Biodiversity: Tropical Agroforestry

Authored by: Thomas P. Husband

Encyclopedia of Natural Resources

Print publication date:  July  2014
Online publication date:  June  2014

Print ISBN: 9781439852583
eBook ISBN: 9781351043847
Adobe ISBN:

10.1081/E-ENRL-120048077

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Abstract

In recent years, agroforestry has shown promise as being a valuable way to combine the goals of biological diversity preservation and sustainable farming. Although ideally biodiversity would be sustained through the preservation of natural landscapes, in many parts of the world this is not feasible with the pressures to grow food and competition with other land uses. Agroforestry systems can support a diversity of native flora and fauna, which is particularly important in fragmented landscapes. Lands on which agroforestry is practiced also may serve as important buffer zones to more natural habitats and aid in creating contiguous natural corridors for the dispersal of native species. A growing body of scientific data demonstrates that certain agroforestry approaches can enhance the diversity of many native taxonomic groups, including birds, mammals, insects, amphibians, and plants. Agroforestry may be a critical tool that natural resource managers will use to create “forest-like” habitats while meeting the ever-increasing human needs for food and other resources.

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