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Agroforestry and Biodiversity

The Center for Agroforestry, School of Natural Resources, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2879;
Received: 5 April 2019 / Revised: 13 May 2019 / Accepted: 16 May 2019 / Published: 21 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agroforestry Systems)
Declining biodiversity (BD) is aecting food security, agricultural sustainability,
and environmental quality. Agroforestry (AF) is recognized as a possible partial solution for
BD conservation and improvement. This manuscript uses published peer-reviewed manuscripts,
reviews, meta-analysis, and federal and state agency documents to evaluate relationships between
AF and BD and how AF can be used to conserve BD. The review revealed that floral, faunal, and soil
microbial diversity were significantly greater in AF as compared to monocropping, adjacent crop
lands, and within crop alleys and some forests. Among the soil organisms, arbuscular mycorrhizae
fungi (AMF), bacteria, and enzyme activities were significantly greater in AF than crop and livestock
practices. Agroforestry also creates spatially concentrated high-density BD near trees due to favorable
soil-plant-water-microclimate conditions. The greater BD was attributed to heterogeneous vegetation,
organic carbon, microclimate, soil conditions, and spatial distribution of trees. Dierences in BD
between AF and other management types diminished with time. Evenly distributed leaves, litter,
roots, dead/live biological material, and microclimate improve soil and microclimate in adjacent
crop and pasture areas as the system matures. Results of the study prove that integration of AF
can improve BD in agricultural lands. Selection of site suitable tree/shrub/grass-crop combinations
can be used to help address soil nutrient deficiencies or environmental conditions. Future studies
with standardized management protocols may be needed for all regions to further strengthen these
findings and to develop AF establishment criteria for BD conservation and agricultural sustainability. View Full-Text
Keywords: faunal diversity; floral diversity; soil health faunal diversity; floral diversity; soil health
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MDPI and ACS Style

P. Udawatta, R.; Rankoth, L.; Jose, S. Agroforestry and Biodiversity. Sustainability 2019, 11, 2879.

AMA Style

P. Udawatta R, Rankoth L, Jose S. Agroforestry and Biodiversity. Sustainability. 2019; 11(10):2879.

Chicago/Turabian Style

P. Udawatta, Ranjith, Lalith Rankoth, and Shibu Jose. 2019. "Agroforestry and Biodiversity" Sustainability 11, no. 10: 2879.

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