HRT 405: Sustainable Practices for Horticultural Food Crop Production

Course Code: HRT 405

Credits: 1

Credits and Offerings

  • 1 credit (3 lecture/discussion hours per week)
  • Third five weeks (April to May every spring)

Course Objectives

  1. Synthesize and apply cross-disciplinary knowledge
  2. Evaluate impact of population pressure, climate change and consumer trends
  3. Use ecological and economic models to assess integrated ecosystem services
  4. Design appropriate and sustainable horticultural management practices


  • Overview of food crops, the production practices, and the landscapes
  • Principles and components of ecosystem services
  • The soil food web, trophic interactions, and their impact on nutrient cycling
  • Visible outcomes, decision-making, and sustainability
  • The ladder of invisible biophysiochemical processes and sustainability
  • Translating biophysiochemical changes to practical applications using soil food web models
  • Overview of measuring efficiency outcomes using fertilizer use efficiency (FUE) models
  • FUE models I: Suppressing organisms harmful to plants and improving crop qualities
  • FUE models II: Improving organisms beneficial to plants and soil, and crop qualities
  • Overview of population pressure, urbanization, land tenure, gender gaps, and climate change
  • Trends in consumer preferences and market forces
  • Ecological/economic models for integrated ecosystem services assessment
  • Case studies


  • Discussions
  • Case studies