Ms. Shraddha Vekhande will present her APS as per the details below:
Date: 22nd September 2023, Friday
Time: 1030 - 1230 hrs.
Venue: CTARA Conference Room No.2
Topic: Understanding Soil health in Agriculture through the Lens of Ecosystem Services & Systems Ecology
Guide: Prof. Bakul Rao
RPC Members: Prof. Parmeshwar Udmale, Prof. Shireesh Kedare, Prof. Upendra Bhandarkar,
Soils are fundamental to life on earth. Human society, largely depends on products from the soil as well as on the intangible services it provides for maintenance of the biosphere. However, it has been reported that globally 40% of the agricultural soils are being degraded, while in India, 70% of the agricultural soil are heading down a path where they may be no longer capable for farming. This research attempts to understand the linkages between soil health and agriculture productivity through the lens of the Ecosystem Service Approach using systems thinking. In the previous APSs, a sub-set of soil-related ecosystems was developed to understand the multifunctionality of soil within the scope of agriculture activities. Further, to address the complex and intricacy of soil ecological processes, a Causal Loop Diagram (CLD) was developed to identify the various interactions in the soil that are favourable and unfavourable to plant growth. The CLD was simplified using the method of endogenization-encapsulation-order oriented reduction, and feedback loops representing the soil-related ecosystem services have been identified. As agriculture operations, directly and indirectly, affect numerous soil processes and thus ecosystem services, a case study of rice nursery cultivation representing human intervention in the soil ecology processes was undertaken to apply the Ecosystem Service Approach using systems thinking. The developed CLD enables the identification of feedback loops, soil health indicators and trade-offs between the ecosystem services arising due to agriculture operations.