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Glossary

Monoculture

Monoculture is also called single-crop or single-field economy. It refers to an agricultural, horticultural or forestry area on which only one crop or plant species is grown for a long period of time – nowadays usually for five years. Monoculture offers benefits in the cultivation and harvesting of plants, but natural resources such as light and water as well as synergy effects between different organisms are often not optimally used. Monocultures are more susceptible to disturbances due to their lower resilience. Monoculture can also mean that only one product is produced at one given agricultural site, e.g. cotton, coffee or beef. In a figurative sense, the term also refers to an area or a city with unilaterally developed, crisis-prone industry, such as shipbuilding or the jewelry trade. The term is also common to express that a particular system is predominant in other sectors, e.g. in the software sector.