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Context The AGFORWARD research project (January 2014-December 2017), funded by the European Commission, is promoting agroforestry practices in Europe that will advance sustainable rural development. The project has four objectives: 1) to understand the context and extent of agroforestry in Europe, 2) to identify, develop and field-test innovations (through participatory research) to improve the benefits and viability of agroforestry systems in Europe, 3) to evaluate innovative agroforestry designs and practices at a field-, farm- and landscape scale, and 4) to promote the wider adoption of appropriate agroforestry systems in Europe through policy development and dissemination. This report describes a milestone to address objective 1. In the AGFORWARD project, researchers are working with about 40 stakeholder groups focused on agroforestry in different regions and sectors. It is proposed that many farmers across Europe distinguish themselves in terms of the key products that they produce. Hence farmers may identify themselves as arable farmers, livestock farmers, farmers who manage orchards or olive groves, or even farmers who manage systems that have high cultural and natural value. Hence within the AGFORWARD project, we have identified four target groups who could benefit from improved agroforestry practices. Each of these groups is the focus of a separate work-package (WP). They include farmers who manage agroforestry systems of high nature and cultural value (WP2), and farmers who manage high value trees such as olives, fruit trees, and walnut and chestnut grown for high value timber (WP3). WP4 focuses on agroforestry for arable systems and WP5 focuses on agroforestry for livestock systems. One of the objectives of the AGFORWARD project is to advance the mapping and quantification of agroforestry in Europe. This milestone is a first attempt at stratifying and quantifying, within Europe, the extent of agroforestry of high nature and cultural value, agroforestry involving high value trees such as olive and fruit trees, and agroforestry involving arable and livestock production. It is based on examination of published scientific literature and statistical databases. In turn this task will inform the participatory research and development networks and the some of the scaling up work in the project.
Content may be subject to copyright.
AGFORWARD (Grant Agreement N° 613520) is co-funded by the European
Commission, Directorate General for Research & Innovation, within the 7th
Framework Programme of RTD. The views and opinions expressed in this
report are purely those of the writers and may not in any circumstances be
regarded as stating an official position of the European Commission
Preliminary stratification and quantification of
agroforestry in Europe
Project name
AGFORWARD (613520)
Milestone
Milestone 1
Milestone name
Preliminary stratification and quantification of agroforestry according to
systems studied in WP2-WP5
Original version
9 December 2014
Current version
24 April 2015
Authors
Michael den Herder, Paul Burgess, María Rosa Mosquera-Losada, Felix
Herzog, Tibor Hartel, Matthew Upson, Iida Viholainen and Adolfo Rosati
Contributors
Nathalie Corroyer, John Erik Hermansen, Jaconette Mirck, João Palma,
Anastasia Pantera, Vasilios Papanastasis, Tobias Plieninger, Andrea Vityi,
Ansgar Quickenstein and Jeroen Watté
Reviewer
Approved by Nora Fagerholm (9 December 2014)
Updated by Paul Burgess (24 April 2015)
Stratification of agroforestry www.agforward.eu
Content
1 Context ............................................................................................................................................ 1
2 Introduction .................................................................................................................................... 2
2.1 Definitions ............................................................................................................................... 2
2.2 Classifying and mapping agroforestry ..................................................................................... 4
2.3 Our approach .......................................................................................................................... 7
3 Agroforestry of high nature and cultural value .............................................................................. 9
3.1 Oak dominated agroforestry in the Mediterranean ............................................................. 11
3.2 Other wood pasture systems ................................................................................................ 15
3.3 Hedgerow systems and scattered trees................................................................................ 18
3.4 Reindeer husbandry .............................................................................................................. 18
4 Agroforestry with high value trees ............................................................................................... 20
4.1 Agroforestry with fruit trees ................................................................................................. 21
4.2 Olive agroforestry ................................................................................................................. 24
4.3 Vine agroforestry .................................................................................................................. 27
4.4 Pine tree agroforestry ........................................................................................................... 27
4.5 Chestnut agroforestry ........................................................................................................... 28
4.6 Carob tree agroforestry ........................................................................................................ 28
5 Agroforestry in arable systems ..................................................................................................... 29
5.1 Linear features with trees ..................................................................................................... 29
5.2 Within-field agroforestry ...................................................................................................... 32
6 Agroforestry practices for livestock systems ................................................................................ 34
7 Other agroforestry practices ......................................................................................................... 37
8 Discussion ...................................................................................................................................... 40
9 Conclusions ................................................................................................................................... 45
10 Acknowledgements ....................................................................................................................... 46
References ............................................................................................................................................ 47
den Herder, M., Burgess, P.J,., Mosquera-Losada, M.R., Herzog, F., Hartel, T., Upson, M., Viholainen,
I. and Rosati, A. (2015). Preliminary stratification and quantification of agroforestry in Europe.
Milestone Report 1.1 for EU FP7 AGFORWARD Research Project (613520).
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1 Context
The AGFORWARD research project (January 2014-December 2017), funded by the European
Commission, is promoting agroforestry practices in Europe that will advance sustainable rural
development. The project has four objectives:
1) to understand the context and extent of agroforestry in Europe,
2) to identify, develop and field-test innovations (through participatory research) to improve the
benefits and viability of agroforestry systems in Europe,
3) to evaluate innovative agroforestry designs and practices at a field-, farm- and landscape
scale, and
4) to promote the wider adoption of appropriate agroforestry systems in Europe through policy
development and dissemination.
This report describes a milestone to address objective 1.
In the AGFORWARD project, researchers are working with about 40 stakeholder groups focused on
agroforestry in different regions and sectors. It is proposed that many farmers across Europe
distinguish themselves in terms of the key products that they produce. Hence farmers may identify
themselves as arable farmers, livestock farmers, farmers who manage orchards or olive groves, or
even farmers who manage systems that have high cultural and natural value. Hence within the
AGFORWARD project, we have identified four target groups who could benefit from improved
agroforestry practices. Each of these groups is the focus of a separate work-package (WP). They
include farmers who manage agroforestry systems of high nature and cultural value (WP2), and
farmers who manage high value trees such as olives, fruit trees, and walnut and chestnut grown for
high value timber (WP3). WP4 focuses on agroforestry for arable systems and WP5 focuses on
agroforestry for livestock systems.
One of the objectives of the AGFORWARD project is to advance the mapping and quantification of
agroforestry in Europe. This milestone is a first attempt at stratifying and quantifying, within Europe,
the extent of agroforestry of high nature and cultural value, agroforestry involving high value trees
such as olive and fruit trees, and agroforestry involving arable and livestock production. It is based
on examination of published scientific literature and statistical databases. In turn this task will
inform the participatory research and development networks and the some of the scaling up work in
the project.
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2 Introduction
2.1 Definitions
AGFORWARD has defined agroforestry as “the practice of deliberately integrating woody vegetation
(trees or shrubs) with crop and/or livestock production systems to benefit from the resulting
ecological and economic interactions” (Figure 1). This is similar to definitions adopted by the World
Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), the European Agroforestry Federation (EURAF), and the Association for
Temperate Agroforestry (AFTA). This builds on previous definitions of agroforestry as a land use
practice combining trees, crops and/or livestock on the same area of land in all spatial or temporal
arrangements (Nair 1993, Mosquera-Losada et al. 2009). The need for ecological and economic
interactions was present in the definition from Lundgren and Raintree (1982) that agroforestry is a
collective name for a land-use systems and technologies where woody perennials are deliberately
used on the same land-management unit as agricultural crops and/or animals, in some form of
spatial and temporal arrangement. In agroforestry systems there are both ecological and economic
interactions between the different components.
Figure 1. The AGFORWARD project is promoting agroforestry practices i.e. the integration of trees
with farming. Agroforestry comprises the integration of trees (and shrubs) with crop and/or livestock
systems.
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The definition of agroforestry used by ICRAF (Leakey, 1996) is: “a dynamic, ecologically based,
natural resources management system that, through the integration of trees on farms and in the
agricultural landscape, diversifies and sustains production for increased social, economic and
environmental benefits”. All agroforestry systems integrate people as a part of the system and are
artificial systems to a higher or lower degree (Mosquera-Losada et al. 2009). Sommariba (1992)
defines agroforestry as a form of multiple cropping which satisfies at least three basic conditions:
1. There are at least two species that interact biologically
2. At least one of the species is a woody perennial
3. At least one of the plant species is managed for forage, annual or perennial crop production.
An agroforestry system is always more complex, for example in structure, function and economy,
than a monoculture system (Nair 1993).
Nair (1993) argues that agroforestry is a relatively new name for a very old practice which dates back
millennia (Bergmeier et al. 2010, Papanastasis et al. 2009). In fact various authors (Herzog 1998,
Eichhorn et al. 2006, Bergmeier et al. 2010, Mosquera-Losada et al. 2012) have reported the historic
importance of agroforestry across Europe. Traditional agroforestry systems are still widespread in
the Mediterranean region, such as the montados and dehesas in Portugal and Spain, where cattle
and livestock are grazing between widely spaced oak trees, providing wood, cork and fodder for the
animals. Streuobst is a traditional system in central Europe where crops are grown or livestock
grazed under high fruit trees. Woodland grazing can also be found in central, southern, western and
northern Europe. In the boreal forest and sub-arctic tundra zone, reindeer husbandry has been
practiced since the middle ages providing meat, reindeer hides and wood products for local
consumption and export (Jernsletten and Klokov 2002). There are also other less well known
traditional and novel agroforestry systems.
Although many traditional agroforestry systems have disappeared with the intensification of
agriculture and forestry since the 1960s, there is a revived interest in integrating trees with
agriculture. This interest comes from farmers who can see benefits in terms of increased and more
diversified production. There is also interest from policy makers who understand that agroforestry
can provide a wide range of social and environmental benefits. Hence in Europe, agroforestry is a
recognized practice in the “ecological focus areas” of the Common Agricultural Policy (European
Commission, 2013a) and as a measure in rural development programmes (European Commission,
2013b). Agroforestry is also mentioned in the EU Forestry Strategy (European Commission 2013c)
and as a sustainable land management practice by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC, 2014).
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2.2 Classifying and mapping agroforestry
In Europe there is a lack of cartographic information on the location of different types of
agroforestry practices. Moreover, the information that is available is scattered and fragmented.
European land cover and land use classifications have traditionally separated “farmland” from
“forestsand this in turn feeds through discrete policies and incentives which can cause problems
both to farmers and policy makers. In order to support multifunctional and sustainable land use,
policy makers and planners need access to a more nuanced land cover classification system that
explicitly considers agroforestry as a continuum between crop, livestock and tree-based systems
(Figure 1).
Nair (1993) reports that classifications should provide practical frameworks for synthesising and
analysing information about existing practices and for developing new ones. In the early 1980s,
ICRAF completed an inventory of agroforestry systems in the tropics and subtropics (Nair 1985). This
classified agroforestry systems in terms of the spatial and temporal arrangement of the components,
the importance and role of the components, the production aims and outputs from the system, and
the social and economic features (Nair, 1993).
Sinclair (1999) used the same inventory (from Nair 1985) to update the classification, but argues that
agroforestry is rarely practised as a whole farm or forest system, but primarily as practices in various
productive niches around the farm. Sinclair (1999) also argues that agroforestry researchers should
be able to “advise on the spectrum of land use options in a particular context, from agricultural
activity without trees, through agroforestry combinations to pure forest and woodland scenarios,
rather than being over-zealous about one particular form of land use”.
Dixon et al (2001) distinguish between a “farm system” (the system operating within an individual
farm) and “farming systems” which is a grouping of farm systems which can be usefully considered
together (Table 1). The phrase “farm practice” is often used to refer to a discrete way of carrying
out a specific task such as cultivation or harvesting (Ikerd, 1993). In some cases, agroforestry can be
considered as a farming system, but in others it may also be considered as a farm practice, or a
grouping of farm practices (Poisot et al. 2004).
Table 1. Agroforestry can be considered as a “farm practice”, a group of farm practices, or in some
rare cases as a “farming system”.
