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Journal Articles (Review Article) Agroforestry Systems Year : 2018

Supporting and regulating ecosystem services in cacao agroforestry systems


Cacao agroforestry systems (CAFS) can provide supporting services such as optimum light conditions for cacao growth, water and nutrient cycling and regulating services such as pest and disease control and climate regulation. This review considers recent literature on the manifestation of these services in CAFS around the world to provide an overview of scientific knowledge. Crown structures of associated trees can facilitate optimum light conditions for cacao growth, and provide water through vertical root segregation. Leaf litter fall and roots from associated species contribute to nutrient cycling. Both nitrogen-fixing and non-nitrogen-fixing species can provide nutrients to the cacao plant, though competition from certain species may limit phosphorus and potassium uptake. Pest and disease regulating services can arise through careful shade management to create a microclimate which reduces susceptibility of cacao to fungal diseases and sun-loving pests. All CAFS store carbon to varying degrees; those resembling original forest much more than simple two-species systems from which shade trees are removed after maturity of the cacao stand. CAFS also promotes biodiversity conservation depending on structure, management, and landscape arrangement, though not to the extent of natural forests. Research opportunities to increase provision of these services include optimal spatial arrangement for nutrient cycling and functional diversity as well as landscape connectivity for biodiversity conservation. Trade-offs between carbon storage, biodiversity, cacao yield and socio-economic resilience are presented, indicating that optimization of ecosystem services in CAFS requires consideration of interactions between all services, including socio-cultural and economic ones.
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hal-03708699 , version 1 (29-06-2022)



Róisín Mortimer, Stéphane Saj, Christophe David. Supporting and regulating ecosystem services in cacao agroforestry systems. Agroforestry Systems, 2018, 92 (6), pp.1639-1657. ⟨10.1007/s10457-017-0113-6⟩. ⟨hal-03708699⟩
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