Agricultural Diversity

Image by Jim Black from Pixabay

Simplification of global landscapes, driven by the expansion and intensification of agriculture, has provided immediate gains for agricultural production, but also degraded beneficial ecosystem processes that support continued agricultural production. There is field-scale evidence of land use diversity’s positive impacts on ecosystem health and agricultural production. However, the impacts of land use diversity at landscape scales, at which land use interacts with biophysical phenomena and human activities, is not well understood.

Our goal is to provide solutions for sustainable agriculture by characterizing how and why landscape simplification affects ecosystem health and agricultural productivity and by identifying barriers to landscape diversification.

This project is funded by USDA NIFA ( Grant 2020-67019-31157). Other folks on the grant are Dr. Kate Nelson and Dr. Jeremy Cowan both at Kansas State University.


  • Spangler, K., Burchfield, E., Schumacher, B. (2019) Past and current dynamics of US agricultural land use and policy. In press at Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems.
  • Burchfield, E., Nelson, K., Spangler, K. (2019). The impact of agricultural diversification on U.S. crop production. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. 285 106615. Preprint available here


  • An overview of our AEE paper given to the PhenoRob group at the University of Bonn in June, 2020 can be found here.
Dr. Emily Burchfield
Dr. Emily Burchfield
Assistant Professor