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The authors predict biodiversity loss under potential future agricultural change. Agricultural expansion threatens species richness and abundance worldwide (up to one-third in some areas), often with little overlap between protected areas and high-risk expansion areas.
Sustainable development goals for water use and food production are in conflict, but this could be reduced by proper water management. Here, violations of global environmental flow requirements for rivers are quantified and related to reconciliation potentials in irrigated and rainfed agriculture.
Before maize-based agriculture, there existed in eastern North America a crop system that is now only known from archaeological data. Present research is exploring whether these crops, which sustained ancient societies for millennia, can be re-domesticated.
Fifty per cent of the nitrogen fertilizer used globally is lost as ammonia, nitrate or nitrous oxide. Nitrification inhibitors, exuded by plant roots, play a role in reducing those losses both naturally and in the service of sustainable agriculture.
The long-term efficacy of biochar as a means of increasing soil organic carbon (SOC) remains underexplored. Research now shows that 8.5 years after biochar was added to a subtropical soil the formation of microaggregates stabilized and increased SOC.
Understanding the impacts of government interventions intended to support rural development — such as strengthening land rights or boosting commercial agriculture — is crucial for designing better policies. Two recent studies highlight some of the complexities in measuring outcomes for people and forests.