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Editorial: Introduction to themed section - supporting ecosystem services with conservation agricultural approaches

Franzluebbers, Alan J.
Renewable agriculture and food systems 2013 v.28 no.2 pp. 99
agroecosystems, conservation programs, crop production, ecosystem services, food production, foods
Ecosystem services are the properties and processes of the natural world that contribute to the well-being of plants, animals, and humans in a holistic and global context. For too long, members of the agricultural community have been solely focused on the provision of food, feed, and fiber. Of course, this essential human innovation has provided hugely important products engineered for mass production that serves all of human society. However, agriculture and the ecosystems in which it is practiced provide numerous other services that are becoming increasingly relevant to its very survival and the survival of humans that it supports. A scientist with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service in Raleigh NC convened a symposium at the Annual Meetings of the American Society of Agronomy-Crop Science Society of America-Soil Science Society of America in San Antonio TX in 2011, and a set of four papers are being published to address how conservation agricultural approaches can provide ecosystem services beyond food, feed, and fiber production. This editorial introduces the rationale and need for future research on this theme.