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AGR595 Managing Agroecosystems

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AGR595 Managing Agroecosystems

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Course Code: AGR595
University: Charles Sturt University

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Country: Australia

This assessment task will assess the following learning outcome/s:• Be able to demonstrate a conceptual understanding of the ecological principles that drive agriculture• Be able to evaluate sustainability in the broad context of disturbance and recovery• Be able to demonstrate management skills in generating sustainable technologies in crop ecosystems• Be able to analyse trials in sustainable farming practices and offer critique on them

In this assignment, soil flora based biotic microorganisms and related issues are discussed in a brief mode. In this, ecosystem the entire biotic element lives in a symbiotic assemblage. Arid shrub land, in the southernmost part of Australia, is the very significant example of the assemblage of an enormous collection of flora and fauna. This arid land is developed due to a severe decomposition rate of organic material, originated from the plant. As a result of the quick cycling of natural resources, this land becomes arid. This shrub land is mainly comprised of salt brush plants or, Atriplex vesicaria, of Chenopodiaceous taxonomical hierarchy. The entire land is mainly utilized form grazing purpose. In this assignment, all the agro-ecological issues of this shrub land are discussed in a nutshell, in the following parts along with possible remedies to mitigate all of those issues (Daigneault, A., Brown, P., &Gawith, D., 2016).
The agro-ecological issue in the area:
In the arid shrub land of Australia, there is an enormous assemblage of fauna, comprised of Ampurta or Dasycercus cristicauda, Bronzeback legless lizard, coopercrick catfish or Neosiluroides cooperensis and many others (Laurance, W. F., Sayer, J., &Cassman, K. G., 2014). Due to the dynamic enhancement of salinity, lack of food and many other issues, most of these fauna becomes vulnerable species day by day. There is an extensive range of soil surface fauna also including insects, ants, and termites. In this aspect, the latest census is included here to provide a lucid portrait of decade wise soil surface fauna depreciation rate in the arid shrub lands of Australia (Olsoy et al., 2016). 
Due to numerous agro ecological problems, the invertebrate animal rating is abysmal in Australia.  However, the presence of a massive amount of insects plays a significant role in the maintenance of the biological diversity and the equilibrium of the ecosystem (Stoll et al., 2016). Due to an increased level of salinity, lack of natural vegetation, along with tremendous temperature, most of the soil surface based fauna lived in the aquatic environment (Pillans, 2018). 
Along with tremendous temperature, rainfall is very short. Aquatic freshwater fauna including mollusks, crustaceans, water scorpions and all other aquatic fauna completes their entire lifecycle in the aquatic environment. In this arid land climatic fluctuation, lack of water and enhanced salinity in the soil surface creates an excellent challenge for the soil surface based fauna (Laurance, W. F., Sayer, J., &Cassman, K. G., 2014). For that reason, decade-wise the number is soil surface based fauna species become deprecieted from the world due to high rate of extinction. Australian desert is full of reptiles, where thorny devil Geckoes, are very precious species, as they are vulnerable across the world (Laurance, W. F., Sayer, J., &Cassman, K. G., 2014). Among 800 species of Australian reptiles, only 200 species can revolute their adaptation power to survive in the ecological system of the arid land of Australia.  Most of the ecological issue occurs due to the highest level of salinity and scarcity of water. As a result of these agro-ecological issues, most of the mammals of this arid land are now on the way of extinction. 
Most of the soil surface fauna have started their way of extinction after the historical phase of European settlement occurred in 1788. Excluding this soil surface based fauna; Australian dessert is the natural land of more than 200 species of migrating birds, which collect their food and water from marine coastal areas of Australia  (Bautista et al., 2017).
Evaluation of the issue and a short-term trial towards its solution:
After going through the issues of the arid shrub land of the South Australian desert, the most prominent issue is the massive level of salinity in the soil surface. It makes the land incapable of growing natural vegetation. As a result, most of the inhabitant soil surface based fauna had extinct and remained become vulnerable due to the scarcity of food and water (Bautista et al., 2017). On the other hand, in the entire arid land, there are many micro-organisms and bacteria, crustaceans and cysts which have the highest amount of decomposition power. As a result of their decomposition activities, they are always continuing their decomposition activities and create a higher amount of Nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium in the soil. Excluding all other agro-ecology related challenges, high salinity level of soil is the most dominant one where presence of excessive sage brush and salt brush is the basic reason. Rather than, all of these agro-ecological issues, the most crucial is the higher succession of sagebrushes, and salt brushes in this arid land. As a result, salt brushes enhance the salinity level limitlessly, and sagebrushes make the soil sterile. For this reason, natural vegetation, crop plants cannot grow in this arid land.
Short-term and long-term management plans:
Short-term plans:
Short-termed plans included establishment of groundwater wells in the arid lands. To remove the saline nature of groundwater chemicals are also used.
Rain water-based farming is also possible if there is the system to store rainwater for a long time span.
Rather than, the availability of water, it is also crucial to utilize the water in a planner manner. Overwatering is also the reason of spoiling of both the crops and water. 
Long-term management plans:

To maintain the natural vegetation system in the arid land, dry farming will be a great initiative. Mainly, all dissert lands are featured by wet, cold season along with a hot and very dry or low humidity oriented seasons. Across the world, dry farming is prevalent as in this process the rainy season is always utilized (Laurance, W. F., Sayer, J., &Cassman, K. G., 2014).Though the rainy season is tiny in the expansion, in this prior hard work and planning of people can grow the natural vegetations like wheat grains, beans, watermelons. On the other hand in the dry lands where summer is predominant with small sort of rains, mainly Sorghum is cultivated there.

