AGR795 Managing Agroecosystems (8)

Agricultural systems are managed ecosystems. This core subject will enable students to develop their understanding of natural ecosystems and how that knowledge can be applied to agricultural ecosystems. This subject will explore the relationship between the environment and the ecological suitability of agricultural enterprises. A major outcome of this subject will be to impart skills in developing and applying systems models towards the understanding of management options and their implications, from the perspectives of productivity, stability, social equity, economics, and natural resource management.

No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2021.

Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

This subject is restricted to students enrolled in the Doctor of Sustainable Agriculture. 

Incompatible Subjects


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate a conceptual understanding of the ecological principles that drive agriculture;
  • be able to characterise the principles to manage and conserve complexity in agro-ecosystems and apply these principles to management plans and policies;
  • be able to evaluate sustainability in broad context of disturbance and recovery;
  • be able to demonstrate management skills in generating sustainable technologies in crop ecosystems;
  • be able to critically analyse trials in sustainable farming practices and apply the outcomes to planning and implementing practice change;
  • be able to develop eco-friendly models to preserve agricultural resources and evaluate the efficiency of such models; and
  • be able to research, critically review, and discuss sustainable agricultural systems in the broader context of current issues of global significance (e.g. food security).


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Ecological principles relevant to agriculture
  • The natural ecosystems
  • Energy flow and material cycles
  • Populations and communities
  • Human ecology and social traps
  • Theory of sustainable yield
  • The agroecosystem
  • Ecological processes in agro-ecosystems, and the concept of sustainability in agriculture
  • Practice of conventional agriculture and why it is unsustainable
  • Plant production systems and the environment
  • Population processes in agriculture
  • Agro-ecosystem diversity and stability
  • Management of genetic resources in agro-ecosystems
  • Disturbance, succession, and agroecosystem management
  • Energetics in agro-ecosystems
  • Efficient management of sustainability: towards eco-friendly agricultural systems
  • Designing sustainable agro-ecosystems
  • Alternative production systems
  • Ecological management of pests, pathogens and weeds
  • Achieving sustainability
  • Human landscape and how to set priorities
  • From sustainable agriculture to sustainable food systems

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.