Description
A population of individual farm systems that have broadly similar resource
bases, enterprise patterns, household livelihoods and constraints, and for
which similar development strategies and interventions would be
appropriate (Dixon et al., 2001)
A system focused at the individual farm level including the household, its
resources, the resource flows and interactions (Dixon et al., 2001)
A discrete way of carrying out a farming task, i.e. soil cultivation, harvesting
(Ikerd, 1993). Practices can often be grouped and given an over-arching
terms such as “conservation agriculture”, or “integrated pest management”
(Poisot et al 2004), or in this case “agroforestry”.
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The scale of the analysis can also be important when mapping agroforestry practices (Minang et al.
2015). For instance, a fruit orchard or alley cropping system in central Europe may cover several
hectares and be part of a larger farm practising conventional agriculture as well, so it would operate
at the field scale (Figure 2). A typical montado, dehesa or reindeer farm, on the other hand, may
have agroforestry as their main practice and often these farms cover several square kilometres or
more; this type of practice would be referred to as farm-scale agroforestry. When several
agroforestry farms and/or practices can be found in the same area, agroforestry would operate at
the landscape scale.
Key: Agricultural practices: ; forestry practices
Figure 2. Agroforestry can be considered at a range of scales: field-scale, farm-scale and landscape-
scale.
Mosquera-Losada et al. (2009) identified six basic types of agroforestry existing in Europe today:
silvoarable, silvopasture, forest farming, riparian buffers, improved fallow, and multipurpose trees
(Table 2).
Table 2. Six agroforestry practices in Europe identified by Mosquera-Losada et al. (2009)
Agroforestry practice
Brief description
Silvoarable agroforestry
Widely spaced trees inter-cropped with annual or perennial crops. It
comprises alley cropping, scattered trees and line belts
Forest farming
Forested areas used for production or harvest of natural standing
specialty crops for medicinal, ornamental or culinary uses
Riparian buffer strips
Strips of perennial vegetation (tree/shrub/grass) natural or planted
between croplands/pastures and water sources such as streams, lakes,
wetlands, and ponds to protect water quality
Improved fallow
Fast growing, preferably leguminous woody species planted during the
fallow phase of shifting cultivation; the woody species improve soil
fertility and may yield economic products
Multipurpose trees
Fruit and other trees randomly or systematically planted in cropland or
pasture for the purpose of providing fruit, fuel wood, fodder and timber,
among other services, on farms and rangelands
Silvopasture
Combining trees with forage and animal production. It comprises forest
or woodland grazing and open forest trees
Field-scale arable practice
Field-scale agroforestry practice
Farm-scale agroforestry practices
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McAdam et al. (2009) reviewed the existing classification methods, adapted it to a European context
and complemented it with a classification based on the functions of agroforestry systems (Table 3).
Table 3. Agroforestry systems are classified by their components, spatial and temporal
arrangements, function, agro-ecological zone and socio-economic aspects (modified from Nair 1993;
McAdam et al. 2009)
Classification method
Example categories
i) Components
Agrisilviculture: crops and trees including shrub/trees and trees
Silvopastoral: pasture/animals and trees
Agrosilvopastoral: crops, pasture/animals and trees
Other: multipurpose tree lots, apiculture with trees, aquaculture with
trees
ii) Predominant land
use
Primarily agriculture
Primarily forestry
iii) Spatial (in space)
arrangements
Mixed dense (e.g. home garden), Mixed sparse (e.g. most systems of
trees in pasture)
Strip (width of strip to be more than one tree)
Boundary (trees on edges of plots/fields)
iv) Temporal (in time)
arrangements
Overlapping, separate, (coincident, interpolated)
v) Agroecological
(environmental
adaptability)
Humid, arid, mountainous or high land/low land
vi) Socio-economic and
Management level
Based on level of technology input: Low, medium and high input
Based on cost/benefit relations: commercial, intermediate, subsistence
vii) Function (*)
Productive function (provisioning): food, fodder, fuel wood, other
products
Habitat function (supporting): Biodiversity
Regulating: Climate, flood and drought prevention, water purification,
shelterbelt, soil and water conservation, shade
Cultural functions: recreation and landscape
(* vii) Function: It is possible to classify agroforestry systems according to the function of the system.
Productive functions of the tree components of European agroforestry systems include fruit, oil and nuts,
timber, firewood, cork, fodder, grain seeds, vegetables, soft fruits and grapes, biomass feedstock.
Habitat functions Agroforestry creates heterogeneity in time and within system there is an increase in
invertebrate species and numbers of arthropods, birds and mammals. (Rigueiro-Rodríguez et al. 2009).
Biodiversity increases the connection between forest and agricultural habitats, functioning as wildlife corridors
(Rigueiro-Rodríguez et al. 2009).
Regulating functions - Agroforestry systems can provide a wide range of regulating services such as soil, water
and nutrient conservation, fire prevention and carbon sequestration.
Cultural functions- Traditional agroforestry systems are an important part of the culture and heritage of
several areas in Europe.
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2.3 Our approach
It is obvious that there have been many classifications of agroforestry practices. The AGFORWARD
project does not propose a new classification system but it builds on previous classifications in the
context of the structure of the project. The objective of this report is to make a preliminary
stratification of agroforestry in Europe and categorise them into systems or practices focussed on
high nature and cultural value (WP2), high value trees (e.g. olive and fruit trees) (WP3), arable
systems (WP4) and livestock systems (WP5) (Figure 3).
Figure 3. The participation networks within the AGFORWARD project considers agroforestry in four
key areas: existing agroforestry practices of high nature and cultural value (HNCV) (WP2), integrating
livestock and crops into high value tree systems (WP3), agroforestry for arable farms (WP4) and
agroforestry for livestock farms (WP5).
When attempting to classify European agroforestry into different practices or systems, we also face
the challenge that systems can be temporarily or spatially overlapping (Figure 4). For example
agroforestry systems such as montados and dehesas can be described of high nature and cultural
value, but also as the integration of trees with a livestock system. Likewise it is unclear when the
intercropping of apple trees becomes an arable system with alleys formed from apple trees. In this
report, we will consider agroforestry of high nature and cultural value first, followed by agroforestry
with high value trees, and then any remaining practices.
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Figure 4. Agroforestry practices can be divided into those of “high nature and cultural value” and
those focused on high value trees, but there is overlap. Practices can also be divided into whether
they include arable crops and livestock.
Data on the extent of agroforestry systems were collected from scientific research and review
articles, published technical reports, statistical databases and internet sites. A list of published
articles was composed from a SCOPUS “article title, abstract, keywords” search using a combination
of the following words as a search string: “agroforestry” or “silvopasture” or “silvoarable” or “alley
cropping” and “Europe” or “Mediterranean” or “temperate” or “Atlantic” or “boreal” or
“pannonian” or the name of the country. A similar search was carried out in Google. Hereafter
references were checked to ensure if the described agroforestry practices fell within the European
continent and to see if they contain information on the areal extent of agroforestry practices.
Consistent difficulties were encountered during attempts to document the type and extent of
agroforestry practices in Europe. These included a lack of official statistical data and difficulties in
differentiating between practices. Sources of information also varied between countries and
systems. Therefore, figures from different countries cannot be compared directly because of the
different years, different definitions of the systems and methodological differences in data
collection. It does, however, provide a first general overview of the location and extent of the
different agroforestry practices and systems in Europe.
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3 Agroforestry of high nature and cultural value
The high nature value (HNV) concept was proposed by the European Environment Agency (Parachini
et al. 2006). The concept recognizes that specific farming practices and systems support high
biodiversity levels (Pointereau et al. 2007). For instance, the dehesas and montados agroforestry
systems in Spain and Portugal are among the highly diverse HNV systems in Europe.
The HNV concept was introduced at the beginning of the 1990s, and the intention was to integrate
biodiversity and environmental aspects concerning agriculture in Europe. The methodological
guidelines defined by the European Commission consider three different approaches to identify
HNV: the land cover, the farming system, and a species and habitat approach (Almeida et al. 2013).
Paracchini et al. (2006) identifies three types of HNV farmland: 1) farmland with a high proportion of
semi-natural vegetation, 2) farmland with a mosaic of low intensity agriculture and natural and
structural elements, such as field margins, stone walls, patches of woodland or scrub, and small
rivers, and 3) farmland supporting rare species or a high proportion of European or world
populations.
Traditional Agricultural Landscapes (TAL) is another recent classification that has parallels with the
HNV farmland concept. However, rather than focusing on nature value, the TAL concept takes a
broader view of farmed landscapes that retain certain ‘traditional’ aspects (Cooper et al. 2007).
These may be elements of the farming system itself, for example, diversity of production, the fact
that it is small scale, or historical features that remain in the landscape but that are no longer part of
the production system. TALs are characterised by the existence of high aesthetic and cultural values
and a traditional or locally adapted management approach. Natural and cultural values depend on
continuity of the traditional farming practices and this on the social and economic sustainability of
the respective farming systems (Caballero and Gíl 2009). The AGFORWARD project does not have a
particular focus on the traditional aspects; however, we do consider cultural aspects a key issue in
managing viable and sustainable agroforestry systems. Therefore we have adopted the term high
natural and cultural value agroforestry.
In addition to the dehesas and montados in Spain and Portugal, there are other examples of
agroforestry systems that have high nature and cultural values. Hence this section considers high
nature and cultural value agroforestry in terms of oak-dominated agroforestry in the Mediterranean,
other wood pastures, hedgerow systems, and reindeer husbandry.
Wood pastures can be defined as tree-land systems where animals or wildlife are grazing
systematically (Bergmeier et al. 2010). They are traditional systems with multiple uses, where
animals provide fertilisation and control tree encroachment. Due to their widespread distribution,
there exist many regional or local terms to describe wood-pasture types. The importance of wood
pastures can be illustrated by the variety of names of this kind of practice (Bergmeier et al. 2010)
(Table 4).
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Table 4. Some local, regional and temporal meanings for wood pasture systems (adapted from
Bergmeier et al. 2010 and Oppermann et al. 2012).
Name of the system
Description
Montado and dehesa
Pastoral woodland of the Iberian Peninsula dominated by oak trees.
Forest
In its original sense in Britain means woodland or non-wooded
unfenced areas where owners are keeping deer
Park (game park, wild park)
An enclosed woodland or grassland used to keep deer and other
animals in quantities that require additional feeding
Garrigue, Macchia and
matorral
Mediterranean low scrub systems of evergreen trees and shrubs,
sub-shrubs and herbs grazed long-term with dense sclerophyllous
vegetation
Bocage and haie
Pastureland systems in France
Hudewald
Pastoral systems dominated by tall and old oaks, beech, hornbeam
and other deciduous trees, which are often pollarded
Kratt
A Norwegian/Fennoscandian deciduous coppiced wood pasture with
oaks (Quercus petraea, Q. robur). Animals: cattle, sheep.
Lövängar
Swedish/Fennoscandian deciduous or semi-deciduous low intensity
pastures and meadows with open scrub and groves (Betula, Populus
tremula)
Hakamaa
Mixed deciduous or coniferous forests with herbaceous vegetation
grazed by cattle, sheep and horses. Pollarding was a common
practice until the 1960s. It still exists in some parts in the
archipelago of Finland.
Shibliak
Thermophilous deciduous or semi-deciduous scrubland of the
Balkans and the Black Sea area.
Streuobst
Low density orchard system with fruit trees (apple, pear, plum and
cherry tree) and crops close to villages in temperate Europe.
Understory vegetation is usually mowed or grazed.
Wacholderheide
Nutrient poor grassland and heathlands with scrubs, dominated by
Juniper. Occurs in Central Europe, especially in Germany.
Weidfeld
Low density pasture with scrubs
Knick
Hedgerow landscapes from northern Germany
Freiberge and Pâturages
boisés
Wood pastures of the Jura mountains in France and Switzerland
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3.1 Oak dominated agroforestry in the Mediterranean
Oak tree systems include a variety of habitats ranging from open wood pastures and meadows to
closed-canopy forest, and the largest extent of such systems in found in the Mediterranean region
(Figure 5). This system of land use may have been practised for up to 4500 years (Stevenson and
Harrison 1992). The cover of oak tree systems in Spain and Portugal is in excess of 15% of the
Utilised Agricultural Area (Figure 5).
Figure 5. The distribution of Mediterranean oak tree systems in Europe. Estimated area in hectares
and as per cent of the Utilized Agricultural Area (year 2012) of each country (see also Table 5).
