The Role of Agrobiodiversity in Sustainable Food Systems Design and Management

  • Ciaccia CorradoEmail author
  • Testani Elena
  • Roccuzzo Giancarlo
  • Canali Stefano
Part of the Sustainable Development and Biodiversity book series (SDEB, volume 22)


Biodiversity is intended as the whole of living organisms within an ecosystem, whereby the ecosystem functioning strictly depends on the complex interaction among its biotic and abiotic components. Ecosystem services, as the set of benefits provided by the ecosystems to humans, are related to biodiversity conservation and promotion. Similarly, the agrobiodiversity, as the whole of cropped/bred and associated wild biodiversity under agricultural management, can foster agroecological services provided by agroecosystems. Understanding the linkages between agrobiodiversity and services should drive on the agricultural management strategies. By this, the agroecosystems should be designed through biodiversification in space and time, and managed in order to promote those agrobiodiversity traits connected to ecological services (functional biodiversity). However, since successfully diversification implies changes at field production as well as in downstream, the entire food system—and not only the primary production phase—should be considered to proceed towards the ultimate goal of sustainability. In this context, the adoption of agroecology principles, intended as the ecology of the entire food system, can drive towards biodiversified agroecosystems, which are the sustainable from an environmental, economical and social perspective. In this chapter, the actual food system is described, underlining the negative externalities associated to modern agriculture. Agroecology is described as a possible approach to change production paradigm, from the cropped field to the landscape scale, achieving new models for food provisioning in a globalized context. In the meanwhile, the central role of agrobiodiversity in this redesign approach is clarified, focusing on its definition, measurement and management practices aimed to foster the ecological services provided.


Agroecosystem diversity Functional biodiversity Agroecological services Agroecology System redesign Organic farming 


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Ciaccia Corrado
    • 1
    Email author
  • Testani Elena
    • 1
  • Roccuzzo Giancarlo
    • 2
  • Canali Stefano
    • 1
  1. 1.Consiglio per la Ricerca in agricoltura e l’analisi dell’Economia Agraria—Research Center for Agriculture and Environment (CREA-AA)RomeItaly
  2. 2.Consiglio per la Ricerca in agricoltura e l’analisi dell’Economia Agraria—Research Center for Olive, Citrus and Tree Fruit (CREA-OFA)ForlìItaly

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