Deployment of diversity for enhanced crop function
Article first published online: 12 DEC 2008
© 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2008 Association of Applied Biologists
Annals of Applied Biology
Volume 154, Issue 3, pages 309–322, June 2009
How to Cite
Newton, A.C., Begg, G.S. and Swanston, J.S. (2009), Deployment of diversity for enhanced crop function. Annals of Applied Biology, 154: 309–322. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-7348.2008.00303.x
- Issue published online: 7 MAY 2009
- Article first published online: 12 DEC 2008
- Received: 6 March 2008; revised versionaccepted: 23 October 2008.
- Crop diversity;
Mixtures of genotypes are the norm in natural and seminatural ecosystems and subsistence agriculture but have been replaced by pure genotypes in modern agriculture to maximise profitability in high-input systems. However, crop function with respect to the stability of yield and quality in particular tends to be lost in this process. Diversity can be reintroduced into cropping systems as a trait not only to confer stability but also to exploit synergies between component genotypes, compensating for potential performance losses against the best performing genotype in any given season or location. Quality need not be compromised, and research has demonstrated practical development and deployment approaches, which challenge the assumed benefits of current approaches to agronomy and achieve enhanced crop function.