by Josep Crous Duran
Several members of the EURAF published a scientific paper related to the benefits in production of the agroforestry systems. In this paper the modelled results showed that including trees in pasture or arable systems increased the overall accumulated energy of the system in comparison with monoculture forestry, pasture, and arable systems, but that the accumulated energy per tree was reduced as tree density increased.
Four different agroforestry systems were tested (Portuguese Montado, Cherry tree pastures in Switzerland, Silvoarable systems in the UK and Short rotation coppice in Germany) and in all the systems the greatest accumulated energy occurred in the highest tree density agroforestry alternative suggesting that the capture of environmental resources, such as light and water, for obtaining provisioning services (food, materials or energy) was most effective in high density agroforestry systems.
The paper is available online.