Soils, agriculture and food security: The interplay between ecosystem functioning and human well-being

Hurni, Hans; Giger, Markus; Liniger, Hanspeter; Mekdaschi Studer, Rima; Messerli, Peter; Portner, Brigitte; Schwilch, Gudrun; Wolfgramm, Bettina; Breu, Thomas Michael (2015). Soils, agriculture and food security: The interplay between ecosystem functioning and human well-being. Current opinion in environmental sustainability, 15, pp. 25-34. Elsevier 10.1016/j.cosust.2015.07.009

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Healthy soils are critical to agriculture, and both are essential to enabling food security. Soil-related challenges include using soils and other natural resources sustainably, combating land and soil degradation, avoiding further reduction of soil-related ecosystem services, and ensuring that all agricultural land is managed sustainably. Agricultural challenges include improving the quantity and quality of agricultural outputs to satisfy rising human needs, also in a 2 degrees world; maintaining diversity in agricultural systems while supporting those farms with the highest potential for closing existing yield gaps; and providing a livelihood for about 2.6 billion mostly poor land users. The greatest needs and potentials lie in small-scale farming, although there as elsewhere, trade-offs must be negotiated within the nexus of water, energy, land and food, including the role of soil therein.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

Graduate School:

International Graduate School North-South (IGS North-South)

UniBE Contributor:

Hurni, Hans, Giger, Markus, Liniger, Hans Peter, Mekdaschi, Rima, Messerli, Peter, Portner, Brigitte, Schwilch, Gudrun, Wolfgramm, Bettina, Breu, Thomas Michael








Stephan Schmidt

Date Deposited:

26 Aug 2015 16:23

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:26

Publisher DOI:





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