Support trees in vanilla agroforests of Madagascar: diversity, composition and origin

2022 | journal article. A publication with affiliation to the University of Göttingen.

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​Support trees in vanilla agroforests of Madagascar: diversity, composition and origin​
Osewold, J.; Korol, Y.; Osen, K.; Soazafy, M. R.; Rabemanantsoa, T.; Martin, D. A. & Wurz, A. et al.​ (2022) 
Agroforestry Systems,.​ DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10457-022-00733-y 

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Authors
Osewold, J.; Korol, Y.; Osen, K.; Soazafy, M. R.; Rabemanantsoa, T.; Martin, D. A.; Wurz, A.; Hölscher, D.
Abstract
Abstract Trees in agroforestry systems provide multiple ecological and economic functions. Smallholder vanilla agroforests include shade trees common across agroforestry systems, and small-statured support trees carrying the vanilla vine. Support trees have received little scientific attention so far. The objectives of our study were to assess the diversity, composition and geographic origin of support trees in vanilla agroforestry systems of north-eastern Madagascar. The region is a global biodiversity hotspot, has been undergoing a rapid land-use change and produces a large share of the globally traded vanilla spice. The studied vanilla agroforests differed in land-use history: established either directly inside forest (forest-derived) or on land previously used for slash-and-burn agriculture (fallow-derived). Among the support trees, we found 122 species of which 25% were endemic to Madagascar. The species richness per plot was four times higher in forest-derived than in fallow-derived vanilla agroforests. The species distribution was particularly uneven in fallow-derived vanilla agroforests with one species ( Jatropha curcas ) comprising 52% of all individuals. In forest-derived vanilla agroforests, 44% of all trees were native or endemic to Madagascar, whereas in fallow-derived vanilla agroforests only 11% were native or endemic. We conclude that there is a considerable diversity among support trees in Malagasy vanilla agroforestry . The support tree diversity is strongly affected by land-use history. Fallow-derived vanilla agroforests currently have a comparatively low species richness, yet they can play an important role in land rehabilitation, and more emphasis on growing native and endemic tree species would contribute to aligning production with conservation goals.
Issue Date
2022
Journal
Agroforestry Systems 
Organization
Fakultät für Forstwissenschaften und Waldökologie ; Burckhardt-Institut ; Abteilung Waldbau und Waldökologie der Tropen 
ISSN
0167-4366
eISSN
1572-9680
Language
English

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