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Comparing and seeking complementarity between four farm design approaches

Vogt, Melissa Anne Beryl
Global ecology and conservation 2019 v.17 pp. e00520
biodiversity, farms, humans, landscaping
Increasing functional biodiversity in agricultural systems and landscapes is a positive environmental outcome. Farm and landscape design offers an opportunity for improved consistency. In practice design use and seeking complementarity between different design systems is however inconsistent. In literature, comparison and considerations of complementarity between design approaches, even at a theoretical level is not amply available. Improved understanding is expected to increase design use and consistency in functional biodiversity outcomes.Four farm designs are considered by narrative literature review. The article uses the ecological sensitivity within human realities (ESHR) conceptual frame to select and assess information determining contribution of each design to functional biodiversity outcomes. The ESHR draws attention to dimensional biodiversity as essential for functional biodiversity. Farm designs and unique techniques are explained and identified through this lens. Findings are applied to a coffee farm and landscape context. They are presented visually and through specific written examples to demonstrate new understandings.Each farm design results in slightly different biodiversity outcomes, more recognisable at an ecological and human realities level. Unique techniques from some of the farm designs offer opportunity for combinations and complementarity to improve niche ecological conditions and eventually functional biodiversity outcomes.Improved understanding of each farm design and of the presented results can contribute to future research and practice. ESHR aligned design offers an opportunity for niche and consistent functional biodiversity outcomes for coffee systems and landscapes. It can facilitate capability and allow for varying productive intentions.