Dehesas and montados were mostly created by clearing natural forest and can be considered as
multipurpose open woodlands (Moreno and Pulido 2009) (Figure 6). They provide browse, forage
and shade during early summer drought periods, reducing fire risk at the same time. Many dehesas
combine silvopastoral and silvoarable practices as well as multipurpose trees. Examples of practices
include livestock keeping, cereal cultivation, cork and firewood harvesting, and hunting. Dehesa is
considered to be the most biodiverse man-made landscape in Europe (Moreno and Pulido 2009).
Because of their high biological diversity, including several globally endangered animal species, these
systems have qualified as habitats to be preserved within the EU Habitat Directive (Castro 2009,
Moreno & Pulido 2009). At present, dehesas occupy 3.6 million hectares in Spain and 1.1 million
hectares in Portugal where they are called montados(Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y
Medio Ambiente 2008, Inventário Florestal Nacional 2013a) (Table 5).
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Figure 6. Montado and goat grazing in Portugal, photo by João HN Palma.
Moreno and Pulido (2009) report that dehesa and montado typically involve traditional livestock
breeds at low densities. The environmental settings make arable farming unprofitable and therefore
these systems have arisen to be the only feasible way of productively using the land in these areas
(Montero et al. 1998). Dehesas and montados have tree, livestock and crop components.
Tree component: the tree layer is dominated by holm oak (Quercus ilex) and cork oak (Q. suber).
Other deciduous tree species in these systems include Q. pyrenaica Willd., Q. faginea L. and Fraxinus
angustifolia Vahl.. The trees have a density ranging from 5 to 80 trees per hectare (usually 1545
trees per hectare) and 2140% canopy cover, this variation depending on its main use: lower
densities occur in intercropped areas and higher densities in areas devoted to big game hunting
(Montero et al. 1998, San Miguel 1994, Moreno and Pulido 2009).
Livestock component: grazing of pastures by livestock is important for maintaining stable understory
vegetation. Different types of livestock (cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, horses) are common depending on
the vegetation type and socio-economic characteristics. Sheep are found in most systems, cattle
tend to be found in more humid areas, and goats are often used to make better use of tree fodder.
In some systems, pigs are introduced during October-January to eat acorns. Cork and holm oak trees
have a direct value as a fodder crop, providing acorns in autumn and fresh leaves in summer
(Rigueiro-Rodríguez et al. 2009, San Miguel 1994). In recent decades, a noticeable increase of
stocking rates in dehesas has taken place, mainly due to an increase in the number of cattle and
sheep (Moreno and Pulido 2009).
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Crop component: in the traditional montados and dehesas, the herbaceous layer has been
maintained by cereal cultivation over long rotations. Regular ploughing is necessary as an efficient
method to avoid shrub colonization. More recently, this practice has been associated with the
spread of cork oak diseases (Castro 2008).
Pyrenean oak (Quercus pyrenaica Willd) is one of the most abundant and characteristic oak species
in the Iberian Peninsula with animal husbandry (Castro 2009) and is mainly found as coppice or in
young forests. Pyrenean oak occurs where there is a transition from typical Mediterranean
sclerophyllous vegetation to temperate deciduous forests. This type of oak forest is restricted to SW
Europe (west-northwest Spain, southwest France, northeast Portugal and some isolated sites in
Morocco) and covers about 60,000 ha in Spain and 62,000 ha in Portugal (Castro 2009). They provide
a diverse mosaic-like landscape. Generally, the herds feeding on the coppices are not managed
under private control but are held and managed by the communities. Similar systems are also found
in Greece, mainland Italy and Sardinia (called seminativo or pascolo arborato).
In Greece, Papanastasis et al (2009) considered that agroforestry included all open forests (i.e. less
than 100 m3 ha1 of timber stock), where the trees had a measurable diameter at breast height of
more than 5 cm. They reported that this area was 1,022,252 ha. They assumed that such forests
have a crown canopy cover less than 40% and supported an understory with herbaceous or woody
vegetation that provides forage to livestock. Some of the forests would include oak species, but
many would include Pinus species. In Greece, Papanastasis et al (2009) also reported that there are
843,700 hectares of agroforestry systems on agricultural land comprising oaks, wild pears, and other
forest trees. However a specific area (29,631 ha) has only be quantified for Valonia oak (Quercus
ithaburensis subsp. macrolepis (Kotschy) Hedge and Yaltirik) as reported by Pantera and
Papanastasis (2003) (Table 5).
Transhumance and transtermitance
An important aspect of the dehesas and other wood pasture systems is the movement of animals
according to the availability of food within each year. This movement of animals can be carried out
in short distances and even in a daily basis is called transtermitance. However, if long distances
happen then we describe transhumance systems. A good description of transtermitance systems is
described by Castro (2009), while transhumance is described by Bunce et al. (2009).
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Table 5. Extent (ha) of agroforestry systems and practices of “High natural and cultural value“, based
on examination of published literature
System
Practice
Country
Extent (ha)
Arable/
Livestock
Source
Oak
dominated
agroforestry in
Mediterranean
Dehesa
Spain
3,606,151
Both/
livestock
Ministerio de
Agricultura,
Alimentación y Medio
Ambiente 2008
Cork oak montado
Portugal
730,000
Both
Inventário Florestal
Nacional 2013a
Holm oak montado
Portugal
329,000
Both
Inventário Florestal
Nacional 2013a
Pyrenean oak
Spain
60,000
Livestock
In 2000, Castro 2009
Pyrenean oak
Portugal
62,000
Livestock
In 1995, Castro 2009
Grazed woodland (some oak
but also Pinus on forest land)
Greece
1,022,252
Livestock
Papanastasis et al. 2009
Oak and other agroforestry on
agricultural land
Greece
843,700
Both
Papanastasis et al 2009
Valonia oak
Greece
29,631
Both
Pantera and
Papanastasis 2003
Grazed oak woodlands
Italy
279,263
Livestock
In 1995, Pardini 2009
Sub-total (oak tree systems)
6,961,997
Other wood
pastures
Wood pasture and parklands
UK
15,000
Livestock
Maddock 2008 (10,000-
20,000)
Germany
75,000
Livestock
Luick 2009
Hudewald
Germany
5,500
Livestock
Glaser and Hauke 2004
Austria
40,000
Livestock
Greif 1992
Wood pasture
Switzerland
52,000
Livestock
Herzog 1998
European larch (Larix decidua)
Italy
102,319
Livestock
Pardini 2009
Wood pasture
Romania
Livestock
Wood pasture and meadows
Hungary
5,500
Livestock
Bölöni et al. 2008
Lövängar, hagmarker
(regular meadows also
included)
Sweden
100,000
Livestock
Statistics Sweden 2013
Haka and metsälaidun (1920
and 5400 ha)
Finland
7,320
Livestock
Vainio et al. 2001
Sub-total(wood pastures and
meadows)
402,639
Hedges and
scattered trees
Hedgerows & scattered trees
France
342,500
Both
Bélouard and Coulon
2002
Hedgerows
England,
Scotland
and Wales
117,174
Both
Forest Commission
2001a, 2001b, 2001c
Hedgerows
Wallonia,
Belgium
12,400
Both
Etat de l'Environnement
en Wallonie, 2010
Sub-total
470,074
Reindeer
husbandry
Finland
11,400,000
Livestock
Jernsletten and Klokov
2002
Sweden
16,000,000
Livestock
Jernsletten and Klokov
2002
Norway
14,000,000
Livestock
Jernsletten and Klokov
2002
Sub-total
41,400,000
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3.2 Other wood pasture systems
Wood pasture systems also exist in other parts of Europe beyond the oak trees systems in Portugal,
Spain, Italy, and Greece. In central, eastern and western Europe, trees can provide shelter to cattle
and sheep during the winter months.
In Ireland there exists wood pasture, but there are no real figures about the extent of wood pastures
or meadows. The extent of wood pastures in Eastern Finland is also unclear. No estimates of wood
pasture were found for France.
In the United Kingdom wood pastures and parklands consist of lowland beech (Fagus sylvatica) and
yew (Taxus baccata) woodland, lowland mixed deciduous woodland, upland mixed ash (Fraxinus
excelsior) woods, upland oak (Quercus spp.) wood, wet woodland, wood pasture, and parkland.
Usually they have an open structure where grazing occurs (Figure 7). Oak, beech, hornbeam
(Carpinus betula) and ash tend to be the most common tree species. There is no precise figure for
the extent of wood pasture and parkland in England because it compromises a mixture of land-cover
types from dense to open stands. The UK Biodiversity Steering Group report estimates that there are
between 10,000 ha and 20,000 ha of parkland in the UK. The New Forest in southern England is one
of the largest remaining areas of wood-pasture in temperate Europe, with over 3,000 ha of
woodland grazed by ponies, deer, cattle and pigs (Smith 2010), whilst Epping Forest, an historic
common, is home to at least 50,000 pollarded trees (at about 30-70 per hectare), many of either
veteran or ancient status (Dagley 2006).
Figure 7. Wood pastures in Glenamara, Cumbria, Lake District, UK by Matthew Upson.
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Figure 8. The distribution of wood pastures and meadows in Europe. Estimated area in hectares and
as per cent of Utilized Agricultural Area (year 2012) of each country (see Table 5).
In northern Italy, forests of European larch (Larix decidua) cover approximately 102,319 ha (Pardini
2009). Some of these forests have pastures under low-density tree stands. Pastures are normally
native, comprise 30-60 herbage species, and are important for biodiversity. These pastures are
grazed in summer.
Wood pastures, often dominated by oak, can also be found in Eastern Europe although there is little
information on their extent (Hartel et al. 2013). Historical information suggests that many wood-
pastures from Southern Transylvania in Romania originated from forest grazing and selective tree
removal from forests. They are now grazed by a mixture of livestock, mainly cattle, buffalo, horse
and sheep. Cattle and buffalo grazing have been traditionally practiced in these landscapes for
centuries. Sheep grazing increased in the communist period and afterwards. There was a significant
decrease of cattle and buffalo and horse after the collapse of the communism while the number of
sheep increased. Most of wood-pastures which were previously grazed by cattle and buffalo are
currently grazed by sheep (Tibor Hartel, personal communications). The wood-pasture presented in
Figure 9 is still traditionally managed and contains a large number of ancient trees.
Hartel et al. (2013) demonstrated that wood pastures are very important in the conservation of
ancient trees, as in their study area in Transylvania, ancient trees were found in the wood pastures
but not in surrounding forests. Ancient wood pastures are common in this rural area in Romania and
there might in fact be more common in Eastern Europe than previously thought.
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Figure 9. Ancient oak-dominated wood-pasture from southern Transylvania, photo by Tibor Hartel.
In Slovenia there exist different types of silvopastoral systems. For instance, grazed forests have
been used in the mountain regions of the north part of Slovenia, where dominating tree species are
Norway spruce (Picea abies) and sometimes fir (Abies alba Miller) and beech (Fagus sylvatica) are
found.
In Fennoscandia, wood pastures cover various habitat types ranging from sparse forest to coppice of
trees and scrub, in a mosaic with patches of open grassland. The tree layer consists mostly of
deciduous trees, including oak, ash, lime, birch and grey alder, although conifers may also occur. The
impact of grazing is a key element and the ground vegetation is characterised by species typical for
grassland and meadow habitats. Using outlying forest land for grazing was a traditional way of
keeping livestock in most parts of the Nordic countries, often combined with slash-and-burn
practice, from the establishment of permanent settlements in Northern Europe around 5000-6000
years ago until recently. This practice started disappearing with the shift towards more intensive
livestock husbandry on cultivated land and the use of artificial fertilisers during the 20th century. The
changes over the last 100-150 years have resulted in a drastic decline of various kinds of wooded
pastures (Eriksson 2008).
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3.3 Hedgerow systems and scattered trees
If agroforestry is considered at a farm- or a landscape level, then the hedgerow systems found in
France and the UK are examples of the integration of trees with farming systems. They are also
considered to have important nature and cultural value. In France, Bélouard and Coulon reported in
2002, that trees outside of forests in France covered 1.7 million ha, and that hedgerows and
scattered trees were found on 342,500 ha in 1998.
