Outlook on Agriculture has published a special issue on “Biomimicry and nature-based solutions.”
I was particularly impressed by “Perils of production with perennial polycultures” a previously unpublished manuscript by the late Bob Loomis (my postdoctoral mentor), somehow resurrected by his colleagues, Ken Cassman and David Connor, who update Bob’s essay with their own on “Progress towards perennial grains for prairies and plains.”
In the same issue, Jilian Lenne and David Wood update their classic work on natural monocultures in “Monodominant natural vegetation provides models for nature-based cereal production.” And I argue that agriculture should “Copy competitively-tested adaptations of wild species, maybe, but not natural ecosystems tested only by persistence.” Andy Mcguire and I addressed some the same issues in 2015, asking “What should agriculture copy from natural ecoystems?” Andy, who earned an M.S. with me at U.C. Davis, has a very-insightful blog.
I assume that other essays in the special issue have identified promising nature-inspired approaches — most of the above are at least somewhat skeptical of mindless mimicry of nature — but I haven’t had time to read them yet.