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Benefits and costs of intercropping reforestation in the Atlantic lowlands of Costa Rica.


Agroforestry options as a means of promoting reforestation were testedby establishing with 10 farmers simple comparisons between pure plantations andtimber trees with annual or perennial intercrops. Two year-old intercroppedtrees on-farm had 22–48% greater height and 24–38% greater diameterthan trees in pure plantations. The exception was Cordiaalliodora that did not respond significantly to intercropping withcassava (Manihot esculenta). Only intercrops with the mostvaluable crops on agricultural soils produced a return to labour above thedailywage rate. On non-agricultural soils, farmers only intercrop a small area oftheir plantations with subsistence crops to meet home consumption needs. In thecontext of Costa Rica intercropping appeared to have a limited potential tofinance the reforestation costs of farmers.

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Haggar, J., Rheingans, R., Arroyo, P. et al. Benefits and costs of intercropping reforestation in the Atlantic lowlands of Costa Rica.. New Forests 25, 41–48 (2003).

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