Special Issue "Agroforestry Systems: The Role of Trees in Ecosystem Services—A Special Issue in Collaboration with the 4th World Congress on Agroforestry"

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Ecology and Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (8 October 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Scott X. Chang
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2E3, Canada
Interests: forest soil processes; forest fertilization and nutrition; carbon sequestration; greenhouse gas emissions; agroforestry
Dr. Yi Cheng
E-Mail
Guest Editor
School of Geographic Science, Nanjing Normal University, No.1, Wenyuan Road, Xianlin University District, Nanjing, China
Interests: plant and soil interaction; the effects of global change factors on soil N availability in terrestrial ecosystems; soil gross N transformation processes and their functional microorganisms; application of 15N tracing technique in forest, grassland and agroecosystem research; methods to enhance soil NO3-immobilization: The linkage between soil NO3- immobilization and organic matter quality; mitigation of N2O and NO emissions
Dr. Jules Bayala
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), West and Central Africa Regional Office, Sahel Node, BP E5118, Bamako, Mali
Interests: sustainable integrated tree-livestock-crop farming systems; tree-crop interactions and their modelling; soil-plant-water continuum and tree species physiology in the face of climate change
Dr. Joao Palma
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
MV Agroecology Research Centre, Moinhos de Vento, Mértola, Portugal
Interests: land use resource efficiency; modeling; ecosystem services; climate change assessment; land use management and optimization; stakeholder engagement

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Planting trees in the agricultural landscape in the form of establishing agroforestry systems has a significant role to play in potentially improving ecosystem services, such as increased biodiversity, reduced soil erosion, increased soil carbon storage, improved food security and nutrition, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. While the role of trees in agroforestry systems in improving ecosystem services has been researched, studies in new systems/regions and new agroforestry system designs are still emerging. This Special Issue will include selected papers presented at the 4th World Congress on Agroforestry, Montpellier, France 20-22 May 2019, and other volunteer papers. The scope of articles will include all aspects of agroforestry systems.

Prof. Scott X. Chang
Dr. Yi Cheng
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short 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 thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Forests 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 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • adoption of agroforestry practices
  • agroforestry policies
  • agroforestry system
  • air and water quality
  • biodiversity conservation
  • carbon sequestration
  • climate change
  • ecosystem services
  • food security and nutrition
  • greenhouse gas emission
  • mitigation
  • modeling
  • resource use efficiency
  • restoration of degraded land
  • soil enrichment
  • soil conservation

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Effects of Changing Temperature on Gross N Transformation Rates in Acidic Subtropical Forest Soils
Forests 2019, 10(10), 894; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10100894 - 10 Oct 2019
Abstract
Soil temperature change caused by global warming could affect microbial-mediated soil nitrogen (N) transformations. Gross N transformation rates can provide process-based information about abiotic–biotic relationships, but most previous studies have focused on net rates. This study aimed to investigate the responses of gross [...] Read more.
Soil temperature change caused by global warming could affect microbial-mediated soil nitrogen (N) transformations. Gross N transformation rates can provide process-based information about abiotic–biotic relationships, but most previous studies have focused on net rates. This study aimed to investigate the responses of gross rates of soil N transformation to temperature change in a subtropical acidic coniferous forest soil. A 15N tracing experiment with a temperature gradient was carried out. The results showed that gross mineralization rate of the labile organic N pool significantly increased with increasing temperature from 5 °C to 45 °C, yet the mineralization rate of the recalcitrant organic N pool showed a smaller response. An exponential response function described well the relationship between the gross rates of total N mineralization and temperature. Compared with N mineralization, the functional relationship between gross NH4+ immobilization and temperature was not so distinct, resulting in an overall significant increase in net N mineralization at higher temperatures. Heterotrophic nitrification rates increased from 5 °C to 25 °C but declined at higher temperatures. By contrast, the rate of autotrophic nitrification was very low, responding only slightly to the range of temperature change in the most temperature treatments, except for that at 35 °C to 45 °C, when autotrophic nitrification rates were found to be significantly increased. Higher rates of NO3 immobilization than gross nitrification rates resulted in negative net nitrification rates that decreased with increasing temperature. Our results suggested that, with higher temperature, the availability of soil N produced from N mineralization would significantly increase, potentially promoting plant growth and stimulating microbial activity, and that the increased NO3 retention capacity may reduce the risk of leaching and denitrification losses in this studied subtropical acidic forest. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Modeling Experiments for Evaluating the Effects of Trees, Increasing Temperature, and Soil Texture on Carbon Stocks in Agroforestry Systems in Kerala, India
Forests 2019, 10(9), 803; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090803 - 14 Sep 2019
Abstract
Research Highlights: Agroforestry systems in the humid tropics have the potential for high rates of production and large accumulations of carbon in plant biomass and soils and, thus, may play an important role in the global C cycle. Multiple factors can influence C [...] Read more.
Research Highlights: Agroforestry systems in the humid tropics have the potential for high rates of production and large accumulations of carbon in plant biomass and soils and, thus, may play an important role in the global C cycle. Multiple factors can influence C sequestration, making it difficult to discern the effect of a single factor. We used a modeling approach to evaluate the relative effects of individual factors on C stocks in three agricultural systems in Kerala, India. Background and Objectives: Factors such as plant growth form, management, climate warming, and soil texture can drive differences in C storage among cropping systems, but the relationships among these factors and their effects are complex. Our objective was to use CENTURY, a process-based model of plant–soil nutrient cycling, in an experimental mode to evaluate the effects of individual factors on C stocks in soil and biomass in monocultures (annuals or trees) and agroforestry systems. Materials and Methods: We parameterized the model for this region, then conducted simulations to investigate the effects on C stocks of four experimental scenarios: (1) change in growth form; (2) change in tree species; (3) increase in temperature above 20-year means; and (4) differences in soil texture. We compared the models with measured changes in soil C after eight years. Results: Simulated soil C stocks were influenced by all factors: growth form; lignin in tree tissues; increasing temperature; and soil texture. However, increasing temperature and soil sand content had relatively small effects on biomass C. Conclusions: Inclusion of trees with traits that promoted C sequestration such as lignin content, along with the use of best management practices, resulted in the greatest C storage among the simulated agricultural systems. Greater use and better management of trees with high C-storage potential can thus provide a low-cost means for mitigation of climate warming. Full article
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