Carbon Sequestration in European Agroforestry Systems

  • M. R. Mosquera-Losada
  • Dirk Freese
  • A. Rigueiro-Rodríguez
Part of the Advances in Agroforestry book series (ADAG, volume 8)


Agroforestry systems (AFS) are recommended for Europe through the European Rural Development Council regulation 1698/2005, in recognition of their role in reducing carbon (C) emissions and promoting C sequestration which would help to fulfil the Kyoto Protocol requirements. These systems have been found to be a good tool to reduce fire risk and C release in southern European countries. The implementation of AFS could also reduce C release to atmosphere because of the value given to non-timber products, thereby reducing chances for clear cutting of trees. Furthermore, the tree component in AFS will add C into the soil through litterfall and root decomposition, which takes place at deeper soil layers than under agronomic crops or pasture. Tree management practices such as regulating tree density and planting arrangement will influence the C sequestered in the system. Compared with the tree components, the understory components of AFS have less impact on the total C sequestration. The higher inputs of residues generated by the trees in AFS than in tree-less systems may cause high soil C sequestration potential, but soil C increase depends on the incorporation and mineralization of C in the soil, which are affected by understory crop management practices.


Alley cropping Fire protection Kyoto protocol Silvopasture Soil organic matter (SOM) 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. R. Mosquera-Losada
    • 1
  • Dirk Freese
    • 2
  • A. Rigueiro-Rodríguez
    • 1
  1. 1.Crop Production Department, Escola Politécnica SuperiorUniversidad de Santiago de CompostelaLugoSpain
  2. 2.Soil Protection and RecultivationBrandenburg University of TechnologyCottbusGermany

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