Introduction to agro-ecosystems and sustainable development. The three UN convention on sustainable development (UNFCCC, CBD, UNCCD), the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, the Sustainable Development Goals.
Agroecosystems, processes, factors, emerging properties. Nature of the issues.
Quantitative and qualitative tools for the integrated analysis of agricultural systems.
Impact of agricultural practices on soil fertility. Understandind soil fertility indicators useful to pathways towards sustainable management of agroecosystems. Hints on statistical procedures and modelling.
Cropping systems and environmental and climate changes. Impact assessment, adaptation and mitigation.
Agronomic options for the mitigation of climate change. Conservation agriculture, sustainable management of nutrient cycling in agroecosystems, soil conservation practices and prevention of water and air pollution.
Design of adaptive responses to climate change. Case study analyses.
Impact of agronomic practices on biodiversity. Agroecosystems and ecosystem services. Case study analyses.
Cropping systems to prevent soil erosion and land degradation: case study analyses.
Tools for the integrated assessment of agroecosystems.
Case studies on water balance and fertilization in cropping systems. Application of mathematical models for cropping systems analysis.
Design of an improvement oriented to sustainable development in contextualized situations.
Case study analysis using interactive tools (diagrams, semi-structured interviews, working groups).