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Trends Ecol Evol. 1994 Oct;9(10):378-83. doi: 10.1016/0169-5347(94)90059-0.

Modelling food webs and nutrient cycling in agro-ecosystems.

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  • 1DLO Research Institute for Agrobiology and Soil Fertility, PO Box 129, 9750 AC Haren, The Netherlands.


Agricultural practices affect the spatial patterns and dynamics of the decomposition of soil organic matter and the availability of plant-limiting nutrients. The biological processes underlying these patterns and dynamics are the trophic interactions among the organisms in the soil community food web. Food web models simulate nutrient flow rates close to observed rates and clarify the role of the various groups of organisms in the cycling of nutrients. Several large interdisciplinary programs are currently focusing on these interactions, with a view to developing and managing sustainable forms of agriculture.

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