Regulating Ecosystem Services Delivered in Agroforestry Systems
Regulating ecosystem services are the benefits obtained from the regulation of ecosystem processes. The multifunctional role of trees makes agroforestry interventions ideal management practices to supply a variety of regulating ecosystem services. This chapter reviews seven regulating ecosystem services (carbon sequestration, soil fertility enhancement, prevention of soil erosion, water regulation, wind regulation, pest regulation, and pollination) for which research in tropical and/or temperate regions have shown evidence that introduction of agroforestry practices on crop or pasture land can provide significant benefits. In each case, we provide a general description of the ecosystem service and evidence of whether this service increases or not by agroforestry practices and discuss the factors that affect the provision of the ecosystem service in agroforestry. We also discuss the multifunctionality with synergies and trade-offs among regulating ecosystem services and provide suggestions on how modifications of tree-based systems may increase ecosystem service provision. Generally, agroforestry increases delivery of regulating ecosystem services within the landscape, leading to increased growth and yields from crops and animals. However, there are situations where agroforestry may lead to a reduction in certain ecosystem services, leading to trade-offs. Trade-offs among regulating services and between regulating services and other ecosystem services are, for example, brought about by competition for water and other resources and increases in certain pests. We discuss how agroforestry practices can be designed in a way that reduces ecosystem service trade-offs while increasing the productivity of crops and livestock.
KeywordsCarbon sequestration Erosion control Pest control Pollination Soil fertility enhancement Water regulation Wind regulation Trade-off
We are grateful to the research program AgriFoSe2030 and Centre for Biological Control, SLU, for providing funds to write this chapter.
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