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Esteban Andrés Abbona

Bio: Esteban Andrés Abbona is an academic researcher from National University of La Plata. The author has contributed to research in topic(s): Floodplain & Agroecology. The author has an hindex of 3, co-authored 11 publication(s) receiving 76 citation(s). Previous affiliations of Esteban Andrés Abbona include National Scientific and Technical Research Council.

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Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: The ecological principles underlying traditional agricultural management practices are not always understood. On the coast of Berisso, Argentina, traditional management practices are applied to “old” vineyards located in flood plain areas, subject to periodic floods. Over the last few years, “new” vineyards have been planted at slightly higher altitudes, protecting them from river flooding. Despite the ecological differences between the low and high areas, farmers have largely extended traditional management practices to the new vineyards. This study was undertaken to evaluate the risks involved when traditional agricultural management practices are applied to different ecological settings while the underlying ecological principles of those practices are not well understood. The evaluation relies on three distinct sections: (1) assessing the sustainability of a traditional vineyard management system, (2) analyzing its underlying ecological principles and (3) investigating the potential consequences of applying management practices utilized in flood plain zones to higher altitudes. To carry out the evaluation, a methodology based on indicators was used. In particular, an evaluation was developed to examine traditional vineyard management effects on both internal resources, such as soil properties and biodiversity, and external resources, such as nonrenewable energy and water resources. In old vineyards situated within the flood plain, traditional management practices recycle organic matter, preserve biodiversity, provide for an efficient use of nonrenewable energy and ensure a low risk of underground water contamination from pesticides. Furthermore, the soil nutrient balance is maintained via nutrient input from river sediments. In contrast, new vineyards present a negative soil nutrient balance. Our findings thus suggest that traditional management practices are ecologically sound when considered within their original ecological context, but may be inappropriate in new ecological settings.

61 citations

09 Oct 2010
Abstract: La existencia de una racionalidad ecologica implicita en el manejo de los recursos naturales en agricultores tradicionales ha permitido la sustentabilidad de los agroecosistemas. Comprender la racionalidad ecologica en agricultores con caracteristicas diferentes a la agricultura tradicional, podria contribuir a avanzar hacia una agricultura sustentable. Sin embargo, esto no es sencillo debido a la propia complejidad del termino y la ausencia de metodologia que permita abordarla. En este contexto, se propone y valida una metodologia para abordar la racionalidad ecologica en tres grupos de agricultores horticolas del partido de La Plata, Argentina. La propuesta consta de ocho pasos: 1) definicion del marco conceptual, 2) planteo de hipotesis, 3) definicion de las dimensiones de analisis, 4) definicion de ambitos, categorias y descriptores de analisis, 5) definicion de los indicadores, 6) relevamiento de datos, 7) analisis de resultados, 8) validacion de la hipotesis. La metodologia permitio generar un conjunto de indicadores que fueron sensibles y pertinentes para analizar la racionalidad ecologica. Se observo que los agricultores organicos y los pequenos agricultores, con menor posibilidad de incorporar insumos externos, desarrollan una racionalidad ecologica mas adecuada a la conservacion de los recursos naturales, que los agricultores capitalizados con mayor acceso a la tecnologia.

5 citations

28 Sep 2007
Abstract: Se analizo la racionalidad ecologica (RE) en relacion a la capacidad de modificar el ambiente en 3 grupos de agricultores horticolas de La Plata (capitalizados, pequenos y organicos). La RE se evaluo a traves de las dimensiones Saber y Hacer, para las cuales se construyeron indicadores y se seleccionaron ambitos de evaluacion y categorias de analisis. Se encontro que la capacidad de modificar el ambiente estuvo asociada negativamente con la RE. Los agricultores organicos presentaron una mayor RE seguidos de los pequenos y de los capitalizados. Se concluye que el conocimiento de la RE de los agricultores es una herramienta valiosa para el diseno de estrategias de intervencion por parte de profesionales, instituciones y organismos de extension.

3 citations

12 Nov 2006
Abstract: Una agricultura sustentable requiere un abordaje de los sistemas que permita entender tanto los componentes como las interacciones entre estos. En este trabajo se compararon dos agroecosistemas (vinedos), abordados a traves del enfoque sistemico. Se analizaron componentes, interacciones, entradas y salidas a los sistemas; asi como las similitudes y diferencias tanto en el ciclado de la materia organica, como en el flujo de nutrientes. Palabras clave: enfoque sistemico, agroecosistema, sustentabilidad, agroecologia.

