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Review of environmental impact of horticultural production systems - HH3601SX

The objective of this work is to review the worldwide literature on the environmental impact of horticultural production systems. The review will focus on two main themes; 1) the effect of pesticides used in horticultural production systems on non-target organisms with particular reference to arthropod and plant communities and 2) the overall effects of horticultural practices on biodiversity (terrestrial and aquatic) within the context of the farm environment. The review will use the FAO’s definition of biodiversity as a benchmark i.e ‘agricultural biodiversity encompasses the variety and variability of animals, plants and micro-organisms which are necessary to sustain key functions of the agro-ecosystem, its structure and processes for, and in support of, food production and food security’.

To our knowledge no specific review has covered this subject area for specifically for horticulture, making this study unique. Current information on the subject is potentially available from a range of sources including the world wide web, conference proceedings and the peer-reviewed scientific literature. Where appropriate, data will also be drawn from relevant studies in the UK which have focussed on arable production systems (e.g. the Boxworth Project, the LINK IFS project, the LIFE project, SCARAB and TALISMAN.

This Review should help inform the development of DEFRA’s policies on developing a sustainable rural economy in those areas of the country where horticultural production is a dominant feature of land use. In particular, it will provide pointers to the criteria which should be used to define sustainability within the context of the observed or inferred biodiversity within horticultural production systems.
The core aim of the project is to review the current literature covering the environmental impact of horticultural systems. This aim will be achieved by addressing the following objectives:
1. Using computer based literature search systems search global literature sources covering aspects of impact that horticultural practice is having on global environmental and its biodiversity. December 2001 to January 2002.
2. Critically review current literature covering the impact that global horticultural practices are having on the biodiversity of terrestrial and aquatic based organisms. December 2001 to March 2002.
3. Review current practices and management techniques associated with the use and disposal of pesticides, in relation to their overall impact on the global horticultural environment. December 2001 to March 2002
4. Based on information reviewed in objectives 2 and 3 comparisons will be made between current UK systems and current practices elsewhere in the world. February 2002 to March 2002
Project Documents
• Final Report : Review of environmental impact of horticultural production systems   (118k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2001

To: 2002

Cost: £15,213
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Fields of Study