Agroforestry: Ecosystem services and economics

Trees on farms can encompass woody elements already present i.e. hedgerows, windbreaks, buffer zones, trees in pasture and small woodlands, and more complex structured agroforestry systems where standard trees, orchard trees and/or coppice systems are combined with crops or pasture often in an alley-cropping design.

Interactions between trees and crops and / or livestock can lead to higher productivity compared to conventional systems. They can also provide a wide range of services such as soil management, microclimate modification, shelter, weed control, natural fencing, carbon sequestration and nutrient recycling. We focus on some of the ways in which trees can add ‘value’ ecologically and economically to ecosystem services and the overall farm business.

March 2021