Abstract

Agroforestry practices that intentionally integrate trees with crops and/or livestock in an agricultural production system could enhance carbon (C) sequestration and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from terrestrial ecosystems, thereby mitigating global climate change. Beneficial management practices such as enrichment planting and the application of soil amendments can affect C sequestration and GHG emissions in agroforestry systems; however, such effects are not well understood. A literature review was conducted to synthesize information on the prospects for enhancing C sequestration and reducing GHG emissions through enrichment (i.e., in-fill) tree planting, a common practice in improving stand density within existing forests, and the application of organic amendments to soils. Our review indicates that in agroforests only a few studies have examined the effect of enrichment planting, which has been reported to increase C storage in plant biomass. The effect of adding organic amendments such as biochar, compost and manure to soil on enhancing C sequestration and reducing GHG emissions is well documented, but primarily in conventional crop production systems. Within croplands, application of biochar derived from various feedstocks, has been shown to increase soil organic C content, reduce CO2 and N2O emissions, and increase CH4 uptake, as compared to no application of biochar. Depending on the feedstock used to produce biochar, biochar application can reduce N2O emission by 3% to 84% as compared to no addition of biochars. On the other hand, application of compost emits less CO2 and N2O as compared to the application of manure, while the application of pelleted manure leads to more N2O emission compared to the application of raw manure. In summary, enrichment planting and application of organic soil amendments such as compost and biochar will be better options than the application of raw manure for enhancing C sequestration and reducing GHG emissions. However, there is a shortage of data to support these practices in the field, and thus further research on the effect of these two areas of management intervention on C cycling will be imperative to developing best management practices to enhance C sequestration and minimize GHG emissions from agroforestry systems.

Highlights

  • Agriculture is the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHG) after the energy sector, and is responsible for about 30% of global GHG emissions [1]

  • GHG emissions depends on the region-specific biophysical condition

  • Silvopastoral systems were found to be superior in terms of both C sequestration and reducing GHG

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Summary

Introduction

Agriculture is the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHG) after the energy sector, and is responsible for about 30% of global GHG emissions [1]. Composting, despite emitting GHGs during storage, and dried pelleting, are two methods of conserving nutrients in manure and facilitating their slow release into the soil [18] In the process, these methods reduce GHG emissions compared with raw manure application if applied to the field in an appropriate time such as avoiding wet conditions of soils [19]. The first is enrichment tree planting, and the second is the use of organic soil amendments It starts with an overview of the impact of agroforestry in C sequestration and GHG emissions as documented by previous different empirical studies, and reviews reports at different temporal and spatial scales. Subsequent sections review the role of enrichment planting and organic soil amendments and discuss the prospect of applying these interventions to agroforestry systems in order to enhance C sequestration and reduce GHG emissions. Conclusions are drawn and areas of further research needs are identified on these two practices in order to further mitigate GHG emissions and promote climate change adaptation using agroforestry systems

Methods of Literature Collection
Role of Agroforestry in C Sequestration and Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Impacts of Enrichment Planting on C Sequestration and GHG Emissions
Impacts of Biochar Applications
Findings
Conclusions

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