Trees for life: the ecosystem service contribution of trees to food production and livelihoods in the tropics

Reed, James, van Vianen, Josh, Foli, Samson, Clendenning, Jessica, Yang, Kevin, MacDonald, Margaret, Petrokofsky, Gillian, Padoch, Christine, and Sunderland, Terry (2017) Trees for life: the ecosystem service contribution of trees to food production and livelihoods in the tropics. Forest Policy and Economics, 84. pp. 62-71.

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Abstract

Despite expanding interest in ecosystem service research over the past three decades, in-depth understanding of the contribution of forests and trees to food production and livelihoods remains limited. This review synthesizes the current evidence base examining the contribution of forest and trees to agricultural production and livelihoods in the tropics, where production often occurs within complex land use mosaics that are increasingly subjected to concomitant climatic and anthropogenic pressures. Using systematic review methodology we found 74 studies investigating the effect of forest or tree-based ecosystem service provision on a range of outcomes such as crop yield, biomass, soil fertility, and income. Our findings suggest that when incorporating forests and trees within an appropriate and contextualized natural resource management strategy, there is potential to maintain, and in some cases, enhance yields comparable to solely monoculture systems. Furthermore, this review has illustrated the potential of achieving net livelihood gains through integrating trees on farms, providing rural farmers with additional income sources, and greater resilience strategies to adapt to market or climatic shocks. However, we also identify significant gaps in the current knowledge that demonstrate a need for larger-scale, longer term research to better understand the contribution of forest and trees within the broader landscape and their associated impacts on livelihoods and food production systems.

Item ID: 54001
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-7050
Keywords: agroforestry, ecosystem services, food production, food security, forests, livelihood security
Additional Information:

This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Funders: Department for International Development (DFID), UK, United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Projects and Grants: DFID MTO 069018, USAID MTO 069018, CGIAR CRP-FTA
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2018 05:54
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0705 Forestry Sciences > 070504 Forestry Management and Environment @ 50%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0705 Forestry Sciences > 070599 Forestry Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 82 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8201 Forestry > 820103 Integration of Farm and Forestry @ 100%
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