2 citations

12 Nov 2006
Abstract: El logro de un desarrollo sustentable requiere de sistemas agricolas sustentables, para lo cual, son necesarios mecanismos de evaluacion en tal sentido. Se analiza el uso de indicadores como herramienta para evaluar la sustentabilidad ecologica, aplicado dentro de un marco metodologico con enfoque agroecologico, y utilizado en los sistemas agricolas de vid en Berisso, Argentina. Palabras clave: agroecologia, agricultura sustentable, indicadores, sustentabilidad.

2 citations

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Five additional avenues that agronomic research could follow to strengthen the ecological intensification of current farming systems are proposed, assuming that progress in plant sciences over the last two decades provides new insight of potential use to agronomists.
Abstract: Agriculture is facing up to an increasing number of challenges, including the need to ensure various ecosystem services and to resolve apparent conflicts between them. One of the ways forward for agriculture currently being debated is a set of principles grouped together under the umbrella term “ecological intensification”. In published studies, ecological intensification has generally been considered to be based essentially on the use of biological regulation to manage agroecosystems, at field, farm and landscape scales. We propose here five additional avenues that agronomic research could follow to strengthen the ecological intensification of current farming systems. We begin by assuming that progress in plant sciences over the last two decades provides new insight of potential use to agronomists. Potentially useful new developments in plant science include advances in the fields of energy conversion by plants, nitrogen use efficiency and defence mechanisms against pests. We then suggest that natural ecosystems may also provide sources of inspiration for cropping system design, in terms of their structure and function on the one hand, and farmers’ knowledge on the other. Natural ecosystems display a number of interesting properties that could be incorporated into agroecosystems. We discuss the value and limitations of attempting to ‘mimic’ their structure and function, while considering the differences in objectives and constraints between these two types of system. Farmers develop extensive knowledge of the systems they manage. We discuss ways in which this knowledge could be combined with, or fed into scientific knowledge and innovation, and the extent to which this is likely to be possible. The two remaining avenues concern methods. We suggest that agronomists make more use of meta-analysis and comparative system studies, these two types of methods being commonly used in other disciplines but barely used in agronomy. Meta-analysis would make it possible to quantify variations of cropping system performances in interaction with soil and climate conditions more accurately across environments and socio-economic contexts. Comparative analysis would help to identify the structural characteristics of cropping and farming systems underlying properties of interest. Such analysis can be performed with sets of performance indicators and methods borrowed from ecology for analyses of the structure and organisation of these systems. These five approaches should make it possible to deepen our knowledge of agroecosystems for action.

380 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Vineyards represent one of the most erosion-prone types of cultivated land. Because of this, cultivation practices are very important in reducing the soil erosion risk in vineyard regions. The aim of this paper was to assess the impact of various management practices on soil loss in vineyards. Effects of tillage, hoeing, rotavating and grass cover were evaluated in small vineyards located in southwestern Slovakia in the Vrable viticultural district. Erosion and deposition rates were estimated using the levelling method. This method is based on an evaluation of variability of the soil surface against vineyard poles measured between the year of pole insertion and the year of measurement. On the basis of the measured data, a WATEM/SEDEM distributed soil erosion model was calibrated, and the total soil loss from the vineyards under different management conditions was estimated. The model shows rather good performance in modelling soil erosion, but at the same time, it shows lower reliability in modelling soil deposition. Downslope tilled vineyards were the most eroded; the erosion in rotavated vineyards is somewhat reduced. The most protective tillage system is hoeing. Considerably lower soil loss was estimated with the use of vegetation cover between vine rows, which is in accordance with agro-environmental schemes supporting use of grass cover as an erosion prevention measure in vineyards. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

200 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Despite the wine industry's reputation as being environmentally safe, prior research has shown the cultivation of wine grapes and production of wine to be associated with a large number of environmental concerns. The present study utilised an integrative literature review to investigate key areas of environmental concern currently faced by organisations in the global wine industry. Concerns discussed include water use and quality, the generation and management of organic and inorganic waste streams, energy use and the production of greenhouse gas emissions, chemical use, land use issues and the impact on ecosystems. The review reveals current practice within wine organisations to be largely unexplored and inadequate. Practice is characterised by a lack of the quantitative environmental data required if the industry is to bring about lasting environmental improvement to operational processes, products, and towards economically and environmentally improved performance.

