Activities at the Farming Systems Ecology Group are geared towards the development and transfer of new scientific knowledge to analyze, design, and evaluate sustainable agricultural farming systems where natural ecological processes are utilized to the maximum possible. Sustainable agricultural farming systems comprise both organic and integrated farms, but the emphasis is on organic farming systems. Research is focused on mixed animal and plant production systems and specialised plant production systems (if possible in collaboration with animal production systems). The research activities are categorised into two main themes: (1) Synthesis and design of farming systems,and (2) Analysis of components of farming systems. There is a continuous interaction between activities under these two themes, so that outcomes from the components research can be used to design and optimize sustainable farmingsystems while questions at the higher integration levels direct components research. Components research is focused on nutrient cycling including organic matter management, plant and soil health, and food web analysis. Close collaborations are established with various other research and teaching groups to cover other disciplines needed for research and development of sustainable farming systems.
(Other departments may refer to researchers and projects as well.)