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Tightly Controlled Environment

Usually, monoculture is practiced as a component of an intensively managed system, in which many environmental A wheat field near Greeley, Colorado. National Aububon Society Collection/Photo Reseerchers, Inc. Reproduced by permission. factors are controlled to optimize growth conditions for the crop species. For example, to achieve a monoculture of an agricultural plant, only a particular species is actually planted. Other plant species are considered to be weeds, and attempts are made to remove them by hand weeding, manual cultivation, or through the use of a herbicide to which the desired crop species is tolerant, but the weeds are not. In addition, plants grown under monocultural conditions are usually spaced optimally in order to decrease the intensity of competition among individual crop plants. The system may also be fertilized with inorganic nutrients so that nutrient availability does not limit productivity. The monoculture may be irrigated to decrease the importance of water limitations, protected with insecticides against injurious insects, and treated with fungicides to reduce the incidence of diseases. All aspects of the monocultural system are designed toward the optimization of crop yield, to the degree that can be economically and ecologically achieved.

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Molecular distillation to My station and its duties:Monoculture - Selective Breeding, Tightly Controlled Environment, Managed Environment