An Ecologically Based System for Sustainable Agroforestry in Sub-Tropical and Tropical Forests Sun, Yuan; Cao, Fuliang; Wei, Xiaohua; Welham, Clive; Chen, Lei; Pelz, Dieter R.; Yang, Qing; Liu, Huiqian
Forests in tropical and sub-tropical countries face severe pressures due to a combination of poverty and environment degradation. To be effective, measures to protect these forests must therefore consider both economic and ecological dimensions synergistically. The purpose of this paper was to synthesize our long-term work (1994–2015) on a Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba L.) agroforestry system and demonstrate its potential for achieving both goals, and discuss its wider application in tropical and sub-tropical countries. The performance of various ecological, economic, and social indicators was compared among five Ginkgo agroforestry systems. Two additional indicators, Harmony Degree (HD) and Development Degree (DD), were also used to show the integrated performance of these indicators. Ginkgo-Wheat-Peanut (G+W+P) and Ginkgo-Rapeseed-Peanut (G+R+P) are the best systems when compared to pure and mixed Ginkgo plantations, or pure agricultural crops. Results demonstrate that it is possible to achieve both economic development and environmental protection through implementation of sustainable agroforestry systems in sub-tropical regions.
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