This textbook applies basic concepts of ecology to address critical issues regarding food and agricultural systems. The intended audience is first year undergraduate students; it may also benefit higher-level undergraduates with an interest in agriculture and ecology. The level of science and general knowledge reflects this target group. The text is divided into five sections with 22 chapters in all. Each chapter has its own student learning objectives. The first two sections, “Context of Agroecology” and “Basics of Agroecosystems,” provide a sound basis for the further study of agriculture from an ecological standpoint. Section 3, “Digging Deeper into Agroecosystems,” explores the related issues of hunger, wastes, climate change, and biodiversity. It is suggested that students study these three sections before proceeding to section 4 or 5. Section 4, “Application of Agroecosystem Concepts,” introduces students to agricultural production and challenges them to use the concepts and ideas from the first three sections to critically evaluate such production systems. Section 5, “Agroecosystem Management,” brings the coverage full circle by examining global solutions and opportunities from both a scientific and social economic standpoint. Particularly these last four chapters offer both food for thought and inspiration for further work. The book’s goal is not to provide a comprehensive literature review; rather, it offers extensive data on and a stimulating analysis of the topic.
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