Estimates of the area of wide hedges (greater than 16 m width) are reported for England, Scotland,
and Wales (Forest Commission 2001a, 2001b, 2001c). The area of wide hedges in 2001 was 20,395
ha. The length of hedges narrower than 16 m was 91,181 km in England, 15,291 km in Scotland and
14,502 km in Wales. Assuming a mean width of 8 m, this equate to a hedge area of 96,779 ha, giving
a total hedge area (wide and narrow) of 117,174 ha.
In Belgium in the Wallonia region it was estimated that there was about 15,500 km of hedgerows
and windbreaks. This would equal to about 16 m of hedgerow per hectare of the Utilized Agricultural
Area (Etat de l'Environnement en Wallonie, 2010). Assuming a mean width of 8 m, this would be
equivalent to 12,400 ha.
3.4 Reindeer husbandry
Reindeer husbandry is practiced on boreal and subarctic wood-pastures (Figure 10; Figure 11).
Reindeer husbandry represents a traditional way of life and has a great economic and cultural
importance for many indigenous peoples. The predominant trees are Betula pubescences and Pinus
sylvestris (Bergmeier et al. 2010). The reindeer husbandry area in Finland is the smallest in extent,
but has the largest number of reindeer (Figure 11, Table 5). The number of reindeer in Norway,
Sweden and Finland has shown a similar development. There was an increase in animals from the
1970’s and a peak between 1989 and 1991. After this the trend has been a decline of the herds
(Jernsletten and Klokov 2002).
Figure 10. Reindeer round-up before movement to winter grazing area in an area close to Åkroken,
county of Jämtland, Sweden by Daana Fjällberg.
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Figure 11. The distribution (ha) of reindeer husbandry in Norway, Sweden and Finland (adapted from
Jernsletten and Klokov 2002).
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4 Agroforestry with high value trees
The second focus of agroforestry systems is based on the use of high value trees such as fruit trees
(e.g. apple, pear, olive, carob, pine-nut, walnut, almond, chestnut,) and trees grown for high value
timber (e.g. walnut and wild cherry) (Table 6). Fruit trees cover the largest area in Europe regarding
high value tree systems, followed by olive tree systems.
Table 6. High value trees and their functions
High value trees
Functions
Apple (Malus), peach (Prunus) and pear
(Pyrus), apricot (Prunus), plum (Prunus),
quince (Cydonia) and fig (Ficus)
Fruits
Olive tree (Olea europaea L.)
Olives, olive oil, timber, firewood
Wild cherry (Prunus avium)
Fruit, timber, the gum from bark
Walnut (Juglans)
Nuts, timber, firewood
Italian stone pine (Pinus pinea)
Pine nuts, timber, firewood, resin, woodchip
Chestnut (Castanea)
Nuts for human food and fodder for animals, timber,
tannin, firewood
Holm oak (Quercus ilex)
Cork, timber, acorns for feed, leaves for fodder, tannin
Carob (Ceratonia siliqua)
Dried pods for human consumption and animal fodder
the seeds source of a food thickening agent (E410 as in
E-number)
High value trees can be fruit and/or other trees randomly or systematically planted in cropland or
pasture. High value tree products can have a significant market value. Examples of wood-based
products include timber, poles, paper fibre, firewood, and charcoal. Non-timber products primarily
focus on fruits but can include the leaves (as flavouring or for tannins) and the bark, for example
cork. Cork is an important product from cork oak, which can be used in construction, bottle cork and
several industries. Tannin is used for leather tanning and for extraction of several products.
Traditionally tannery products come from chestnut and oaks. Nowadays, the natural tannery
products have been largely replaced by synthetic ones.
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4.1 Agroforestry with fruit trees
Up until the last century, most fruit production systems incorporated the grazing of animals or the
intercropping of crops. For example, silvoarable systems for fruit and nut production covered large
areas of central Europe (Smith 2010). Long-established systems remain in certain countries, such as
18,000 ha of almond trees with cereals or fodder in Sicily, and 10,200 ha of fig trees with cereals in
Crete and the Aegean islands (Eichhorn et al. 2006) (Table 7). Many of the fruit tree systems are in
the Mediterranean and central Europe (Figure 12, Table 7). Some fruit tree systems probably exist in
Scandinavia but their extent is small and the system has almost completely disappeared (Herzog
1998).
Figure 12. The distribution of fruit tree systems in Europe. Estimated area in hectares and as per cent
of the Utilized Agricultural Area (year 2012) of each country (see also Table 7).
Streuobst is a traditional agroforestry system found in continental and central Europe. It is defined as
tall trees of different types, varieties and ages of fruit, scattered in croplands, meadows and
pastures. The tree density varies from 20 to 100 trees per hectare or more (Herzog 1998). There
exist silvoarable (streuobstäcker) and silvopastoral (streuobstwiesen) streuobst practices (Smith
2010). Fruit tree alleys along streets are also considered a form of streuobst. Fruit trees in gardens,
on the other hand, are not treated as streuobst (Herzog 1998).
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Table 7. Extent (ha) of agroforestry systems and practices with high value fruit trees
Practice
Country
Extent
(ha)
Arable/
Livestock
Source
Streuobst
Germany
400,000
Arable/Both
Eichhorn et al. 2006
Switzerland
41,912
Arable/Both
Herzog 1998
Austria
8,564
Arable
in 1993 Herzog 1998
Croatia
64,456
Arable
In 1996, Herzog 1998
Romania
180,005
Arable
In 1996, Herzog 1998
Poland
200,000
Arable
In 1996, Herzog 1998
Czech Rep.
9,277
Arable
Herzog 1998
Pré-vergers
France
151,000
Arable/Both
In Ducros et al. 2005 in Eichhorn et al
2100 ha; 163000 ha in Bélouard, and
Coulon 2002
Traditional orchards
UK
25,350
Arable
Robertson et al. 2010 suggest 24,600
ha in England, but Burrough et al
(2010) report 16,992 ha for England
in a more comprehensive study.
Orchards
Denmark
3,242
Statistics Denmark 2013
apples 1563 ha, pears 299 ha, cherry
1380 ha)
Prunus dulcis
Italy
18,000
Arable
Cullotta et al. (1999) in Eichhorn et
al. 2006
Pomaradas
Spain
13,484
Arable
INE (2002) in Eichhorn et al. 2006.
(but 464000 in 1997 (Eichhorn et al)
Citrus trees (orange, lemon,
mandarin, etc)
Greece
6,498
Arable
Papanastasis et al. 2009
Fruit trees (apple, pear,
peach, apricot, cherry, etc)
Greece
17,700
Arable
Papanastasis et al. 2009
Nuts and dried fruits
(almond, walnut, fig)
Greece
20,952
Arable
Papanastasis et al. 2009 reports
41,352 ha for nuts and dried fruits,
but this figure also includes chestnut
and carob which are reported
separately in this table (see further
down).
Other trees: incl. Plum,
mastic, poplars, cypress
Greece
11,244
Arable
Papanastasis et al. 2009
Almond orchards
Portugal
38,049
Arable/Both
Anuario Vegetal (2006)
Hazel nut (mostly as
scattered trees or in
hedgerows)
Portugal
585
Both
Anuario Vegetal (2006)
Cherry orchards
Portugal
6,255
Arable/Both
In 2005, Anuario Vegetal (2006)
Fig orchards
Portugal
7127
Arable/Both
In 2005, Anuario Vegetal (2006)
Walnut orchards
Portugal
3167
Arable/Both
In 2005, Anuario Vegetal (2006)
Total
1,226,867
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Figure 13. Sweet cherry in combination with vegetables on an organic farm in north-western
Switzerland by Felix Herzog
Today streuobst systems occupy approximately one million hectares in 11 European countries
(Herzog, 1998). It has an essential impact on the fruit production and markets in Europe. Streuobst
systems are less profitable for farmers than intensive orchard systems, mainly due to their higher
requirements for labour input. However streuobst systems have many ecological and socio-cultural
advantages and it has particular value in terms of landscape aesthetics, biodiversity, recreation and
regional identity (Herzog 1998). Eichhorn et al. (2006) observed that streuobst declined by 50
percent during the last century, mainly due to intensification, increased mechanisation and
abandonment of subsidy programmes. Nowadays, streuobst systems are again supported by non-
governmental organizations, state conservation policies and agri-environmental schemes in many
countries (Herzog, 1998).
Pré-verger systems in France are associated with fruit trees (apple, peach and walnut are the most
common) mixed with meadows and sometimes grazing animals. Such p-vergers systems in France
cover about 150,000-168,000 ha, especially in Normandy, Bretagne and Pay de Loire (Eichhorn et al
2006, Bélouard and Coulon, 2002). The tree density is about 50 to 100 trees per ha, where animals
graze and trees provide shade. As a silvoarable system, they may be intercropped for the first five to
15 years of a 30-year cycle (Eichhorn et al. 2006). Fruit trees are usually combined with crops such as
maize, sorghum, soybean, oil-seed rape, sunflower, tobacco, alfalfa, lavender and bush fruits.
In the UK, traditional orchards share some of the characteristics of the Pré-verger systems and are
considered a priority habitat under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BRIG 2007). These systems,
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combine fruit trees (predominantly apple, pear, and plum) with grazing at planting densities similar
to Pré-vergers, traditionally up to around 170 trees per ha (Hoare 1928). Around 16,992 ha of
traditional orchards remain in England (Burrough et al. 2010) concentrated in Herefordshire,
Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Devon (Table 7). Of those that are still actively
managed, many continue to be grazed by a combination of sheep, cattle, horses, pigs, and fowl.
Bouguards in the Netherlands are high-growing fruit tree systems with an understory of grass which
is mowed or grazed by cattle and sheep (Oosterbaan & Kuiters 2009). Since the 1970s most of the
high-stem fruit tree orchards have been replaced by more intensive low stem trees of new cultivars,
with trees planted at high densities. In these more intensive orchards the combination with livestock
farming did not work out particularly well. Only in combination with poultry it is sometimes
combined successfully.
Pomaradas in Spain are usually apple trees planted either in lines or scattered trees in meadows and
arable croplands containing maize or vegetables. The system has declined dramatically over the last
35 years (Smith 2010). They exist especially in the Atlantic biogeographic region of Spain in Galicia,
Asturias, Cantabria and in the Basque country. Throughout the Mediterranean region, small orchards
of walnut, almond, peach, apricot and olive are intercropped with vegetables and cereals. In Greece,
mulberry (Morus nigra), fig (Ficus carica) and common pear (Pyrus communis) are intercropped with
maize, other cereals, tobacco, fodder legumes, vegetable and grape vines.
4.2 Olive agroforestry
According to Papanastasis (2008), the olive tree (Olea europea L.) is the most important planted
evergreen species forming agrosilvopastoral systems in the Mediterranean region (Figure 14). In
Europe, olive tree systems are confined to the Mediterranean region (Figure 15; Table 8). Olives
provide a great economic and socio-cultural significance for the Mediterranean region, where 98 %
of the world’s olive production is located (Kiritsakis 1998, Papanastasis et al. 2009). Olive tree
systems are multipurpose, offering both olives for human consumption (including table olives and
olives for olive oil) and foliage for animal feed. The area of olive agroforestry expands the analysis of
Eichhorn et al. (2006) by including a value for Portugal. The olive agroforestry area in Greece of
650,000 ha reported by Schultz et al (1987), and quoted by Eichhorn et al., has been replaced by the
value of 124,311 ha from Papanastasis et al. (2009).
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Figure 14. Olive trees intercropped in Lesvos, Greece, by Vasileios Papanastasis
Figure 15. The distribution of olive tree systems in Europe. Estimated area in hectares and as per
cent of the Utilized Agricultural Area (year 2012) of each country (see also Table 8).
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Table 8. Extent (ha) of agroforestry systems and practices with high value trees such as olive trees,
vines, chestnut trees and pine trees
System
Practice
Country
Extent
(ha)
Arable/
Livestock
Source
Olive tree
systems
Spain
15,030
Arable/both
INE (2002) in Eichhorn
et al. 2006
Olive groves for olive oil
Portugal
365,308
Arable
In 2005, Anuario
Vegetal (2006)
Olive groves for table
olives
Portugal
11,216
Arable
In 2005, Anuario
Vegetal (2006)
Both for table olives and
oil
Greece
124,311
Arable
Papanastasis et al. 2009
France
3,000
Arable
F. Liagre (Eichhorn et al.
2006)
Italy
20,000
Arable/both
ISTAT 1990 (Eichhorn et
a. 2006)
Sub-total
538,865
Vine tree
systems
Piantata
Italy, Sicily
153,030
Arable
In 2002, Eichhorn et al.
