Agroforestry defines land use systems in which trees (shrubs) are combined with crops and / or livestock on one area. In doing so, positive ecological and economic interactions between the different cultures are created.
Agroforestry systems usually differ by the combination of:
- Trees with arable crops (silvoarable systems),
- Trees with animal husbandry (silvopastoral systems) and
- Trees with arable crops and animal husbandry (agrosilvopastoral systems)
Within these categories there are many diverse forms of agroforestry systems. Typical of all types of agroforestry are the deliberately used synergies between woody and arable crops.
In addition to the cultivation of particularly fast-growing tree species such as poplars, also valuable wood tree species and fruit trees play an important role in agroforestry systems. Fast-growing woody plants have the advantage that they develop high effectiveness in a short time and that farmers don’t need to decide for a specific agroforestry system for many decades.
The advantages of agroforestry systems are even more diverse and far-reaching than the already positive effects of blocky wood plantations. This is due in particular to the resulting synergies and plenty ecologically particularly valuable border-structures.