability of farming operations.


at the University of California Berkeley