156 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
18 Mar 2015
Abstract: Notions of terroir and their conceptualization through agro-environmental sciences have become popular in many parts of world. Originally developed for wine, terroir now encompasses many other crops in- cluding fruits, vegetables, cheese, olive oil, coffee, cacao and other crops, linking the uniqueness and quality of both beverages and foods to the environment where they are produced, giving the consumer a sense of place. Climate, geology, geomorphology and soil are the main environmental factors which make up the terroir ef- fect on different scales. Often considered immutable culturally, the natural components of terroir are actually a set of processes, which together create a delicate equilibrium and regulation of its effect on products in both space and time. Due to both a greater need to better understand regional-to-site variations in crop production and the growth in spatial analytic technologies, the study of terroir has shifted from a largely descriptive regional science to a more applied, technical research field. Furthermore, the explosion of spatial data availability and sensing technologies has made the within-field scale of study more valuable to the individual grower. The result has been greater adoption of these technologies but also issues associated with both the spatial and temporal scales required for practical applications, as well as the relevant approaches for data synthesis. Moreover, as soil microbial communities are known to be of vital importance for terrestrial processes by driving the major soil geochemical cycles and supporting healthy plant growth, an intensive investigation of the microbial organiza- tion and their function is also required. Our objective is to present an overview of existing data and modelling approaches for terroir functional modelling, footprinting and zoning on local and regional scales. This review will focus on two main areas of recent terroir research: (1) using new tools to unravel the biogeochemical cy- cles of both macro- and micronutrients, the biological and chemical signatures of terroirs (i.e. the metagenomic approach and regional fingerprinting); (2) terroir zoning on different scales: mapping terroirs and using remote- and proxy-sensing technologies to monitor soil quality and manage the crop system for better food quality. Both implementations of terroir chemical and biological footprinting and geospatial technologies are promising for the management of terroir units, particularly the remote and proxy data in conjunction with spatial statistics. Indeed, the managed zones will be updatable and the effects of viticultural and/or soil management practices might be easier to control. The prospect of facilitated terroir spatial monitoring makes it possible to address another great challenge in the years to come: the issue of terroir sustainability and the construction of efficient soil/viticultural management strategies that can be assessed and applied across numerous scales.

75 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Sustainability assessment oriented to improve current systems and practices is urgently needed, particularly in the context of small farmer natural resource management systems (NRMS). Unfortunately, social-ecological systems (SES) theory, sustainability evaluation frameworks, and assessment methods are still foreign not only to farmers but to many researchers, students, NGOs, policy makers/operators, and other interested groups. In this paper we examine the main achievements and challenges of the MESMIS Program (Spanish acronym for Indicator-based Sustainability Assessment Framework), a 15-year ongoing effort with impact in 60 case studies and 20 undergraduate and graduate programs mainly in Ibero-America that is attempting to cope with the stated challenges. The MESMIS experience shows that it is possible to conduct sustainability assessments in the context of small farmers through a long-term, participatory, interdisciplinary, and multi-institutional approach that integrates a solid theoretical background, a field-tested operational framework, learning tools specifically devised to facilitate the understanding of sustainability as a multidimensional and dynamic concept, and a growing set of case studies to apply to and get feedback from users. Specifically, through the dissemination of the MESMIS assessment framework in a large set of case studies in a contrasting set of social-ecological contexts, we have been able to: (a) characterize the NRMS, their subsystems, and their main interactions; (b) link attributes, i.e., general systemic properties, with sustainability indicators to assess critical socioeconomic and environmental aspects of the NRMS; (c) integrate indicators through multicriteria tools and to expose the multidimensional aspects of sustainability; (d) propose an initial multiscale assessment to articulate processes and actors at different spatial scales; (e) develop multimedia learning tools, i.e., Interactive-MESMIS, to help users understand dynamic concepts, trade-offs, and counter-intuitive behavior; and (f) promote participatory processes through role-playing games and agent-based simulation models. Key challenges are related to the need to conduct long-term longitudinal studies that fully capture system dynamic properties while at the same time actively involving relevant stakeholders through creative and lasting participative processes. We outline an improved assessment framework that should help move the program in this direction.

74 citations