, Volume 85, Issue 1, pp 1-8
Date: 26 Apr 2012

Agroforestry for conserving and enhancing biodiversity

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The intricate relationship between biodiversity loss and human well-being is increasingly being understood in ecological and economic terms. Despite the knowledge of the multiple dimensions of this relationship and its importance, species and ecosystems are still disappearing at an alarming rate. Anthropogenic pressures are the prime reason for this trend, yet attempts to reduce such pressures and conserve species in protected areas have only achieved limited success. This has led to the realization that sustainable consumptive use approaches that can combine production and conservation functions are also important in conserving biodiversity in human-dominated landscapes. Agroforestry, as part of a multifunctional working landscape, can play a major role in conserving and even enhancing biodiversity from farms to the landscape level in both tropical and temperate regions of the world. This special issue is an attempt to bring together a collection of articles that not only explore and demonstrate the biodiversity benefits of agroforestry, but also the mechanisms by which agroforestry systems sustain such high floristic and faunal diversity. While it is important to conserve biodiversity in protected areas, the articles in the special issue reiterate the importance of agroforestry as a critical tool in conserving biodiversity in human-dominated landscapes.