the cultivation or planting of a single species on agricultural land. in a forest setting. or within an urban landscape.
Monoculture is the agricultural practice of producing or growing a single crop, plant, or livestock species, variety, or breed in a field or farming system at a time. Polyculture, where more than one crop is grown in the same space at the same time, is the alternative to monoculture. Monoculture is widely used in both industrial farming and organic farming and has allowed increased efficiency in planting and harvest while simultaneously increasing the risk of exposure to diseases or pests.
Continuous monoculture, or monocropping, where the same species is grown year after year, can lead to the quicker buildup of pests and diseases, and then rapid spread where a uniform crop is susceptible to a pathogen. Monocultures of African palm oil, sugar cane, pines, and soybeans can all be particularly aggressive to environment. The practice has been criticized for its environmental effects and for having possible long term effects on agriculture and food supplies. Diversity can be added both in time, as with a crop rotation or sequence, or in space, with a polyculture.
Oligoculture has been suggested to describe a crop rotation of just a few crops, as is practiced by several regions of the world.