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Special Issue "Sustainable Agroforestry"

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A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2013)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Siegfried Bauer (Website)

Department of Project and Regional Planning, University of Giessen, Senckenbergstr. 3, 35390 Giessen, Germany
Interests: environmental economics and policy; rural development and regional policy; agricultural development; indicators for sustainability

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Agroforestry is considered as a compromise between the protection of the ecosystem and the necessity of producing food, earning income for the farm family and provide long term usable resources for regional development.  This special issue comprises selected papers from this special land use system. Case studies from various countries are welcome, as well as methodological approaches for analyzing and evaluating such land use systems. Special consideration shall be given to the cost and benefit of Agroforestry under different natural, environmental and economic condition. Scenario Analysis for considering e. g. different energy (wood prices) and agricultural prices may be useful to compute profitability situation for the future. Also details studies for land fertility changes and productivity increase should supplement the whole picture about Agroforestry. Finally, long term sustainability considerations should give a round picture of the whole picture of Agroforestry.

Prof. Dr. Siegfried Bauer
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs).

Keywords

  • agroforesry production systems
  • ecological sustainability
  • soil fertility impact analysis
  • biodiversity
  • impact on local energy supply
  • profitability analysis
  • governance support and sustainability
  • sustainability assessment and policies

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle The Pattern and Process of Adoption and Scaling up: Variation in Project Outcome Reveals the Importance of Multilevel Collaboration in Agroforestry Development
Sustainability 2013, 5(12), 5195-5224; doi:10.3390/su5125195
Received: 3 September 2013 / Revised: 7 November 2013 / Accepted: 11 November 2013 / Published: 9 December 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1249 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Agroforestry is considered a subsistence system that balances the urgent need for food and income of small scale farmers with restoration and conservation of ecosystem services, and climate change adaptation and mitigation. The Vi Agroforestry Program aims to implement agroforestry as a [...] Read more.
Agroforestry is considered a subsistence system that balances the urgent need for food and income of small scale farmers with restoration and conservation of ecosystem services, and climate change adaptation and mitigation. The Vi Agroforestry Program aims to implement agroforestry as a means to alleviate poverty and increase resilience among the poorest smallholders. After seven years, the Vi Agroforestry Project in the Mara Region of Tanzania had an inter-village variation in the proportion of households with tangible surviving agroforestry trees ranging from 10%–90%. Using a multiple methods approach, this variation was analysed in relation to changes and differences among administrative districts and project zones regarding perceived barriers to agroforestry adoption, project interventions, governance and the chronology of the process. In districts and zones where collaboration among the project staff, government counterparts and other stakeholders had been established at multiple levels, more agroforestry trees survived and a larger proportion of households practiced agroforestry. The established collaboration made it possible to discover and consider opportunities and barriers to agroforestry development such as diverse stakeholder interests and perceptions. As a result, potential conflicts could be avoided and socially robust solutions developed, adapted and integrated into the local subsistence systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agroforestry)
Open AccessArticle Mapping the Relationship of Inter-Village Variation in Agroforestry Tree Survival with Social and Ecological Characteristics: The Case of the Vi Agroforestry Project, Mara Region, Tanzania
Sustainability 2013, 5(12), 5171-5194; doi:10.3390/su5125171
Received: 16 July 2013 / Revised: 23 October 2013 / Accepted: 25 November 2013 / Published: 4 December 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1213 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Agroforestry practices can improve the adaptive capacity and resilience of local farming and subsistence systems while providing livelihood benefits to households. However, scaling up of agroforestry technology has often proved difficult. Many studies have been carried out to explain the lack of [...] Read more.
Agroforestry practices can improve the adaptive capacity and resilience of local farming and subsistence systems while providing livelihood benefits to households. However, scaling up of agroforestry technology has often proved difficult. Many studies have been carried out to explain the lack of tangible impact, based mainly on formal household/farm surveys comparing characteristics of non-adopters with that of adopters. In this study, we mapped the relationship between agroforestry tree survival in villages that were a part of the Vi Agroforestry project in the Mara region, Tanzania with key social-ecological variables. A random sample of 21 households from each of 89 investigated project villages was used. The proportion of households with surviving agroforestry trees, varied from 10%–90% among villages. Social and ecological differences between villages were important explanations to this variation. Variables related to the project and its operations explained most of the inter-village variation in households with few surviving trees. To encourage the majority of village households to practice agroforestry their perceptions of tree ownership and the benefit of agroforestry were additional key factors to the project showing the importance of socio-cultural issues to the households’ decisions to continue beyond the initial tree planting and testing phase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agroforestry)
