Agroforestry boosts ecosystem services (#journal)

Modelling tree density effects on provisioning ecosystem services in Europe
One constraint on the uptake of agroforestry is a lack of knowledge on how specific agroforestry designs affect productivity. A biophysical model called Yield-SAFE, was used: (1) to quantify the food, material and biomass energy production of four case study systems, and (2) to quantify how tree density determined the supply of ecosystem services. The modelled results showed that including trees in pasture or arable systems increased the accumulated energy of the system in comparison with monoculture. The greatest accumulated energy occurred in the highest tree density agroforestry system at all the case study sites. This suggests that the capture of environmental resources, such as light and water, for obtaining provisioning services is most effective in high density agroforestry systems.