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Forum: New Pathways to Sustainability in Agroecological Systems

Agricultural systems of the future will need to withstand increasing challenges brought by climate change and much greater demands for limited resources: water, nutrients and energy. Research and creative collaborations among researchers, farmers, and other practitioners demonstrate new approaches to improve the function and resilience of plant- and animal-based agroecosystems. These approaches also increasingly examine how social dimensions of agrifood systems offer new opportunities to improve health, communities and livelihoods. This Elementa Forum invites researchers and practitioners to share their work addressing biophysical and socio-cultural questions, approaches and leverage points to help define pathways to sustainability in agroecological systems. The Forum launched with a Commentary by Matt Liebman and Lisa Shulte Moore of Iowa State University, presenting their work on the role of increased biodiversity and other agroecological approaches in improving farm productivity and landscape ecosystem services. Their analyses pose key questions to prompt other researchers and practitioners to share their ideas and work, including:

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