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Sustainability 2019, 11(8), 2293;

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

NRA (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.
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 [2639 KB, uploaded 16 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.
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
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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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.; Noordwijk, M.V. Hi-sAFe: A 3D Agroforestry Model for Integrating Dynamic Tree–Crop Interactions. Sustainability 2019, 11, 2293.

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