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Hi-sAFe: A 3D Agroforestry Model for Integrating Dynamic Tree–Crop Interactions

INRA (UMR-SYSTEM), University of Montpellier, 34090 Montpellier, France
IRD (UMR-AMAP), University of Montpellier, 34090 Montpellier, France
ICRAF, Bogor 16001, Indonesia
INRA (UR ASTRO 1231) Centre Antilles-Guyane, Petit-Bourg, 97170 Guadeloupe, France
CEH, NERC, Wallingford OX10 8BB, UK
INRA (UMR-PIAF), Université Clermont Auvergne, 63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France
Centre d’étude de la forêt, Université du Quebec, Montreal H2X 3Y5, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Hervé Sinoquet passed away.
Sustainability 2019, 11(8), 2293;
Received: 28 March 2019 / Revised: 11 April 2019 / Accepted: 15 April 2019 / Published: 16 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agroforestry Systems)
PDF [4611 KB, uploaded 24 April 2019]


Agroforestry, the intentional integration of trees with crops and/or livestock, can lead to multiple economic and ecological benefits compared to trees and crops/livestock grown separately. Field experimentation has been the primary approach to understanding the tree–crop interactions inherent in agroforestry. However, the number of field experiments has been limited by slow tree maturation and difficulty in obtaining consistent funding. Models have the potential to overcome these hurdles and rapidly advance understanding of agroforestry systems. Hi-sAFe is a mechanistic, biophysical model designed to explore the interactions within agroforestry systems that mix trees with crops. The model couples the pre-existing STICS crop model to a new tree model that includes several plasticity mechanisms responsive to tree–tree and tree–crop competition for light, water, and nitrogen. Monoculture crop and tree systems can also be simulated, enabling calculation of the land equivalent ratio. The model’s 3D and spatially explicit form is key for accurately representing many competition and facilitation processes. Hi-sAFe is a novel tool for exploring agroforestry designs (e.g., tree spacing, crop type, tree row orientation), management strategies (e.g., thinning, branch pruning, root pruning, fertilization, irrigation), and responses to environmental variation (e.g., latitude, climate change, soil depth, soil structure and fertility, fluctuating water table). By improving our understanding of the complex interactions within agroforestry systems, Hi-sAFe can ultimately facilitate adoption of agroforestry as a sustainable land-use practice. View Full-Text
Keywords: alley cropping; silvoarable; windbreak; hedgerow; forestry; competition; facilitation; land equivalent ratio; long-term simulation; plasticity alley cropping; silvoarable; windbreak; hedgerow; forestry; competition; facilitation; land equivalent ratio; long-term simulation; plasticity

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Dupraz, C.; Wolz, K.J.; Lecomte, I.; Talbot, G.; Vincent, G.; Mulia, R.; Bussière, F.; Ozier-Lafontaine, H.; Andrianarisoa, S.; Jackson, N.; Lawson, G.; Dones, N.; Sinoquet, H.; Lusiana, B.; Harja, D.; Domenicano, S.; Reyes, F.; Gosme, M.; Van Noordwijk, M. Hi-sAFe: A 3D Agroforestry Model for Integrating Dynamic Tree–Crop Interactions. Sustainability 2019, 11, 2293.

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