AGROFORESTRY SYSTEMS IN MEDITERRANEAN AREAS PRONE TO DESERTIFICATION

Marina Marinelli

Abstract


Agroforestry systems are typical of Mediterranean traditional rural landscapes and
they are frequently localized in areas sensitive to desertification risk. The preservation and
restoration of the existing systems or the establishment of new ones may be suitable
alternative options to reforestation under many semiarid environments, ensuring
environmental and social benefits and allowing the recovery of the biological and economic
productivity of degraded land. Linear tree and shrub systems such as windbreaks, hedgerows
and buffer strips may furtherly counteract the negative effects of fragmentation and soil
degradation from intensive land use, and sometimes from the abandonment of rural areas
too. This note outlines the main characteristics of agroforestry and tree linear systems, by
assessing their limits and potential especially as means to combat desertification. The note
also provides guidelines for the protection and realization of these systems in semiarid areas.

Keywords


agroforestry systems; woodlots; windbreaks; hedgerows; buffer tree strips; desertification

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