Working with uncertainties: The future of integrating agriculture and biodiversity in the Muttama Creek Catchment Area, Australia.

SCIENCE FOR SUSTAINABILITY


The landscape of the Muttama Creek Catchment area (photo credit: Tamara Schaal)


As land-use change and agricultural intensification are key drivers of today’s biodiversity crisis, farmers are increasingly asked to display how they protect the natural environment on their farms, for example by consumers or financiers. There is also an ongoing discussion in academic circles about the best solution to protecting biodiversity in agriculture. The future of agricultural landscapes cannot be predicted with certainty, as farming systems are complex and multiple factors can have sudden or long-term influences. The Muttama Creek Catchment area (MCCA) is in many respects a typical agricultural landscape in south-eastern Australia: a mosaic of wheat and canola fields, eucalypts, paddocks, and flocks of sheep or cattle. However, agricultural developments in the past not only led to increases in productivity and output but also to growing pressures on the landscape such as soil loss, salinity or acidity…

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