Open AccessArticle Biofuels and Sustainable Transport: A Conceptual Discussion
Sustainability 2013, 5(7), 3129-3149; doi:10.3390/su5073129
Received: 13 May 2013 / Revised: 13 June 2013 / Accepted: 15 July 2013 / Published: 22 July 2013
PDF Full-text (332 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Strategies for sustainably using biofuels must be thoroughly assessed at several levels. First, the use of biofuels must comply with sustainable development’s main dimensions. Second, the use of biofuels must comply with sustainable transport’s main dimensions. Third, gains from using biofuels strategies [...] Read more.
Strategies for sustainably using biofuels must be thoroughly assessed at several levels. First, the use of biofuels must comply with sustainable development’s main dimensions. Second, the use of biofuels must comply with sustainable transport’s main dimensions. Third, gains from using biofuels strategies must compare favorably to gains from other sustainable transport strategies, such as altering transport patterns and reducing transport volume. Fourth, the gains must compare favorably to gains from improving conventional fossil-fuel-based advanced vehicles. Fifth, the gains must compare favorably to gains from using other alternative fuels. Sixth, the gains from using one generation of biofuels (e.g., first generation) must compare favorably to gains from using others (e.g., second through fourth generations). Performing scientifically sound and fair comparisons demands reliable theoretical perspectives and a well-established methodological basis. Industrial ecology theory and life cycle assessment methodology, respectively, are well-suited for these tasks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agroforestry)
Open AccessArticle Establishment of Alleycropped Hybrid Aspen “Crandon” in Central Iowa, USA: Effects of Topographic Position and Fertilizer Rate on Aboveground Biomass Production and Allocation
Sustainability 2013, 5(7), 2874-2886; doi:10.3390/su5072874
Received: 24 May 2013 / Revised: 21 June 2013 / Accepted: 28 June 2013 / Published: 3 July 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (640 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hybrid poplars have demonstrated high productivity as short rotation woody crops (SRWC) in the Midwest USA, and the hybrid aspen “Crandon” (Populus alba L. × P. grandidenta Michx.) has exhibited particularly promising yields on marginal lands. However, a key obstacle for [...] Read more.
Hybrid poplars have demonstrated high productivity as short rotation woody crops (SRWC) in the Midwest USA, and the hybrid aspen “Crandon” (Populus alba L. × P. grandidenta Michx.) has exhibited particularly promising yields on marginal lands. However, a key obstacle for wider deployment is the lack of economic returns early in the rotation. Alleycropping has the potential to address this issue, especially when paired with crops such as winter triticale which complete their growth cycle early in the summer and therefore are expected to exert minimal competition on establishing trees. In addition, well-placed fertilizer in low rates at planting has the potential to improve tree establishment and shorten the rotation, which is also economically desirable. To test the potential productivity of “Crandon” alleycropped with winter triticale, plots were established on five topographic positions with four different rates of fertilizer placed in the planting hole. Trees were then harvested from the plots after each of the first three growing seasons. Fertilization resulted in significant increases in branch, stem, and total aboveground biomass across all years, whereas the effects of topographic position varied by year. Allocation between branches and stems was found to be primarily a function of total aboveground biomass. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agroforestry)
Open AccessArticle Mature Hybrid Poplar Riparian Buffers along Farm Streams Produce High Yields in Response to Soil Fertility Assessed Using Three Methods
Sustainability 2013, 5(5), 1893-1916; doi:10.3390/su5051893
Received: 22 March 2013 / Revised: 16 April 2013 / Accepted: 22 April 2013 / Published: 29 April 2013
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (2846 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study had three main objectives: (1) to evaluate the aboveground biomass and volume yield of three unrelated hybrid poplar clones in 9 year-old riparian buffer strips located on four farms of southern Québec, Canada; (2) to compare yield data at 9 [...] Read more.
This study had three main objectives: (1) to evaluate the aboveground biomass and volume yield of three unrelated hybrid poplar clones in 9 year-old riparian buffer strips located on four farms of southern Québec, Canada; (2) to compare yield data at 9 years with previous data (at 6 years); (3) to evaluate how soil fertility, measured using three different soil testing methods (soil nutrient stocks, soil nutrient concentrations, soil nutrient supply rates), is related to yield. Across the four sites, hybrid poplar productivity after 9 years ranged from 116 to 450 m3ha−1, for stem wood volume, and from 51 to 193 megagrams per hectare (Mg ha−1), for woody dry biomass. High volume and woody dry biomass yields (26.3 to 49.9 m3ha−1yr-1, and 11.4 to 21.4 Mg ha−1yr-1) were observed at the three most productive sites. From year 6 to 9, relatively high yield increases (8.9−15.1 m3ha−1yr−1) were observed at all sites, but the productivity gap between the less fertile site and the three other sites was widened. Clone MxB-915311 was the most productive across the four sites, while clone DxN-3570 was the least productive. However, at the most productive site, clone MxB-915311 experienced severe stem and branch breakages. Independently of the soil testing method used, available soil P was always the first soil factor explaining volume yield. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agroforestry)

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