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Supporting and regulating ecosystem services in cacao agroforestry systems

Mortimer R., Saj S., David C.. 2018. AgroForestry Systems, 92 (6) : p. 1639-1657.

Cacao agroforestry systems (CAFS) can provide supporting services such as optimum light conditions for cacao growth, water and nutrient cycling and regulating services such as pest and disease control and climate regulation. This review considers recent literature on the manifestation of these services in CAFS around the world to provide an overview of scientific knowledge. Crown structures of associated trees can facilitate optimum light conditions for cacao growth, and provide water through vertical root segregation. Leaf litter fall and roots from associated species contribute to nutrient cycling. Both nitrogen-fixing and non-nitrogen-fixing species can provide nutrients to the cacao plant, though competition from certain species may limit phosphorus and potassium uptake. Pest and disease regulating services can arise through careful shade management to create a microclimate which reduces susceptibility of cacao to fungal diseases and sun-loving pests. All CAFS store carbon to varying degrees; those resembling original forest much more than simple two-species systems from which shade trees are removed after maturity of the cacao stand. CAFS also promotes biodiversity conservation depending on structure, management, and landscape arrangement, though not to the extent of natural forests. Research opportunities to increase provision of these services include optimal spatial arrangement for nutrient cycling and functional diversity as well as landscape connectivity for biodiversity conservation. Trade-offs between carbon storage, biodiversity, cacao yield and socio-economic resilience are presented, indicating that optimization of ecosystem services in CAFS requires consideration of interactions between all services, including socio-cultural and economic ones. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : déboisement; protection de la forêt; conservation des ressources; arbre fixateur d'azote; fixation de l'azote; séquestration du carbone; services écosystémiques; résistance à la sécheresse; résistance aux maladies; changement climatique; adaptation aux changements climatiques; biodiversité; arbre d'ombrage; culture associée; agroforesterie; theobroma cacao; asie; amérique latine; afrique occidentale; indonésie; cameroun

Thématique : Systèmes et modes de culture; Production forestière; Ecologie végétale; Conservation de la nature et ressources foncières; Météorologie et climatologie

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