Journal article Open Access

The Biology of Legumes and Their Agronomic, Economic, and Social Impact

Marta W. Vasconcelos; Michael A. Grusak; Elisabete Pinto; Ana Gomes; Helena Ferreira; Bálint Balázs; Tiziana Centofanti; Georgia Ntatsi; Dimitrios Savvas; Anestis Karkanis; Michael Williams; Albert Vandenberg; Luiza Toma; Shailesh Shrestha; Faical Akaichi; Christine Oré Barrios; Sabine Gruber; Euan K. James; Marta Maluk; Alison Karley; Pete Iannetta


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    "description": "<p>Intensive agriculture and meat-based westernized diets have brought a heavy environmental burden to the planet. Legumes, or pulses, are members of the large Fabaceae (Leguminosae) family, which comprise about 5% of all plant species. They are ancient crops whose popularity both for farmers and consumers has gone&nbsp;through several stages of acceptance, and in recent years, legumes have regained their luster. This is due to a global understanding that: (1) farming systems need to promote biodiversity, (2) biological nitrogen fixation is an important tool to reduce the application of external chemical inputs, namely in the form of nitrogen fertil- izers, and that (3) plant-based foods have fewer adverse environmental effects per unit weight, per serving, per unit of energy, or per protein weight than do animal source foods, across various environmental indicators. Legumes play a key role in answering these three global challenges and are pivotal actors in the diversification and sustainable intensification of agriculture, particularly in light of new and urgent challenges such as climate change. In this chapter, we showcase the importance of legumes as contemporary agents of change, whose impacts start in the field, but then branch out into competitive global economies, modernized societies, and ultimately, improved food security and human health.</p>", 
    "language": "eng", 
    "title": "The Biology of Legumes and Their Agronomic, Economic, and Social Impact", 
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    "keywords": [
      "Biodiversity", 
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      "Nutrition and health", 
      "Pulses", 
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    "publication_date": "2020-07-02", 
    "creators": [
      {
        "affiliation": "CBQF\u2014Centro de Biotecnologia e Qu\u00edmica Fina\u2014Laborat\u00f3rio Associado, Universidade Cat\u00f3lica Portuguesa, Escola Superior de Biotecnologia", 
        "name": "Marta W. Vasconcelos"
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        "affiliation": "USDA-ARS Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center, 1616 Albrecht Blvd. North, Fargo, ND 58102-2765, USA", 
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        "name": "Helena Ferreira"
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        "name": "B\u00e1lint Bal\u00e1zs"
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        "name": "Tiziana Centofanti"
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      {
        "affiliation": "Laboratory of Vegetable Production Athens, Department of Crop Science, Agricultural University of Athens, Athens, Greece", 
        "name": "Georgia Ntatsi"
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      {
        "affiliation": "Laboratory of Vegetable Production Athens, Department of Crop Science, Agricultural University of Athens, Athens, Greece", 
        "name": "Dimitrios Savvas"
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      {
        "affiliation": "Department of Agriculture Crop Production and Rural Environment, University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece", 
        "name": "Anestis Karkanis"
      }, 
      {
        "affiliation": "Department of Botany, School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland", 
        "name": "Michael Williams"
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      {
        "affiliation": "Department of Plant Sciences, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada", 
        "name": "Albert Vandenberg"
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        "affiliation": "Land Economy, Environment and Society, Scotland's Rural College (SRUC), West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3FH, UK", 
        "name": "Luiza Toma"
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        "affiliation": "Land Economy, Environment and Society, Scotland's Rural College (SRUC), West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3FH, UK", 
        "name": "Shailesh Shrestha"
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        "affiliation": "Land Economy, Environment and Society, Scotland's Rural College (SRUC), West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3FH, UK", 
        "name": "Faical Akaichi"
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        "affiliation": "Land Economy, Environment and Society, Scotland's Rural College (SRUC), West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3FH, UK", 
        "name": "Christine Or\u00e9 Barrios"
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        "affiliation": "University of Hohenheim, Institute of Crop Production (340a), 70599 Stuttgart, Germany", 
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        "affiliation": "Ecological Sciences, James Hutton Institute, Dundee, Scotland, UK", 
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