Ongoing agroforestry research in Latvia

 

Although agroforestry is not often immediately associated with hemiboreal and boreal climatic zones, in Latvia there are, for instance, cattle farms practicing animal grazing in wooded pastures, forest badges and bushlands, but it is not counted as agroforestry in statistics, therefore agroforestry is not separated as farming practice in official statistics of Latvia. Cultivation of trees together with agriculture crops are still less practiced, but has great potential in terms of carbon farming and ecosystem services biodiversity.

During the last years several research projects by Latvian State Forest Research Institute “Silava” have been initiated indirectly aimed to estimate benefits of agroforestry systems in hemiboreal Latvia, especially in the context of climate change mitigation and bioeconomy. First research demo field was established in cooperation with the Institute of Agriculture in 2011, when poplars, wild cherry, hybrid aspen, lime and maple were planted in alley cropping system with galega, reed canary grass, Festolium and lupine. Research work is going on.

The first agroforestry research demo field in Latvia

 

In 2021, European Regional Development Fund’s post-doctoral research project “Evaluation of climate change mitigation potential of agroforestry systems with mineral and organic soils” was initiated. The aim of the study is to evaluate greenhouse gas (GHG) emission mitigation potential of agroforestry systems with organic and mineral soils in agricultural land and to elaborate planning recommendations for cost-effective and climate-friendly management of agroforestry systems.

Website: http://www.silava.lv/70/section.aspx/View/276

Project funding: European Regional Development Fund

Project No.: 1.1.1.2/VIAA/4/20/684

Contacts: Andis Bārdulis (andis [dot] bardulis [at] silava [dot] lv), Dagnija Lazdiņa (dagnija [dot] lazdina [at] silava [dot] lv)

 

Installation of GHG measurement equipment in hybrid aspen agroforestry system in Latvia

 

In 2020, European Regional Development Fund’s project “Establishment of an innovative white willow – perennial grass agroforestry systems in marginal mineral soils fertilized with mixture of wood ash and less demanded peat fractions” was initiated. The aim of the study is to develop innovative solutions and technologies for the development of sustainable white willow (Salix alba) – perennial grass agroforestry systems with aim to return marginal areas with acidic mineral soils to the bioeconomy by using organic fertilizers – peat production by-products and wood ash.

Website: http://www.silava.lv/23/section.aspx/View/274

Project funding: European Regional Development Fund

Project No.: 1.1.1.1/19/A/112

Contacts: Agris Zimelis (agris [dot] zimelis [at] silava [dot] lv), Dagnija Lazdiņa (dagnija [dot] lazdina [at] silava [dot] lv)

 

Rooting of white willow (Salix alba) cuttings

 

In 2019, LIFE project “Demonstration of climate change mitigation potential of nutrients rich organic soils in Baltic States and Finland (LIFE OrgBalt)” was initiated. The primary aim of the LIFE OrgBalt project is implementation of climate-change mitigation measures in management of nutrient-rich organic soils in cool temperate moist climate region to contribute to the EU and national climate targets in post-2020 commitment period by reduction of GHG emissions from organic soils in cropland, grassland and forest land. The main outputs of the project are climate change mitigation methods for nutrient-rich organic soils in farmlands and forest lands supplemented with demonstration sites (including agroforestry systems); reduced GHG emissions; improved GHG emission factors for nutrient-rich organic soils and GHG inventory procedures for the Baltic region, GHG emission data base for the Baltic region, guidelines for climate-smart management of organic soils, planning tools, policy tools, stakeholder targeted dissemination, scientific and popular publications.

Website: https://www.orgbalt.eu/

Project funding: provided by EU LIFE program and Latvian Environmental Protection Fund Administration

Project code: LIFE18 CCM/LV/001158

Contacts: Ieva Līcīte (ieva [dot] licite [at] silava [dot] lv), Andis Lazdiņš (andis [dot] lazdins [at] silava [dot] lv)

 

Agroforestry system of poplars and perennial grasses in Latvia