Chapter 7

Ecologically Based Nutrient Management

Laurie E. Drinkwater, Meagan Schipanski, Sieglinde Snapp and Louise E. Jackson

Abstract

The management of nutrients is fundamental to agricultural productivity and viable rural livelihoods. Farmers have the dual goals of supporting crop and animal growth, while minimizing losses to the environment. Nutrient availability is a function of management practices and inherent characteristics of the environment (i.e., climate, soil type), and the organisms in that environment. In this chapter we explore how the application of ecological principles will provide managers with tools for developing coherent nutrient management strategies that optimize the complex processes governing nutrient cycling in agroecosystems. ...

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