2006
Spain
48,605
Arable
in 2002, Eichhorn et al.
2006
Vinhos verdes (not
necessarily all in
agroforestry)
Portugal
74,000
Arable
Altieri & Nicolls 2002
Sub-total (vines)
275,635
Chestnut
systems
Souto
Portugal
30,097
Arable/both
in 2005, Anuario
Vegetal (2006)
France
7,330
Arable/both
In 2004, Anuario
Vegetal (2006)
Greece
7,800
Arable/both
In 2004, Anuario
Vegetal (2006)
Italy
23,500
Arable/both
In 2004, Anuario
Vegetal (2006)
Chestnut orchards
Hungary
900
Arable/both
Conedera et al. 2004
Chestnut orchards
Romania
100
Arable/both
Conedera et al. 2004
Chestnut orchards
Slovakia
92
Arable/both
Conedera et al. 2004
Chestnut orchards
Slovenia
185
Arable/both
Conedera et al. 2004
Chestnut orchards
Spain
37,679
Arable/both
Conedera et al. 2004
Chestnut orchards
Switzerland
3,400
Arable/both
Conedera et al. 2004
Sub-total (chestnut)
111,083
Carob tree
Italy
8,800
Both
Anuario Vegetal (2006)
systems
Portugal
11,800
Both
Anuario Vegetal (2006)
Spain
59,000
Both
Anuario Vegetal (2006)
Greece
12,600
Both
Anuario Vegetal (2006)
Sub-total (carob)
92,200
Pine tree
Italy
362,126
Livestock
Pardini 2009
systems
Pinheiro manso
Portugal
173,716
Livestock
In 2010, Inventário
Florestal Nacional
(2013b)
Sub-total (pine)
535,842
Total
1,553,625
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Olive tree agroforestry typically comprises olive trees intercropped with cereals, vegetables and
fodder crops. Olive trees associated with grape vines are also quite common thus the two systems
often overlap. The Common Agricultural Policy provided substantial support across the EU for the
establishment and maintenance of olive systems, typically on poor soils, sloping sites and dry
environments (Schultz et al. 1987). However, the removal of production related subsidies threatens
the financial sustainability of many olive systems and policies are needed to prevent the further
abandonment of such systems. The systems are also vulnerable to climate change and its impacts on
drought, fire and wind damage (Hemery et al. 2010).
4.3 Vine agroforestry
Vine agroforestry systems mainly combine the vines with other crops. For example, in northern
Portugal, Quercus lusitanica, Ulmus spp. and Prunus are used in vineyards as living trellis to support
vines (Vitis vivifera). In the intermediate spaces between the grape rows, maize and vegetables are
grown (Altieri & Nicholls 2002).
Virtually all the Portuguese vinho verde is produced in the Minho region in northwest Portugal.
Approximately 26% (74,000 ha) of the agricultural area in the vinho verde region is devoted to grape
production (Altieri & Nicholls 2002). Vinho verde grapes are traditionally grown on trees bordering
crop fields in Portugal. The combination of high vine and maize is characteristic of the area. The
systems preferred host trees are Portuguese oak (Quercus lusitanica), elm (Ulmus sp.), poplar
(Populus sp.) and wild cherry (Prunus spp.).
Joualle and houtain systems in France are associations with vegetables, fruits and cereals with
grapes, "pêches de vigne". Joualle is composed of rows of grapevine with peach, walnut and olive
trees. In houtains the trees are used to support the vines (a distance of 5 m between the trees). To
maximise returns, the gaps between the rows are planted with cereals. Joualle is associated with
lavender and with truffle. There exists no clear data about the extent of vine tree systems in France.
In Italy vines were typically grown on live trellis such as different maple (Acer spp.), ash (Fraxinus
spp.), elm (Ulmus spp.) species and less frequently on other species. In the south of the country, very
high curtains of vine were obtained using live poplars (Populus spp.) as poles to hold the wires.
Nowadays, these systems have all disappeared (Adolfo Rosati 2015, personal communication).
4.4 Pine tree agroforestry
In Portugal, stone pines Pinus pinea occupy an area of approximately 173,716 hectares (Inventário
Florestal Nacional 2013b), of which 68% are located in the Alentejo region and the remaining 32% in
Ribatejo region (Anuario Vegetal 2006). More than 50% of the annual pine cone production comes
from the Grândola and Alcácer do Sal municipalities. The latter is even called the "Solar do Pinheiro
Manso" ("Stone Pine Manor"). Pine cone production does not have any particular demands in terms
of costs but has strong social and economic impacts as traditional harvest involves a lot of labour
and is relatively well paid (Anuario Vegetal 2006).
In Italy, Pinus pinea and Pinus pinaster forests are mainly distributed in the central part of the
country and cover about 362,126 ha. The understory normally consists of unpalatable shrubs, and
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livestock are only occasionally grazed on them. These systems support horse riding and trekking
from nearby farms, forming an important source of additional income for local farms. Public
administration benefits from tourism in the municipalities in which these systems are present, whilst
pine nut harvesting is also a valuable source of income (Pardini 2008).
4.5 Chestnut agroforestry
Chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.) is a multipurpose species that is cultivated for timber, nut and
tannin production. No official data on the distribution of the European chestnut exist, but Conedera
et al. (2004) recorded a total of 2.25 million hectares of forest dominated by chestnut with 1.78
million hectares (79%) cultivated for wood and 0.43 million hectares (19%) for fruit production. In
countries with a strong chestnut tradition (Italy, France, southern Switzerland, Spain, Portugal and
Greece), sweet chestnut has been cultivated for centuries in coppices or orchards (Conedera et al.
2004). In northern Portugal and Galicia it has been cultivated since the Roman times. Chestnut
ecosystems are an important silvopastoral system in mountain regions and in Galicia and Portugal
chestnut forests cover around 40,000 and 35,000 ha respectively. Chestnut orchards for nut
production are called "soutos" in Portuguese and Galician languages. In the Bragança region in
Portugal, chestnut orchards are frequently intercropped with cereals for direct consumption by
sheep. Chestnut orchards are mainly grazed by sheep as the owners exclude goats since they can
damage the bark of the trees (Castro 2009). Pigs are also fed with the non-commercial chestnut
fruits or within the chestnut forest. Chestnut trees could also be used as a silvopastoral system when
coppiced, similar to Pyrenean oak. This form of management was practiced for millennia to manage
crops for timber production in short rotations. Most stands are currently over-mature or have been
abandoned (Castro 2009).
4.6 Carob tree agroforestry
Carob (Ceratonia siliqua L.) trees are used as fodder and can be intercropped with cereals and
fodder legumes. The pods are used as raw material for the food processing industry, e.g. as a
substitute for cacao. Carobs are cultivated mainly in Mediterranean countries, particularly Spain,
Portugal, Italy, Greece, Malta, Cyprus, Morocco and Turkey, which together account for
approximately 92% of the global production (Anuario Vegetal 2006, Eichhorn et al. 2006). In
Portugal, carobs were the only crop of the traditional non-irrigated orchard of which the area under
cultivation and production increased as recently as the year 2006 (Anuario Vegetal 2006). However,
more recent data have not been found.
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5 Agroforestry in arable systems
The fourth work-package of the AGFORWARD project focuses on the integration of trees in arable
systems. Cropland is the dominant agricultural land cover in much of Europe (Table 9). In Hungary
(47%) and Denmark (48%) the proportion of the land that is cropped is almost 50%. The lowest
proportional areas of cropland in the European Union are 4-6% in Finland and Sweden (Table 9)
(where crop production is limited by low temperatures) and 5% in Ireland, where high rainfall means
that the principal land cover is grass.
Many of the negative environmental impacts associated with agriculture are associated with the
intensive production of arable and horticultural crops often in short rotations. These negative effects
include reduced soil and water quality, loss of biodiversity including pollinators, and greenhouse gas
emissions. Reisner et al. (2007) reported that it was possible to profitably integrate trees and crops
and reduce soil erosion and nitrate leaching on 40% of the European arable land. Palma et al. (2007)
demonstrated that landscape biodiversity could also be increased by the introduction of
agroforestry systems.
There exist a range of potential ways of integrating trees into arable systems. These include alley
cropping, buffer strips, windbreaks, hedgerows, and shelterbelts. These practices can be found all
over Europe. Nevertheless, precise and reliable information about the current extent of such
agroforestry practices is lacking.
5.1 Linear features with trees
Linear features with trees include buffer strips, windbreaks and hedgerows (Schoeneberger et al.
2012). They can improve landscape aesthetics, increase biodiversity, and provide a range of
provisioning and regulating environmental services.
Buffer strips are strips of perennial vegetation (tree/shrub/grass), which are planted between
croplands/pastures and water sources (streams, lakes, wetlands) to protect water quality. The tree
root systems have a potential to absorb nutrients leaching from the soil below the grass or crops.
Riparian buffer strips are of particular value as they protect water bodies against sedimentation, soil
erosion and nitrate contamination (Mosquera-Losada et al. 2009). The Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations considers trees forming riparian strips and line forests
(hedgerows, shelterbelts, windbreaks/belts) to belong under the definition of trees outside forests
(de Foresta et al. 2013).
Windbreaks are practices where trees are planted in rows to control wind damages to crop. The
windbreaks are formed by various parallel tree lines at least 10 meters apart. Windbreaks can also
be used in livestock systems to improve animals’ health, reduce heat stress and enhance fodder
production.