Dry land farming is long-term planning because it needs a long period where the particular crop enhances its adaptation power to the low or high failure.

It is crucial to take some governmental step for water supply to the arid areas for the irrigational purpose.
To establish some canopy line to the water fulfilled area and the arid area will be another step of farming in the arid land of Australia. It will help the farmers to grow natural crops (Reed & R, 2015).
It is also very crucial to renovate the water recycling utilization procedure. It will help all the farms to use a small amount of water for an extended period (Schindler et al., 2016)
People have to make covered water storage point to store all rainwater with a small amount of evaporation based water lose. Rainwater, water from the catchment area will help in farming.

In this arid land management section, farming is the central focus because afforestation can help natural vegetation to grow. Green plants have the potentiality to enhance the rainfall amount. On the other hand, the growth of natural growth will help the arid land to remove its surface based salinity. After these steps, the arid land will be the place for all soil surface based fauna.
Assasement 2: River flood management
Literature review:
The consequence of forest depletion on human communities living in the river floodplains
There has been growing concern regarding conservation of forest and that have been empirical pieces of evidence to support that nature plays an essential role in the well-being of humanity. A mentioned by Keller & DeVecchio (2016), there have been considerable claims made regarding the fact that forests provide and natural protection from floods and it helps in maintaining the levels of water bodies from overflowing into floodplains and average dry lands. They have been considerable flooding in the river catchment area in the last few years which results in two dimensions of properties worth millions of dollars and also destroy the agrarian population. Forest loss also results in additional vulnerability to landscapes that are more prone to floods particular that lying in the river catchment areas (Milman & Warner, 2016). The mechanism can be well understood that with the loss of forest vegetation there is an increased risk of runoff resulting from the reduction of interception of rainfall and evaporating water from the canopy of the tree. According to (Terborgh, J., & Peres, C. A., 2017), this is also coupled with a decrement of hydraulic connectivity present in the soil which leads to natural habitat loss and risk of severity of floods (Rodrigue et al., 2018).
There have been considerable study and researchers reported on understanding the complex development of river catchment specific models and prediction of the frequency of temporal floods (Winckler, J., Reick, C., &Pongratz, J., 2017). There have been researchers conducted to establish that the flood frequency in a country increases as the forest is depleted. The studies conducted have undertaken factors of correlation such as total forest cover and correlation with flat frequency and frequency of flood which is correlated with the loss of forest cover over the period.
Ecological models:
2-D Dynamic flood protection modeling:
This ecological modeling is highly crucial to measure the pressure of water flow in a river and assesses flood in the riverside food plains. It will help the dwellers to take proper steps. To materialize such an ecological model, it is crucial to check all the transverse and longitudinal aspects of the river, measure all the pressure creating objects of the river along with measuring the number of forestlands or trees across the riverside area. In this ecological modeling system, computerized data storage system and satellite supervision are needed . Through all of these parameters, it is now possible to check that, and river is prone to flood or not. On the other hand, it is also crucial to measure that, what is the amount of forest land and its potentiality to prevent the flood from what degree of water pressure in the river bed according to the river bed size (Wohl, E., Lininger, K. B., & Baron, J., 2017).
Ecological models:
Dynamic flood protection modeling:
This ecological modeling is highly crucial to measure the pressure of water flow in a river and assesses flood in the riverside food plains. It will help the dwellers to take proper steps. To materialize such an ecological model, it is crucial to check all the transverse and longitudinal aspects of the river, measure all the pressure creating objects of the river along with measuring the number of forestlands or trees across the riverside area (Wiekenkamp et al., 2015). In this ecological modeling system, computerized data storage system and satellite supervision are needed. Through all of these parameters, it is now possible to check that, and river is prone to flood or not. On the other hand, it is also crucial to measure that, what is the amount of forest land and its potentiality to prevent the flood from what degree of water pressure in the river bed according to the river bed size (Terborgh, J., & Peres, C. A., 2017).
Schauberger’s Key flood prevention model:
According to this flood prevention model, the river ecology is highly crucial. In this river flood preventive model, sometimes, blocks are provided in the way of the river in such a system where water body can flow perfectly, but al the stones, slits, soils, muds become centered in a side. As a result, it reduces the water pressure from the river body (Tonkin, J. D., Heino, J., &Altermatt, F.,2018). In this way, also the flood can be prevented. Such ecological model based system was previously implemented in the river Murz. When the river is controlling many of its branches on its entire pathway, and those blocks are provided, it takes the shape of a DNA spiral. For that reason, this model of Schauberger, a great engineer is also called DNA Spiral model (Keller &DeVecchio 2016).
Riverside flood management process:
Natural flood management:

From the entire discussion, it can be closures that, the presence of forest beside the rivers is highly crucial. Besides, the catchment approach is also very significant. In this process, all the river body should be enclosed in a system where its slits, clays and other unwanted materials will be removed. At a time, strategic management of the riverside ecology is very crucial. According to this ecological study, proper analysis of the natural changes in river water flow, wetlands, present of woodlands may reduce the chance of flood also.

