Biodiversity as an organizing principle in agroecosystem management: Case studies of holistic resource management practitioners in the USA

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Summary: Twenty-five farmers and ranchers using Holistic Resource Management (HRM), a process of goal setting, decision making, and monitoring which integrates social, ecological and economic factors, were interviewed on the role of biodiversity in the sustainability of their operations. While only 9% of the interviewees reported thinking about biodiversity in the context of their operations before being exposed to HRM, now all of them think biodiversity is important to the sustainability of their farms and ranches. Since HRM began influencing their decisions, all of the interviewees reported positive changes in some of the ecosystem processes on their farms or ranches, 95% perceived increases in biodiversity (particularly with respect to plants), 80% perceived increase in profits from their land, and 91% reported improvements in their quality of life because of changes in their time budgets.

Stinner, Deborah H., Benjamin R. Stinner, and Edward Martsolf. 1997. “Biodiversity as an organizing principle in agroecosystem management: Case studies of holistic resource management practitioners in the USA.”  Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 62 (2–3):199-213.