Vitousek and Daily, who are both emeriti faculty directors of the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (E-IPER), have been recognized for work that has benefited the scientific community and society in general.
The researchers found that farms with diverse crops planted together provide more secure, stable habitats for wildlife and are more resilient to climate change than the single-crop standard that dominates today’s agriculture industry.
The researchers set out to understand where nature contributes the most to people and how many people may be affected by future changes. By 2050, up to 5 billion people could be at higher risk of water pollution, coastal storms and underpollinated crops.
Expanding monoculture threatens valuable services from land, such as flood control and climate stabilization. A new approach promises to protect these benefits, while improving biodiversity and human livelihoods in rural areas.