Artificial flood management system:

According to this system, from the ancient times of human civilization, the establishment of the dams, bridges and other blocks are very significant. It hindrances the water flow rate of rivers (Tonkin et al., 2018).

Conclusion :
It can be concluded from the entire discussion that the indiscriminate cutting of trees for commercial and agricultural purposes hurts River system and supply of water. The indiscriminate cutting of tree has the impact on aquatic life in the River system and also impacts the human civilization the consequences of which leads to devastation and extremities. 
Reference List
Daigneault, A., Brown, P., &Gawith, D. (2016).Dredging versus hedging: Comparing solid infrastructure to ecosystem-based adaptation to flooding.Ecological Economics, 122, 25-35.
Keller, E. A., &DeVecchio, D. E. (2016).Natural hazards: earth’s processes as hazards, disasters, and catastrophes. Abingdon: Routledge.
Laurance, W. F., Sayer, J., &Cassman, K. G. (2014).Agricultural expansion and its impacts on tropical nature.Trends in ecology & evolution, 29(2), 107-116. 
Milman, A., & Warner, B. P. (2016). The interfaces of public and private adaptation: Lessons from flooding in the Deerfield River Watershed. Global Environmental Change, 36, 46-55.
Olsoy, P. J., Zeller, K. A., Hicke, J. A., Quigley, H. B., Rabinowitz, A. R., & Thornton, D. H. (2016). Quantifying the effects of deforestation and fragmentation on a range-wide conservation plan for jaguars.Biological Conservation, 203, 8-16.
Reed, R. (2015). Forest dwellers, forest protectors: Indigenous models for international development. Abingdon :Routledge.
Schindler, S., O’Neill, F. H., Biró, M., Damm, C., Gasso, V., Kanka, R., …&Pusch, M. (2016). Multifunctional floodplain management and biodiversity effects: a knowledge synthesis for six European countries. Biodiversity and Conservation, 25(7), 1349-1382.
Stoll, S., Breyer, P., Tonkin, J. D., Früh, D., &Haase, P. (2016). Scale-dependent effects of river habitat quality on benthic invertebrate communities—implications for stream restoration practice. Science of the Total Environment, 553, 495-503.
Terborgh, J., & Peres, C. A. (2017). Do community-managed forests work? A biodiversity perspective.Land, 6(2), 22.
Tonkin, J. D., Heino, J., &Altermatt, F. (2018).Metacommunities in river networks: the importance of network structure and connectivity on patterns and processes. Freshwater Biology, 63(1), 1-5.
Wagner, A., Yap, D. L. T., & Yap, H. T. (2015). Drivers and consequences of land use patterns in a developing country rural community. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 214, 78-85.
Wiekenkamp, I., Vereecken, H., Huisman, J. A., Lin, H. S., Bogena, H., & Graf, A. (2015).Deforestation Effects on Soil Moisture Patterns and Water Fluxes in a Headwater Catchment.In Gordon Research Seminar and Catchment Conference (No.FZJ-2015-07244).Agrosphäre.
Winckler, J., Reick, C., &Pongratz, J. (2017, April).The neglected nonlocal effects of deforestation. In EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts (Vol. 19, p. 9331).
Wohl, E., Lininger, K. B., & Baron, J. (2017).Land before water: the relative temporal sequence of human alteration of freshwater ecosystems in the conterminous United States.Anthropocene, 18, 27-46. 
Kiani, M., Hernandez-Ramirez, G., Quideau, S., Smith, E., Janzen, H., Larney, F. J., & Puurveen, D. (2017). Quantifying sensitive soil quality indicators across different long- term land management systems: Crop rotations and nutrient regimes. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 248, 123-135.
Bautista, S., Llovet, J., Ocampo-Melgar, A., Vilagrosa, A., Mayor, Á. G., Murias, C., … & Orr, B. J. (2017). Integrating knowledge exchange and the assessment of dryland management alternatives–A learning-centered participatory approach. Journal of environmental management, 195, 35-45.
Pillans, B. J. (2018). Seeing red: some aspects of the geological and climatic history of the Australian arid zone. In On the Ecology of Australia’s Arid Zone (pp. 5-43). Springer, Cham.
Rodriguez-Caballero, E., Belnap, J., Büdel, B., Crutzen, P. J., Andreae, M. O., Pöschl, U., & Weber, B. (2018). Dryland photoautotrophic soil surface communities endangered by global change. Nature Geoscience, 11(3), 185.
He, H., Eldridge, D. J., & Lambers, H. (2018). Mineral nutrition of plants in Australia’s arid zone. In On the Ecology of Australia’s Arid Zone (pp. 77-102). Springer, Cham.

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