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Title: Response to Pauli, N., L. K. Abbott, S. Negrete-Yankelevich, and P. Andrés. 2016. Farmers' knowledge and use of soil fauna in agriculture: a worldwide review
Contributor(s): Lobry De Bruyn, Lisa  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2016
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.5751/es-08850-210431Open Access Link
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Abstract: Pauli et al. (2016) captures the level of interest of the scientific community in a cross-disciplinary area of soil science and social science, and summarizes the efforts of researchers who have attempted to capture farmers' understanding of soil fauna and their practice in using soil fauna in agriculture. Not all the papers had the same overarching goal, but a number (at least a third) were focused on detailed farmers' observations on soil fauna for agricultural decisions. In my work (Lobry de Bruyn and Abbey 2003), it was critical to take an approach when interviewing farmers that we were not "testing" their knowledge of soil fauna but documenting their understanding, and how that influenced their practice (praxis). Pauli et al. (2016) did not provide a rationale for the examples they chose to use in their paper, with the specific methodology and findings of many of the case study papers not fully critiqued. This paper could have also examined the techniques used to gain farmers' knowledge of soil fauna and examine the strengths and weaknesses of the approaches. Hence, this type of reporting tended to leave the reader with a level of uncertainty as to the weight of evidence behind any particular argument or the other. One such example demonstrates "the chicken or the egg" causality dilemma as to who influences who, with the work of Pincus (2015) showing that it was only after attending a training session on soil testing that earthworms were considered important and prior to that farmers were generally unaware of their value. This example was meant to illustrate how earthworms provide a "potentially rich talking point around which to build knowledge interchange between farmers and researchers." However, the example used seems to be demonstrating a one-way information exchange process, without appreciating what farmers understand about soil fauna in agriculture.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Ecology and Society, 21(4), p. 1-3
Publisher: Resilience Alliance Publications
Place of Publication: USA
ISSN: 1708-3087
Field of Research (FOR): 070108 Sustainable Agricultural Development
050303 Soil Biology
050209 Natural Resource Management
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 960504 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Environments
960607 Rural Land Evaluation
960609 Sustainability Indicators
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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