New Assessment Sheds Light on Building Resilient Landscapes from Forests to Farms
Projected changes in climate patterns and weather variability pose substantial hazards for U.S. agricultural systems and the resource base. Other ecosystem services people derive from farms and ranches such as clean water, soil, and air quality, and wildlife habitat also are expected to be negatively impacted.
An upcoming report "Agroforestry and Climate Change: Reducing Threats and Enhancing Resiliency in Agricultural Landscapes" (2016) assesses the potential of using agroforestry (trees in agricultural operations) as a climate smart option for building productive and resilient agricultural landscapes in the U.S. The five primary types of agroforestry in the U.S. include silvopasture, alley cropping, forest farming, windbreaks, and riparian forest buffers.
Based on input from more than 60 experts from across the U.S. and affiliated islands, as well as Canada and Mexico, the assessment highlights multiple functions and services that agroforestry can help provide, from food security and clean drinking water to reduction of economic risk and greenhouse gas mitigation.