Contributions of biodiversity to the sustainable intensification of food production

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Biodiversity is crucial for environmentally- and nutritionally-sustainable food supply. Yet often its roles have been under-recognised, with rich local resources of biodiversity that could support more sustainable future food production being lost. Published meta-analyses and systematic reviews however also reveal that biodiversity's beneficial roles are context specific, depending on the particular production system and environment. Along with the trajectory of global food systems toward homogenisation, this presents challenges for biodiversity in supporting future food supply. Practical implementation of biodiversity-based food production options requires not only that these options are ‘biologically’ productive, but must address many additional factors such as the transaction costs of knowledge acquisition for practice adoption. Further understanding the drivers behind trends in food systems, at a cross-sectoral level, is essential.

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