9 November 2016
Earth has recently entered the new era of the Anthropocene, during which the rise of human activities are impacting for the first time ecosystems and climate on the global scale. Since the 1960s the green revolution has improved food production in quantity using industrially-designed agriculture, which has led to global pollution by pesticides and losses of food quality, biodiversity and soil carbon. As a consequence there is a need to implement agroecological practices in order to produce food safely and in a sustainable way. This virtual issue presents principles and applications of agroecological engineering, exemplified in 19 selected review articles from the journal Agronomy for Sustainable Development, one of the most recognized journals in Agronomy. Practical examples of agroecological engineering include ecological pest control, intercropping, multiple cropping systems, biofertilisation, or the management of important components of agroecosystems such as ditches in landscapes, weeds and bees, and soil biodiversity. On the whole, this virtual issue covers a large range of topics and systems in temperate and tropical environments.