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A natural capital approach to agroforestry decision-making at the farm scale


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Marais, ZE, Baker, TP, O'Grady, AP, England, JR, Tinch, D ORCID: 0000-0001-6411-0629 and Hunt, MA ORCID: 0000-0001-6762-5740 2019 , 'A natural capital approach to agroforestry decision-making at the farm scale' , Forests, vol. 10, no. 11 , pp. 1-18 , doi: 10.3390/f10110980.

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Background:Agroforestry systems can improve the provision of ecosystem services at the farm scale whilst improving agricultural productivity, thereby playing an important role in the sustainable intensification of agriculture. Natural capital accounting offers a framework for demonstrating the capacity of agroforestry systems to deliver sustained private benefits to farming enterprises, but traditionally is applied at larger scales than those at which farmers make decisions. Methods:Here we review the current state of knowledge on natural capital accounting and analyse how such an approach may be effectively applied to demonstrate the farm-scale value of agroforestry assets. We also discuss the merits of applying a natural capital approach to agroforestry decision-making and present an example of a conceptual model for valuation of agroforestry assets at the farm scale. Results:Our findings suggest that with further development of conceptual models to support existing tools and frameworks, a natural capital approach could be usefully applied to improve decision-making in agroforestry at the farm scale. Using this approach to demonstrate the private benefits of agroforestry systems could also encourage adoption of agroforestry, increasing public benefits such as biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation. However, to apply this approach, improvements must be made in our ability to predict the types and amounts of services that agroforestry assets of varying condition provide at the farm or paddock scale.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Marais, ZE and Baker, TP and O'Grady, AP and England, JR and Tinch, D and Hunt, MA
Keywords: review, ecosystem services, agroforestry, natural capital, economic benefits, agroforestry, accounting
Journal or Publication Title: Forests
Publisher: Molecular Diversity Preservation International
ISSN: 1999-4907
DOI / ID Number: 10.3390/f10110980
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2019 by the authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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