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ARS Home » Northeast Area » University Park, Pennsylvania » Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #379763

Research Project: Sustainable Intensification of Crop and Integrated Crop-Livestock Systems at Multiple Scales

Location: Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research

Title: Drivers of crop diversity in the contiguous United States

item Goslee, Sarah

Submitted to: British Ecological Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/30/2020
Publication Date: 12/14/2020
Citation: Goslee, S.C. 2020. Drivers of crop diversity in the contiguous United States[abstract]. British Ecological Society. P. 1.

Interpretive Summary: No Interpretive Summary is required for this "Abstract Only" JLB.

Technical Abstract: Spatial heterogeneity of vegetation structure and composition is clearly linked to provisioning of ecosystem services, including habitat, biogeochemical cycling, pest regulation, and carbon sequestration. More diverse cropping systems may improvee ecosystem service provisioning in agricultural landscapes. The USDA Cropland Data Layer was used to characterize crop diversity across the contiguous US for 2008–2018, aggregated to 4km resolution. Random Forest modeling was used to assess the importance of climate, soils, and irrigation for national and regional patterns of crop effective richness. Models explained 57–89% of the variation in maximum crop richness, with irrigation as the dominant explanatory variable. Potential crop effective richness was generally greater than actual richness. Major changes in agricultural systems and infrastructure may be necessary to increase agricultural diversity at large spatial extents, and declining availability of water for irrigation could threaten the agricultural systems that are now most diverse.