The Cropping Systems Ecology (CSE) subject area develops the knowledge on the interaction between crops, species in diversified crops, soil, weeds, cultivation methods and the environment. We use a systems perspective to consider environmental, economic and social sustainability of cropping and farming systems in Swedish and global conventional and organic farming. The CSE subject area includes three themes, based on the competences of the members: 1) Legumes for sustainable food systems, 2) Soil communities and processes, 3) Weed ecology and management. Most CSE members work across more than one theme.
Agroecology, cropping systems diversification and a systems perspective on the management of soil fertility and weeds are guiding principles in our research and teaching, with the aim to produce knowledge for the development of more sustainable cropping systems. We have competences within agroecology, crop production science, soil science, ecology, plant nutritional physiology, biogeochemistry, weed science, microbial ecology and chemistry. Our research is based on a variety of methodologies: field, greenhouse, growth chamber and laboratory experiments, meta-analysis, participatory research approaches and sustainability assessments (including economic, environmental and social dimensions). The subject area collaborates with colleagues at SLU within the cropping systems platform and in other contexts on teaching and research.
We teach within crop production, agroecology, soil and weed sciences and associated areas, at all academic levels, in English and Swedish. In our teaching, we use examples from our own research and collaboration with agricultural stakeholders, to inspire and provide knowledge that can easily be applied - within conventional and organic agriculture.
The CSE subject area is responsible for the SITES Lönnstorp field experimental station with about 80 ha of arable land (62 ha in conventional and 18 ha in organic farming), for field experimentation and monitoring. The CSE group employs the scientific and technical managers at SITES Lönnstorp as well as three technicians.
Links to ongoing projects:
Swedish Infrastructure for Terrestrial Ecosystems Science SITES
SITES Agroecological Field Experiment (SAFE) with four cropping systems: south swedish conventional crop rotation, organic crop rotation (stockless farm), agroforestry system and system with the perennial cereal Kernza® with and without intercropping with lucerne on SITES Lönnstorps field station. Photo: Ryan Davidson.