Mapping tree species distribution in support of China's integrated tree-livestock-crop system

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The primary challenge of the contemporary world is to meet accelerating requirements for food. Limited land, competition between crop and livestock farming and climate change are major challenges. Agroforestry offer a form of sustainable agriculture through the direct provision of food by raising farmers’ incomes and through various ecosystem services. The first essential step in adopting agroforestry is the selection of appropriate tree species that fit local climates. In this paper, we mapped 20 fodder trees and important crops in China using the multi-model ensemble and Ecocrop modelling approach. Relying on the intersectional concept of set theory, the fuzzy logic technique was applied to identify regions where candidate trees could be grown with appropriate crops and livestock. The resulting models provide important insights into the climatic suitability of trees and crops and offer knowledge critical to the proper integration of trees with crops and livestock at specific locations. The results offer support for developing appropriate strategies regarding potential land-use within agroforestry systems in order to maximize ecosystem services and the benefits of sustainable agriculture. Model outputs could easily convert into conventional maps with clearly defined boundaries for site-specific planning for tree-crop-livestock integration. The next step for actualizing an integrated system is to investigate specifically what these different species may contribute to the existing farming systems, quantify the benefits and estimate any possible trade-offs.
Authors: Ranjitkar, S.; Bu, D.P.; Sujakhu, N.M.; Gilbert, M.; Robinson, T.P.; Kindt, R.; Xu, J.C.
Subjects: agroforestry, fuzzy logic, livestock, biogeography, trees, species
Publication type: Journal Article, Non-ISI, Publication
Year: 2021

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