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Agroforestry systems in a changing climate: challenges in projecting future performance

Agroforestry systems in a changing climate: challenges in projecting future performance

Agroforestry systems are complex assemblages of ecosystem components, each of which responds to climate. Whereas climate change impacts on crops grown in monocultures can reasonably well be projected with process-based crop models, robust models for complex agroforestry systems are not available. Yet impact projections are needed because of the long planning horizons required for adequate management of tree-based ecosystems. This article explores available options for projecting climate change impacts on agroforestry systems, including the development of process-based models, species distribution modeling, climate analogue analysis and field testing in climate analogue locations. Challenges and opportunities of each approach are discussed.

This document is an output of a CIFOR-led project, entitled: “Adaptation of people to climate change in East Africa: Ecosystem services, risk reduction and human well-being”. (AdaptEA). This project is being implemented in collaboration with Makerere University, the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) and the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). Primary funding for this project was provided through a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation (2011 CRD 306). Complementary funding was received from two CIFOR-led projects funded by AusAID (63560) and UNITAR (G.EGP.2011.03). Additional project information and publications are found on the project manager’s staff page, Aaron J.M. Russell.

Authors: Luedeling, E.; Kindt, R.; Huth, N.I.; Koenig, K.

Topic: agroforestry, climate change, trees, ecosystems

Publication Year: 2014

ISSN: 1877-3435

Source: Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 6: 1-7

DOI: 10.1016/j.cosust.2013.07.013

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