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Table 9. Rural land cover in the EU (primarily as determined by the LUCAS 2009 dataset) (Hart et al 2013)
Total
Artificial land
Cropland
Woodland
Shrubland
Grassland
Bareland
Water
Wetland
Member
State
Total Land
Area (ha)
Area (ha)
(%)
Area (ha)
(%)
Area (ha)
(%)
Area (ha)
(%)
Area (ha)
(%)
Area (ha)
(%)
Area (ha)
(%)
Area (ha)
(%)
Austria
8,392,100
430,600
5%
1,457,700
17%
3,944,700
47%
143,200
2%
1,948,800
23%
250,900
3%
176,700
2%
39,500
0%
Belgium
3,066,600
300,800
10%
824,800
27%
812,300
26%
22,900
1%
1,025,600
33%
33,600
1%
43,800
1%
2,800
0%
Bulgaria
11,096,100
557,994
5%
2,771,160
25%
3,927,000
35%
737,510
7%
2,980,600
27%
15,022
0%
95,793
1%
11,068
0%
Cyprus
924,600
78,393
8%
144,150
16%
387,047
42%
195,092
21%
108,700
12%
7,125
1%
1,589
0%
2,483
0%
Czech Rep
7,887,000
331,200
4%
2,799,000
35%
2,948,900
37%
40,200
1%
1,583,800
20%
54,400
1%
105,400
1%
24,100
0%
Denmark
4,285,300
276,000
6%
2,075,700
48%
787,300
18%
49,600
1%
942,500
22%
42,200
1%
70,900
2%
41,100
1%
Estonia
4,345,200
81,000
2%
502,500
12%
2,384,200
55%
43,700
1%
828,900
19%
38,500
1%
221,900
5%
244,500
6%
Finland
33,576,500
520,700
2%
2,019,400
6%
22,857,800
68%
1,390,700
4%
981,900
3%
433,000
1%
3,415,400
10%
1,957,600
6%
France
54,876,300
2,848,000
5%
16,691,900
30%
17,386,800
32%
1,817,200
3%
14,658,700
27%
531,700
1%
800,300
1%
141,700
0%
Germany
35,711,400
2,435,800
7%
11,811,500
33%
12,093,400
34%
208,200
1%
8,134,800
23%
237,500
1%
624,300
2%
165,900
0%
Greece
12,016,700
384,000
3%
2,833,600
24%
4,008,100
33%
2,580,600
21%
1,600,700
13%
312,900
3%
216,800
2%
80,000
1%
Hungary
9,301,200
341,100
4%
4,417,400
47%
2,156,200
23%
149,900
2%
1,893,000
20%
48,300
1%
181,100
2%
114,200
1%
Ireland
6,988,300
277,700
4%
350,000
5%
819,100
12%
418,000
6%
4,476,600
64%
56,600
1%
188,600
3%
401,700
6%
Italy
30,139,200
2,186,800
7%
10,033,300
33%
9,995,000
33%
1,566,400
5%
4,904,000
16%
644,400
2%
745,500
2%
63,800
0%
Latvia
6,459,900
106,600
2%
784,000
12%
3,390,600
52%
155,900
2%
1,620,800
25%
55,500
1%
191,300
3%
155,200
2%
Lithuania
6,481,800
167,500
3%
1,576,600
24%
2,380,000
37%
53,400
1%
2,021,500
31%
43,400
1%
204,000
3%
35,400
1%
Luxembourg
259,600
19,200
7%
56,400
22%
92,800
36%
400
0%
86,300
33%
2,100
1%
2,400
1%
-
0%
Malta
31,600
9,270
29%
10,330
33%
347
1%
3,927
12%
7,700
24%
-
0%
-
0%
25
0%
Netherlands
3,735,700
491,800
13%
882,200
24%
443,900
12%
54,300
1%
1,397,500
37%
34,700
1%
410,300
11%
21,000
1%
Poland
31,192,500
1,133,500
4%
10,956,800
35%
10,763,500
35%
204,400
1%
7,139,500
23%
245,100
1%
624,900
2%
124,800
0%
Portugal
8,884,000
467,700
5%
1,647,400
19%
4,083,800
46%
939,900
11%
1,222,400
14%
354,100
4%
129,200
1%
39,500
0%
Romania
23,845,600
1,500,908
6%
9,212,900
39%
6,733,000
28%
576,018
2%
4,164,600
17%
22,008
0%
445,922
2%
342,615
1%
Slovakia
4,901,300
119,400
2%
1,388,100
28%
2,261,000
46%
128,800
3%
925,500
19%
18,900
0%
54,100
1%
5,500
0%
Slovenia
2,028,000
68,700
3%
215,300
11%
1,283,800
63%
47,300
2%
364,900
18%
28,700
1%
13,000
1%
6,300
0%
Spain
49,349,800
1,760,700
4%
15,001,300
30%
15,745,600
32%
6,898,500
14%
6,869,100
14%
2,568,400
5%
425,500
1%
80,700
0%
Sweden
44,915,900
679,400
2%
2,000,300
4%
29,647,800
66%
2,658,700
6%
1,874,000
4%
1,032,200
2%
4,086,200
9%
2,937,300
7%
UK
24,443,600
1,630,100
7%
4,853,800
20%
3,614,700
15%
2,502,400
10%
10,366,300
42%
408,100
2%
578,200
2%
490,000
2%
EU-12
108,494,800
4,495,565
4%
34,778,240
32%
38,615,594
36%
2,336,147
2%
23,639,500
22%
576,955
1%
2,139,004
2%
1,066,191
1%
EU-15
320,641,000
14,709,300
5%
72,539,300
23%
126,333,100
39%
21,251,000
7%
60,489,200
19%
6,942,400
2%
11,914,100
4%
6,462,600
2%
EU-27
429,135,800
19,204,865
4%
107,317,540
25%
164,948,694
38%
23,587,147
5%
84,128,700
20%
7,519,355
2%
14,053,104
3%
7,528,791
2%
Based primarily on LUCAS 2009 data with supplementary data provided from information set out in Table 1 in Hart et al. (2013) for Romania, Bulgaria, Malta and Cyprus.
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In Hungary, landscape elements containing shelterbelt-systems were estimated at around 16,415 ha
in 2001 (Takáczs & Frank 2008). Shelterbelt systems mean all areas bordering cultivated areas,
where the area of the shelterbelt is less than 10% of the agricultural area. They are important for
conserving the soil and adding spatial heterogeneity.
Hedgerows are usually made of trees or thorny bushes to separate land parcels of different owners
(Herzog 2000). This kind of agroforestry practice reached its peak in the 18th century after which it
started to decline. It is estimated that since 1969 between 40-80% of the hedgerows have
disappeared in Europe due to the reallocation of agricultural holdings in order to create larger field
plots (Herzog 2000). Hedgerows in France and parts of the UK and Belgium have been described in
Section 3.3.
In WP4 of the AGFORWARD project, several demonstration case studies are focussing on linear
features with trees (AGFORWARD 2014). The demonstration case in the Veneto region in north-
eastern Italy, covers about 65 ha with about 15 ha occupied by an agroforestry system established in
2013. The agroforestry system comprises oaks and poplar intercropped with cereals. Tree species
are planted along the border of the fields with a distance of about 35 m between the rows. Along
these rows, poplars are planted at approximately 10 m intervals, alternated with oak (Quercus robur)
(Figure 16). In the demonstration case in Voio in northern Greece, arable fields containing field
beans, cereals and grassland are bordered by walnut trees and fast growing poplars (Figure 17).
Figure 16. Oaks (not visible) and poplars planted in linear formations in a cereal field in north-
eastern Italy, photo by Piero Paris.
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Figure 17. Trees with arable crops and grassland in Macedonia, Greece by Anastasia Pantera.
5.2 Within-field agroforestry
Trees can also be planted, either in single or grouped rows, within agricultural or horticultural fields
whilst allowing machinery to operate in alleys between the trees (Mosquera-Losada et al. 2009).
Depending on the spacing between the rows, in the later stages of tree development, canopy
closure may prevent crop growth. As a rule of thumb, once tree height exceeds the width of the
alley, the system is often no longer suitable for cropping.
Poplar intercropped with cereals (e.g. maize) became fashionable in France in the 18th century, and
still covers about 6,000 ha in well irrigated alluvial regions (Eichhorn et al. 2006) (Table 10).
In WP4 of the AGFORWARD project, several case studies are focussing on alley cropping systems
(http://www.agforward.eu/index.php/en/FarmerNetworks.html). One demonstration case is in the
Languedoc-Roussillon region in the south of France. The focus of this group is on field crops such as
durum wheat, chickpea, and canola in such systems. Another demonstration case of alley cropping is
situated in Fajsz, Bács-Kiskun county in the Hungarian Great Plains. In Hungary, the extent of alley
cropping is not known, but it seems that it has not been widely adopted, except in small gardens and
orchards. Modern alley cropping systems seem limited to small farms or newly established pilot
systems. In the AGFORWARD demonstration case, the agroforestry system consists of Paulownia
tomentosa var. Continental E. in rows and alfalfa as intercrop. The total area of the experimental and
demonstration site is two hectares, one hectare of which is alley cropping, and one hectare of alfalfa
managed as a monoculture. In the demonstration site in Germany, alley cropping systems combine
rows of fast growing trees, for example, poplar, black locust or willow, with agricultural crops.
However, this system is not yet common practice in Germany and exists currently at the
experimental field level only (Figure 18).
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Figure 18. Alley cropping system of poplar (Populus spp.), black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) and
winter wheat, northeastern Germany. Photo by Dirk Freese.
Table 10. Extent (ha) of other agroforestry practices focused on the integration of trees in arable
systems or livestock systems
Practice
Country
Extent
(ha)
Arable/
livestock
Source
Shelterbelts
Hungary
16,415
Both
Takács and Frank 2008
Alley cropping with
poplar
France
6,300
Arable
Segouin and Valadon (1997)
quoted by Eichhorn et al 2006;
Liagre 2002.
Trees in rows with
livestock
Netherlands
3,000
Livestock
Oosterbaan & Kuiters 2008
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6 Agroforestry practices for livestock systems
The fifth work-package focuses on the application of agroforestry in livestock production. This can
include forest and woodland grazing, open forests or tree plantations either with wild or domestic
animals.
Ruminant livestock enterprises are associated with grasslands, which occupies about 20% of the land
area of the EU-27 (Table 9). The highest proportions of grassland are in the Netherlands (37%), UK
(42%) and Ireland (48%). The lowest proportional areas of grassland in the European Union are 3-4%
in Finland and Sweden (both are countries with a high forest cover ranging from 66-68%). However
even for ruminant production systems, the off-farm costs of feed can be high ranging from
1,460€/farm in Romania to 52,718€/farm in Sweden (Table 11). A significant number of livestock
production enterprises in Europe, and particular pig and poultry production, occur separate from
grassland areas within purpose-built sheds with food purchased from other farms (Table 11). The
highest expenditures on feed for pigs and poultry are in the Netherlands (61,752€/farm) and
Denmark (101,975€/farm) and the lowest in Romania (514€/farm).
Table 11. Off-farm inputs (€/farm) in 2012, feed for grazing livestock, pigs and poultry in the EU
(Data from Farm Accountancy Data Network).
Country
Feed for grazing
livestock1 (€/farm)
Feed for pigs and poultry
(€/farm)
Austria
5,090
7,038
Belgium
26,023
47,791
Bulgaria
2,657
3,193
Cyprus
10,573
4,471
Czech Republic
41,392
24,067
Denmark
47,518
101,975
Estonia
20,683
6,299
Finland
21,298
7,103
France
14,910
13,336
Germany
23,964
27,875
Greece
3,011
593
Hungary
5,415
9,307
Ireland
18,298
155
Italy
4,775
2,055
Latvia
8,152
3,774
Lithuania
5,244
2,156
Luxembourg
24,982
14,180
Malta
7,558
8,723
Netherlands
32,755
61,752
Poland
2,292
4,714
Portugal
4,070
3,095
Romania
1,460
514
Slovakia
89,700
19,259
Slovenia
6,959
1,422
Spain
6,370
4,089
Sweden
52,718
10,336
United Kingdom
50,084
15,198
Average (€/farm, whole EU)
7,575
6,248
1Concentrated feeding stuffs (including mineral licks and preservatives), coarse fodder, expenditure on the use of common
grazing land, cost of renting forage land not included in the UAA for equines, cattle, sheep and goats.
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Intensive livestock production can lead to negative environmental impacts such as methane
production by ruminants, ammonia and nitrous oxide (Burgess and Morris 2012). It is estimated that
meat and dairy consumption in Europe is responsible for 14% of the total CO2 emission in the EU
(Weidema et al. 2008) and livestock production is considered a major driver in global land use
changes with impacts on climate change and biodiversity. Hence many farmers are seeking ways to
make livestock production more sustainable.
Combining trees with livestock is seen as one method to mitigate ammonia emissions and to store
more carbon as an offset for methane and nitrous oxide emissions due to the reduction of air speed
and temperature which avoid volatilisation. Measures to estimate emissions have been specifically
drawn for agroforestry (Eve et al 2014). Animal welfare is another important aspect in livestock
production. Agroforestry livestock systems have been demonstrated to have welfare benefits for the
animals, for example woodland hens in the UK (Burgess et al. 2014).
Agroforestry combining animals and trees are often called “silvopastoral” systems. Such systems
include the wood pasture and reindeer systems considered under high nature and cultural value
agroforestry in Section 3. They also included the grazed orchard systems described in Section 4.
Hence the rest of this section considers other livestock agroforestry practices that have not been
described.
Woodland egg, poultry and pig production
There are several demonstration cases in WP5 of the AGFORWARD project focussing on agroforestry
for livestock systems (AGFORWARD 2014). The participating farm situated in Terschuur in the
Netherlands rears about 20,000 slow-growing broilers in a stable with a free-range area in which 550
cherry trees are planted. The other Dutch demonstration case near Winterswijk combines organic
poultry farming with the growing of walnut trees. In the UK, some of the eggs produced by hens with
access to areas of trees are marketed as woodland eggs (Figure 19). At a minimum, all woodland
eggs follow the standards for free-range egg production. To qualify as woodland eggs, the UK
Woodland Trust specifies 20% cover in the free range area with some trees within a 20 m distance
from the shed. In the demonstration cases in Denmark, pigs and poultry are combined with fruit and
vegetable production. In addition, some Danish organic pig producers have established
combinations of free-ranging pigs and energy crop production (Figure 20).
One of the WP5 demonstration cases is focussing on Celta pigs or porco celta, an autochthonous
pig breed of Galicia in North West Spain. The breed is believed to derive from northern-central
European pig breeds. They are usually farmed in semi-extensive or extensive conditions in forest
areas where chestnut (Castanea sativa Miller) and oak (Quercus robur L.) trees are dominant.
Silvopastoralism with this pig breed could increase social and economic benefits and reduce fire risk,
as Galicia is one of the most fire-prone areas of Europe.
