8 Citations (Scopus)


Rice is a staple food for half of the human population, but the effects of diversification on yields, economy, biodiversity and ecosystem services have not been synthesized. Here we quantify diversification effects on environmental and socio-economic aspects of global rice production. We performed a second-order meta-analysis based on 25 first-order meta-analyses covering four decades of research, showing that diversification can maintain soil fertility, nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration and yield. We used three individual first-order meta-analyses based on 39 articles to close major research gaps on the effects of diversification on economy, biodiversity and pest control, showing that agricultural diversification can increase biodiversity by 40%, improve economy by 26% and reduce crop damage by 31%. Trade-off analysis showed that agricultural diversification in rice production promotes win–win scenarios between yield and other ecosystem services in 81% of all cases. Knowledge gaps remain in understanding the spatial and temporal effects of specific diversification practices and trade-offs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)788-796
Number of pages9
JournalNature Food
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


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