Promoting biodiversity conservation through agroforestry

Agroforestry plantings can provide expanded habitat for a wide range of species, from soil microlife to insects to mammals. The value of agroforestry for biodiversity is especially high when agroforestry replaces or expands into pastures or monoculture plantations or farms. A well designed agroforest, modeled after healthy, diverse natural forests will spontaneously attract and support biodiversity.
In Latin America, studies have shown that the traditional coffee agroforests (coffee integrated with 2-5 other tree species) are second only to undisturbed tropical forests in their diversity of birds, insect life, bats, and even mammals. The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center discovered at least 180 species of birds in Mexican coffee agroforests--up to ten times more than the bird diversity found in monoculture coffee plantations studied elsewhere.

In the lowlands of Sumatra, resin-producing agroforests planted several generations ago are now some of the last reservoirs of biodiversity in the region, harboring rare epiphytes and herbs as well as 46 species of mammals, 92 species of birds, and much of the native soil fauna.

Type Classification:
G: Very Specific strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 15: Life on Land