Divided Culture: Integrating and Conservation Biology Agriculture

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Production agriculture, with its implied ecosystem simplification, pesticide and fertilizer use, and emphasis on yield, often appears to be at odds with conservation biology. From a farmer's perspective, the weight conservation biology places on wildlife may seem overly idealistic and naive, detached from economic and sociopolitical reality. In fact, these endeavors are two sides of the same coin, with a shared heritage in decades of population and community ecological theory and experimentation. Better integration of the two disciplines requires acknowledging their various goals and working to produce mutually beneficial outcomes. The best examples of this type of integrated approach result from careful implementation of sustainable agriculture practices that support biological conservation efforts via habitat amelioration or restructuring. Successful integrated approaches take into account both the environmental and economic costs of different farming schemes and compensate farmers for the costs they incur by implementing environmentally friendly farming strategies. Drawing primarily from examples in insect population dynamics, this paper highlights some innovative programs that are leading the way towards a more holistic integration.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalFrontiers in Ecology and the Environment
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Habitat Fragmentation
  • Countryside Biogeography
  • Vegetation Diversity
  • Landscape Structure
  • Biodiversity
  • Forsest
  • Scale
  • Agroecosystems
  • Perspectives
  • Environment


  • Agricultural and Resource Economics
  • Natural Resources and Conservation

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