22 March 2017
New paper on extent of agroforestry in EU
On 22 March 2017, a paper led by Michael den Herder on the “current extent and stratification of agroforestry in the European Union” became available on-line as it was published by a Journal called “Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment”. The paper quantifies and maps the distribution of agroforestry in the EU using LUCAS Land Use and Land Cover data. Agroforestry is classified into two main types: livestock agroforestry and arable agroforestry. A third type: high value tree agroforestry can be subdivided into either livestock or arable agroforestry.
Using the LUCAS database, the total area of agroforestry in the EU27 is estimated to be 15.4 million ha, equivalent to 3.6% of the territorial area and 8.8% of the utilised agricultural area. Livestock agroforestry is the dominant form of agroforestry accounting for about 15.1 million ha.
The greatest areas of agroforestry are found in Spain (5.6 million ha), Greece, (1.6 million ha), France (1.6 million ha), Italy (1.4 million ha) and Portugal (1.2 million ha). In terms of the proportion of land that is agroforestry, the highest values are found in Portugal (13%), Greece (12%), and Spain (11%). The paper includes tables describing the area of arable, livestock and high value tree agroforestry in each country.
Since the data were collected and analysed in a uniform manner, it is now systematically possible to compare the areas between countries and to investigate changes over time. Because agroforestry is a significant land use that can contribute to EU objectives such as climate change mitigation and biodiversity enhancement, it is crucial that it gets a more prominent and clearer place in European statistical reporting and policy development.
den Herder M, Moreno G, Mosquera-Losada MR, Palma JHN, Sidiropoulou A, Santiago Freijanes JJ, Crous-Duran J, Paulo JA, Tomé M, Pantera A, Papanastasis VP, Mantzanas K, Pachana P, Papadopoulos A, Plieninger T, Burgess PJ (2017). Current extent and stratification of agroforestry in the European Union. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 241: 121-132.
The paper is available on-line until 9 May 2017 from the following website: www.sciencedirect.com