Fodder crops
In another demonstration case, the farmers are part of a group of farmers called ‘Overlegplatform
Duinboeren’ (“Dune farmers”) in the southern part of the Netherlands. During a former project, four
test sites with fodder trees were planted on four farms (http://www.voederbomen.nl). Within the
original project dairy goats were allowed to browse on fodder trees such as willow (Salix spp).
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Figure 19. Woodland chicken system in the county of Devon, UK, by Jo Smith
Figure 20. Pigs and rows of willow for energy crop production in Denmark by Anne Grete Kongsted.
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7 Other agroforestry practices
There are also other agroforestry systems which have not been covered in sections 3, 4, 5 and 6,
which are briefly discussed in this section for completeness. They include forest grazing, grazed
heathlands, agroforestry practices associated with fish (aquaculture) and bees (apiculture), and
home gardens and forest farming,
Forest grazing
The focus of the AGFORWARD project is primarily the use of trees on agricultural land. Although it
does consider wood pasture systems across Europe and the reindeer husbandry in Northern Europe,
it does not specifically focus on the grazing of commercial forest plantations. Armstrong et al (2003)
reviewed grazing in 104 woodlands, covering about 30,774 ha, across England, Scotland and Wales
in the UK. Although most of the forests and woodlands were described as semi-natural, 6000 ha
were plantation woodlands with species such as Sitka spruce. Timber production, rather than nature
conservation, was also the primary aim of the managers on about 20,044 ha of the sites.
Grazed heathlands
Dwarf shrub heathland covers about 1,487,000 ha in Great Britain (Howard et al. 2003). They are
categorised as areas where 25% of the cover of species from the ericaceae (or heather) family of
plants. Common heather (Calluna vulgaris) which is the plant most characteristic of North-West
European upland heath (Thompson et al. 1995), is a perennial shrub. In many areas the shrub is
managed by sheep grazing, and hence the practice of sheep grazing of heathlands could be
recognised as a form of agroforestry. In a similar way to dehesas, arable farming would be
unprofitable and this system is one of the few ways of productively using the land.
Aquaculture with trees
Aquaculture is defined by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations as the
farming of aquatic organisms including fish, molluscs, crustaceans and aquatic plants with some
sort of intervention in the rearing process to enhance production, such as regular stocking, feeding
and protection from predators” (FAO, 2015). Aquaculture can also be integrated with trees, for
example in the leaves of selected trees and shrubs that line fish ponds are used as “forage” for fish
(Nair 1993). In 2010, about 10% of the EU seafood market came from EU aquaculture, with 25%
from EU fisheries and 65% from imports (which would have included aquaculture systems)
(European Commission, 2013d). Aquaculture has also been identified as one of the pillars of the EU's
blue growth strategy.
Apiculture and trees
Trees and beekeeping have a long combined history. Combining beekeeping with trees can provide
annual honey bee products (e.g. honey, bee wax) to supplement the landowner's income next to
income from long-term forest management (Hill & Webster 1995). Some agroforestry practices, for
instance Streuobst are often mixed with apiculture, with benefits for both fruit and honey
production (Herzog 1998). Due to the mixture of tree species and varieties in a streuobst system,
flowering is spread over a longer period of time increasing the availability of nectar and pollen.
Furthermore, the bees are not affected by pesticides as is often the case in more intensively
managed orchards (Herzog 1998).
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In the Galician Region, the majority of the honey produced is the multi-flower type, although mono-
floral honey from eucalyptus, chestnuts, heather or blackberry is also produced. Presently there are
100,000 man-made beehives in Galicia that annually produce between 1,500 to 2,000 tons of honey
(Rigueiro-Rodriguez 2001), as reported by the bee keepers, which provides between 6 to 12 million
of Euros per year. To improve the trading of honey, the “certificate of origin” was created and is
labelled “Honey from Galicia” or “Mel de Galicia” which indicates that it is Galician honey and
produced in the traditional way. The Regulatory Council of this denomination specifically listed more
than 30,952 man-made beehives belonging to 410 bee keepers, with 38 packaging plants which in
2014, certified more than 620 tons of honey (Consejo Regulador de Miel de Galicia 2014).
Home gardens and forest farming
Home gardens include a multitude of species of trees and agricultural crops. They can be multi-
storey systems with mixed species of trees, shrubs and crops usually grow around the house or farm.
Home gardens can provide an important source of food and income, helping to improve food
security and livelihoods on a regional and global scale. Some new fashionable projects that can be
considered as home gardens are currently funded in the Netherlands and this practice is so-called
“Food Forestry” (Food Forestry Netherlands, 2015). It is generally practiced in large gardens, but also
parks, agricultural areas and more natural forested area are suitable. Therefore, “Food Forestry” also
shows some resemblance with forest farming.
Forest farming includes forested areas used for the production or harvest of crops which grow
naturally or are cultivated and includes the harvesting of medicinal plants, mushrooms and berries.
Medicinal plants: the recent increased demand for medicinal and aromatic plants is anticipated to
continue as demand increases for natural medicines and plant therapy (Rodríguez-Barreira et al.
2011; Romero-Franco 2011). Many of these plants are derived from woodlands and the harvesting
of medicinal plants is still important in Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Spain (Mosquera-Losada et al.
2009). Although medicinal and aromatic plants can be found in European regions, such as Galicia in
Spain, they are often unharvested due to lower cost competition from outside Europe, and the
ageing rural population. The species that are traditionally gathered in Galicia include Gentiana lutea
L., Arnica montana L., Frangula alnus Miller, Ruscus aculeatus L., Laurus nobilis L., Achillea
millefolium L., Valeriana officinalis L., and Hypericum perforatum L.. It should be noted that the
utilization of these species, especially those from which roots or branch cuttings are used, notably
reduces their natural populations. This fact should be considered if we want to make sustainable use
of the natural populations of these plants and to give incentives to their cultivation.
Mushrooms: wild mushroom gathering can provide a higher income than other non-timber forest
products. For example in Galicia in North-West Pain, the annual mushroom trade (prices paid to
collectors) is estimated to be 24-30 million Euros (Rigueiro-Rodríguez 2001). There are several dozen
species of edible and economically valuable wild mushrooms (e.g. Amanita caesarea, Boletus edulis
and Cantharellus cibarius) that are harvested in Europe. They represent about 27 % of the share of
the total non-wood forest products. However continued mushroom production requires
reforestation with appropriate tree species and the use of mycorrhizae. Examples of economically
important wild mushrooms are described by Rodríguez-Barreira et al. (2011).
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Berries: gathering of small wild fruits such as blackberries and raspberries for fresh consumption is
traditionally practised in areas such as Galicia in Spain. The local species harvested are Rubus idaeus
L. (raspberry), Rubus spp. (blackberry), Ribes petraeum Wulfen in Jacq. (red bush), Ribes rubrum L.
(red and white currant) and Vaccinium myrtillus L. (bilberry). It must be considered that the
gathering of these small fruits in the wild may bring about the problem of conservation and the loss
of a wild food resource in the forest. One possible solution is the cultivation of local varieties which
could contribute to the conservation of local sources. In Galicia, some experiments involving the
cultivation of American species such as Vaccinium corymbosum L. have proven successful.
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8 Discussion
This report focussed on delivering a preliminary stratification and quantification of agroforestry in
the EU based on examination of the available literature. As a result of the literature study, we were
able to produce a preliminary stratification of agroforestry systems in Europe (Table 12). This initial
analysis suggests that the area of agroforestry, including reindeer herding, across Europe is at least
52 million hectares. Excluding the reindeer herding system, the estimate is at least 10.6 million
hectares (Table 12).
Table 12. Preliminary stratification and quantification of key agroforestry practices in Europe
System
Country
Extent (ha)
Arable/
Livestock
Source
Mediterranean
Dehesa in Spain
3,606,151
Both
Table 5
oak tree
Montado in Portugal
1,059,000
Both
Table 5
Agroforestry
Grazed woodlands and oak and other
agroforestry on agricultural land in Greece
1,895,583
Both
Table 5
Pyrenean oak in Spain and Portugal
122,000
Livestock
Table 5
Grazed oak woodlands in Italy
279,263
Livestock
Table 5
Sub-total
6,961,997
Other wood
Larix decidua in Italy
102,319
Livestock
Table 5
pastures and
Lövängar, hagmarker in Sweden
100,000
Livestock
Table 5
Meadows
Other parklands, woodland, wood-pasture,
Hudewald, Haka and metsälaidun in UK,
Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary,
Finland
200,320
Livestock
Table 5
Sub-total
402,639
Reindeer husbandry
Finland, Sweden, Norway
41,400,000
Livestock
Table 5
Hedges and scattered
trees
France and parts of UK and Belgium
472,074
Both
Table 5
Agroforestry with
fruit trees
Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Romania,
Croatia, Czech Rep, France, UK, Denmark,
Italy, Greece, Poland, Portugal
1,226,867
Both
Table 7
with olives
Portugal, Greece, France, Italy, Spain
538,865
Arable
Table 8
with pine-trees
Italy, Portugal
535,842
Livestock
Table 8
with vines
Italy, Spain, Portugal
275,635
Arable
Table 8
with chestnuts
Portugal, France, Italy, Greece, Hungary,
Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and
Switzerland
111,083
Both
Table 8
with carob trees
Italy, Portugal, Spain, Greece
92,200
Both
Table 8
Sub-total
2,780,492
Shelterbelts
Hungary
16,415
Both
Table 10
Alley cropping
France
6,300
Arable
Table 10
Trees with livestock
Netherlands
3,000
Livestock
Table 10
Total
52,042,917
Total (excluding reindeer)
10,642,917
It should be noted that our estimate of the total extent of agroforestry in Europe is incomplete. For
example the role of hedges and scattered trees is only included for France and the UK. There are also
no wood pasture estimates for countries like Romania, Poland and Bulgaria. In addition no records
are provided of walnut-based agroforestry outside of Portugal and Greece.
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The published literature sources cover different time frames and also the data in the publications
retrieved have been collected in different ways, which makes it difficult to give a uniform and up-to-
date snapshot of the current total extent of agroforestry in Europe.
An alternative approach to determining the extent of agroforestry is to use existing European
databases such as the CORINE Land Cover (CLC) database. However, an accurate estimate on the
extent of agroforestry systems is difficult under the current CORINE land cover classification as
agroforestry may fall under several classes (Rois-Díaz et al. 2006). These include olive groves,
pastures, annual crops associated with permanent crops, agricultural mosaic with natural
vegetation, agroforestry areas and natural grasslands (Table 13).
Table 13. Nomenclature definitions of CORINE Land Cover Classes that may include agroforestry
areas (after EIONET, 2000)
Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
2. Agricultural
areas
2.23. Olive groves: Areas planted with olive trees, including
mixed occurrence of olive trees and vines on the same
parcel
2.3 Pastures
2.3.1. Pastures: Dense, predominantly graminoid grass
cover, of floral composition, not under a rotation system.
Mainly used for grazing, but the fodder may be harvested
mechanically. Includes areas with hedges (bocage).
2.4. Heterogeneous
agricultural areas
2.4.1. Annual crops associated with permanent crops
Non-permanent crops (arable lands or pasture) associated
with permanent crops on the same parcel.
2.4.3. Agricultural mosaic with significant areas of natural
vegetation: Areas principally occupied by agriculture,
interspersed with significant natural areas.
2.4.4. Agro-forestry areas: Annual crops or grazing land
under the wooded cover of forestry species.
3. Forests and
semi-natural
areas
3.2. Shrub and/or
herbaceous
vegetation
associations
3.2.1. Natural grassland: low productivity grassland. Often
situated in areas of rough uneven ground. Frequently
includes rocky areas, briars, and heathland.
Within CORINE, “agroforestry” land cover class 2.4.4. is described as Annual crops or grazing land
under the wooded cover of forestry species, where the annual crops or grazing land and fallow land
cover less than 50 % of the surface. It includes combinations of forest trees with fruit and olive trees
and agricultural land shaded by carob and palm trees” (EIONET, 2000). According to the CORINE
database, this “agroforestry” land cover is greatest in Spain, Portugal and Italy and reaches a total of
3.3 million hectares (Table 14).
The area (2.5 million ha) reported as “agroforestry” by CORINE for Spain, although 30% smaller, is of
a similar magnitude to that reported in the literature for dehesa in Spain (3.6 million ha) (Table 12).
