Since the early evolution of agriculture, annual species have been favoured as cropping plants, due in part to their reproductive effort. Perennial species have largely been ignored in broadacre cropping systems, as they devote more of their photosynthetic reserves to perennating structures rather than seed production. The reliance on annuals has led to reduced biodiversity and degradation in many landscapes, due to production from monocultures and inefficient resource utilisation by these species. This has changed the hydrology in landscapes, which has been shown to be the main driver of increased salinity, acidification and erosion. The loss of production from these degraded landscapes increases the burden of production from less degraded areas. There is also increased pressure to bring new land under cultivation to produce food for an increasing population. Research has shown that increasing the proportion of perennial species in the landscape can restore function and reduce degradation processes. However, there is a need for these landscapes to produce food, primarily through grain cropping, as grain crops provide the majority of global calorie intake.
|Qualification||Master of Philosophy|
|Place of Publication||Australia|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|