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Paulo Petersen

In: The SAGE Handbook of Nature: Three Volume Set

Chapter 71: Agroecology and the Restoration of Organic Metabolisms in Agrifood Systems

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Agroecology and the Restoration of Organic Metabolisms in Agrifood Systems
Agroecology and the Restoration of Organic Metabolisms in Agrifood Systems
Paulo Petersen

Agriculture by definition implies human intervention in the natural world. Technically speaking, it signifies the conversion of the ecosystem into an agroecosystem. The ecosystem is an ecological system whose reproduction is assured by the work of nature: in other words, by material cycles and energy flows primarily fed by solar radiation. For 95% of our history as a species we appropriated the fruits of nature's work through the practices of gathering, hunting and fishing. The level of human intervention in the ecosystem was minimal, in most cases limited to extracting selected elements from nature.

Around ten thousand years ago, the human relationship with the rest ...

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