The area reported as “agroforestry” by CORINE in Portugal (622,243 ha), is 40% lower than the
1,059,000 ha of montados reported in the literature (Table 12).
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Table 14. Area of CORINE Land Cover classes that may include agroforestry systems across European
countries and Turkey.
Country
Olive
groves
Pastures
Annual
crops
associated
with
permanent
crops
Agriculture
mosaics
with
significant
natural
vegetation
Agro-
forestry
areas
Natural
grasslands
Albania
39,467
42,846
303,413
294,628
Austria
747,833
166,704
60
598,830
Belgium
355,548
189,068
886
Bosnia/Herzegovina
403,979
578,016
244,139
Bulgaria
409,617
1,011,480
391,599
Croatia
20,192
299,646
76
527,230
254,637
Cyprus
6,548
1,171
32,246
41,848
28,164
Czech Rep
700,445
706,313
26,996
Denmark
56,230
355,470
26,540
Estonia
247,057
374,451
39,779
Finland
4,809
1,238,614
3,572
France
10,584
8,695,099
1,491,289
375
1,249,377
Germany
4,394,204
905,269
169,025
Greece1
613,144
70,396
2,346
1,428,375
1,199,451
Hungary
655,024
149,545
227,022
Iceland
245,113
288,483
Ireland
3,577,843
441,069
89,613
Italy
1,209,285
425,884
378,823
2,048,216
175,072
1,464,116
Kosovo
17,932
131,583
72,592
Latvia
851,391
436,227
5,352
Liechtenstein
574
319
2,189
Lithuania
420,685
515,301
1,089
Luxembourg
37,615
87
22,357
Macedonia FYR
203,562
185,958
191,931
Malta
14,962
Montenegro
481
20,822
184,085
130,760
Netherlands
1,027,260
115,111
42,114
Norway
25,263
969,837
927
Poland
2,714,765
1,446,734
37,897
Portugal
262,855
42,722
404,382
693,804
622,243
179,336
Romania
2,572,829
1,095,683
318,017
Serbia
157,461
1,005,308
204,534
Slovakia
270,613
323,961
28,609
Slovenia
116,324
181,194
20,492
Spain
1,865,943
648,208
140,679
2,498,219
2,495,438
2,642,457
Sweden
268,258
565,253
191,577
Switzerland
376,316
20,353
447,046
Turkey
371,014
1,476,472
7,595,671
8,963,155
UK
7,039,929
184,771
1,935,999
Total (ha)
4,399,513
39,621,745
958,639
30,143,061
3,293,188
22,012,930
Source: CORINE Land Cover 2006 by nuts units, Land accounts data viewer 1990-2006,
http://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/data/data-viewers/land-accounts
1Data for Greece are from CLC 2000.
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CORINE also has a category entitled annual crops associated with permanent crops” which totals
958,629 ha. Again the largest areas occur in Spain, Portugal and Italy. Adding this total to the
“agroforestry” total results in 4,251,827 ha. In Spain, the combination of the two classes results in an
agroforestry area of 2,636,117 ha, which is 27% lower than the area of dehesa reported in the
literature. In Portugal, the two classes result in an agroforestry area of 1,026,625 ha which is similar
to the area of 1,059,000 ha reported for montados in the literature.
Other CORINE classes which could include agroforestry include “agricultural mosaic with significant
natural vegetation”, olive groves, pastures and natural grasslands. For example, there is no
agroforestry in Greece according to CORINE (Table 14), whilst the literature review highlighted large
areas of wood pastures and meadows (1.0 million hectares, Table 5), Valonia oak agroforestry
systems (29,631 ha, Table 5) and 124,311 ha of olive tree agroforestry systems (Table 8). It could be
that the Greek wood pastures and meadows are reported in CORINE under the 1.4 million hectares
described as “agricultural mosaic with significant natural vegetation (Table 14). Spain, Italy, France,
Poland and Finland also have a high cover of agricultural mosaic with significant natural vegetation
(Table 14).
From the above analyses it is clear that there is not a simple relationship between the estimates of
the area of agroforestry in the literature and land cover classes defined by CORINE. The total area
defined as “agricultural mosaic with significant vegetation” excluding Turkey, Sweden, and Finland is
20,743,523 ha. If we further exclude Poland, Romania, Serbia, and Bulgaria (i.e. areas for which we
were able to gain few values from the literature), then the remaining area of “agricultural mosaic
with significant vegetation” is 16,184,318 ha. If we assumed that half of this area is “agroforestry”,
then adding this to the 4,251,827 ha (from “agroforestry” and “annual crops associated with
permanent crops”) would result in 12.3 million ha, which is of a similar magnitude to the 10.6 million
hectares derived from the literature review.
According to the literature study, approximately 10.6 million hectares are covered by some kind of
agroforestry practice for those countries for which we were able to retrieve data from published
literature (Table 12; Table 15). This equates to about 6.5% of the total utilised agricultural area of
the investigated countries. The utilised agricultural area” is the total area taken up by arable land,
permanent pasture and meadow, and the land used for permanent crops.
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Stratification of agroforestry www.agforward.eu
Table 15. Estimated area covered by agroforestry based on the summarised results from the
literature study as shown in Table 5, Table 7, Table 8, and Table 10 and as a percentage of the
utilised agricultural area.
Estimated area
covered by
agroforestry (ha)
Utilised
agricultural
area3 (ha)
Estimated agroforestry
area as a proportion of
UAA (%)
48,564
2,863,583
1.7%
12,400
1,358,020
0.9%
64,456
1,300,000
5.0%
9,277
3,525,889
0.3%
3,242
2,664,000
0.1%
7,320
2,285,200
0.3%
510,130
29,000,829
1.8%
480,500
16,667,300
2.9%
2,096,6882
4,150,990
50.5%
22,815
5,338,015
0.4%
967,038
13,133,855
7.4%
3,000
1,841,600
0.2%
200,000
14,529,400
1.4%
1,842,320
3,597,979
51.2%
180,105
13,733,143
1.3%
92
1,927,000
0.0%
185
480,000
0.0%
3,839,949
23,463,115
16.4%
100,000
3,031,500
3.3%
97,312
1,051,630
9.3%
157,524
17,172,000
0.9%
10,642,917
164,473,028
6.5%
1 This area does not include the reindeer husbandry area; Reindeer herding is mostly practiced in boreal forest
and (sub-) arctic and alpine tundra and only to a very small extent on agricultural land.
2 Includes 1,022,252 ha designated as forestry by Greek Ministry of Agriculture (Papanastasis et al., 2009)
3 Utilised Agricultural Area in 2012. The figures from Italy and United Kingdom refer to 2011, and Belgium for
2010. Source: Eurostat.
4 Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Malta are not included.
A more uniform approach, for example an approach based on remote sensing data may help in
providing a more accurate estimate. For example, high resolution remote sensing data can be used
to assess tree cover density in the agricultural landscape (e.g. Copernicus Land Cover Monitoring
Services). Another recent development has been the Land Use and Land Cover Aerial Frame Survey
(LUCAS, Eurostat 2012). This survey has been gathering simultaneous on-site measurements of land
cover and land use, which are also harmonised with agricultural census information and forestry
inventories. Our current understanding of EU27 land cover and use can be progressed through an
examination of how the LUCAS data can be used to describe the current extent of agroforestry at a
field- or a landscape-scale.
The current agroforestry definitions and classifications make it difficult to estimate the current areal
extent of agroforestry in Europe. New classifications provided to EUROSTAT by the Multisward
project, could help to quantify it (Peeters et al. 2014). New and further understanding on
agroforestry practices quantification will also come from the report of the EIP focus group of
Permanent Grassland (EC 2015).
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9 Conclusions
The literature study revealed a large diversity of agroforestry practices in Europe, which was
reviewed through the lens of the four participative research networks used in the AGFORWARD
project. These include agroforestry of high nature and cultural value (which included wood pasture,
reindeer herding, and some hedgerow systems), agroforestry focused on fruit trees, olives, chestnut
and other high value trees, and to a more limited extent novel practices focused on integrating trees
in arable and livestock systems. Agroforestry systems are more diverse in the south, but some
systems for instance Scandinavian wood pastures and reindeer husbandry are practiced far in the
north, even extending into the sub-arctic tundra zone.
In Europe there is a lack of cartographic information on the different types of agroforestry systems
and practices. Exact information on the distribution and extent of agroforestry systems in Europe is
currently not readily available. Moreover, the information is scattered, fragmented and difficult to
compare. There would be a need for a more uniform approach for the whole of Europe, for instance
one based on a combination of Pan-European data (e.g. LUCAS) and remote sensing. In addition, it
would be good to properly include agroforestry in existing Land Use and Land Cover classification
nomenclatures, for instance in the Land Use and Land Cover Aerial Frame Survey (LUCAS).
Nevertheless this report gives a first impression of the stratification and quantification of the most
important agroforestry systems and practices in Europe. Of the European agroforestry systems,
wood pastures cover the largest area and are distributed around Europe in all climatic zones ranging
from the Mediterranean to boreal zones. The oak tree systems in the Mediterranean and reindeer
husbandry in northernmost Fennoscandia in particular cover large areas. Most of the fruit tree
systems are located in the central and Mediterranean regions of Europe, with large areas of olive
agroforestry in the Mediterranean region. Due to the overlap of the different systems, it was not
possible to subdivide silvoarable and silvopastoral practices. Nevertheless, considering the large area
of cropland and grassland in Europe there would be a huge potential for integrating trees in both
arable and livestock systems. The extent of recent projects and programmes to promote within-field
planting of trees in arable and livestock still needs to be determined, but the areas are small relative
to the extent of traditional systems.
Based on the literature study, agroforestry (excluding reindeer husbandry) in Europe is practiced on
an area of at least 10.6 million hectares, equivalent to about 6.5% of the utilised agricultural area in
Europe. This is substantially larger than the 3.3 million hectares classified as “agroforestry” by the
CORINE database. If the agroforestry practice of reindeer husbandry is included, then the area of
agroforestry in Europe was estimated to be at least 52 million hectares. However we anticipate that
the total area covered by agroforestry is larger as the analysis contains only limited amounts of data
from large countries such as Poland, Romania and Bulgaria. A more accurate estimate would require
more studies, involving a combined approach using European databases and remote sensing.
Despite the shortcomings of the literature study, this report provides a first estimate of the current
distribution and quantification of agroforestry in Europe.
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10 Acknowledgements
The AGFORWARD project (Grant Agreement N° 613520) is co-funded by the European Commission,
Directorate General for Research & Innovation, within the 7th Framework Programme of RTD,
Theme 2 - Biotechnologies, Agriculture & Food. The views and opinions expressed in this report are
purely those of the writers and may not in any circumstances be regarded as stating an official
position of the European Commission.
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Stratification of agroforestry www.agforward.eu
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... Az így nyert multifunkcionális rendszer elemeinek egymásra gyakorolt kedvező hatásából ökológiai, társadalmi és gazdasági vonatkozásban is előnyösebb és fenntarthatóbb gazdálkodás valósulhat meg, mint a monokulturális művelés által (AGFORWARD, 2019). Ezen rendszerek közé tartoznak a növényi védősávok (part menti és mezővédő sövények), legeltetett erdők, fás legelők, fás ligetek, erdőkertek, javított ugar, haszonnövény termesztéssel kombinált erdők, fasorokkal kombinált köztestermesztés és települési zöld infrastruktúra elemek is (den Herder et al., 2015;Vityi és mtsai, 2018). A többfunkciós művelésből adódóan a rendszerből kikerülő ...
... termények sokfélék, a gazdaságnak biztosabb terméshozamot és ezáltal bevételt is biztosít (den Herder et al., 2015). Az agrárerdészeti termékek között megtalálhatóak tipikusan mezőgazdasági és erdészeti és erdőből származó termékek is, mint például gyümölcsök, ...
... Ezek a tojások megfelelnek a szabadon tartott tojástermelés szabványinak. Az UK Woodland Trust által meghatározott "Woodland Eggs", "erdei tojás" minősítés alatt azon területen termelt tojás tartozik, mely legalább 20%-át fás vegetáció borítja és a baromfi ól legalább 20 méteres távolságban van (den Herder et al., 2015). ...<