Nibbles: Cahokia book, Grape stats, Tides of History, Medieval Arabic cookbooks, Bangladesh hydroponics

  • Prof. Gayle J. Fritz gets 2020 Mary W. Klinger Book Award for “Feeding Cahokia.” Beyond maize and priests.
  • The ups and downs of grape varieties. Airén relinquishes the top spot! So much data: who will calculate diversity stats?
  • Nice, long podcast on the beginning of farming in the Fertile Crescent. More coming up.
  • “Treasure Trove of Benefits and Variety at the Table” is the sort of cookbook we all need.
  • What is it about floating gardens? Quite a lot, really. But they are not easily transplanted, as it were.

Biodiversity loss in experiments and in real life

A large body of research shows that biodiversity loss can reduce ecosystem functioning.

You don’t say. Several years ago we half-heartedly attempted to summarize the literature here a couple of times. We’ve sort of given up on that of late: there’s just too much of it. But there is a fundamental problem with this literature…

…much of the evidence for this relationship is drawn from biodiversity–ecosystem functioning experiments in which biodiversity loss is simulated by randomly assembling communities of varying species diversity, and ecosystem functions are measured.

Fear not, though, help is at hand. The two quotes above are from the abstract of a paper bearing the following title.

The results of biodiversity–ecosystem functioning experiments are realistic.


Nibbles: Robin Graham RIP, Fred Bliss award, Seed production, Chile spuds, Indian goats, Ancient bread, Horner Bier, Cheap food, Vigna, Singing dog, Fungal diversity

Brainfood: Global Food Security, Neutral diversity, Bottlenecks, Slovenian lettuce, Swedish apples, Mungbean diversity, Crop suitability, Breeding graph, Herding diet, Cool shit, Seed storage double, Wild quinoa, Mighty wind

Brainfood: Bacterial contamination, Yam diversity, Multi-parent pops, Small millets breeding, Plural valuation, Seed conservation, Transition, Wild spuds, Enset conservation, Cassava viruses, Maize stemborer, Rice roots