FEM-22803 Agroforestry


Credits 3.00

Language of instruction:



Agroforestry is defined as 'land-use systems in which trees and shrubs are grown in association with crops, or pastures and livestock in a spatial arrangement or a rotation, and in which there are both ecological and economic interactions between the trees and other components of the system'. During the last decades this form of land-use has received increasing attention as a means to contribute to sustainable land use. Moreover, agroforestry has been transformed from a collection of descriptive studies into more scientific and analytical approaches, based on process-orientated research.
The main objective of this course is to get familiar with the concept of agroforestry ecosystems and to acquire knowledge about the underlying principles of these systems such as their ecological processes and environmental interactions. Examples from agroforestry systems throughout the world will be described and discussed.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- explain the concept of agroforestry in the context of agriculture and forestry, and to classify the main systems of agroforestry using various bases for classification;
- evaluate the major ecological processes (above- and belowground) involved, and to assess their relative importance in the major agroforestry systems;
- distinguish the importance of nitrogen fixation and myccorhizal associations in agroforestry systems and to evaluate these in the major agroforestry systems;
- distinguish the possibilities and limitations of application of agroforestry in the context of local ecological conditions, taking into account local socio-economic conditions;
- critically evaluate an important basic hypothesis in agroforestry in a well written essay, and to discuss it interactively during an oral presentation.


- attendance of lectures and participation in debate;
- essay report and oral presentation about a specific agroforestry hypothesis.


- written exam 
- essay report and presentation about a specific agroforestry hypothesis


A concise course reader and additional book chapters and scientific papers.
PowerPoint presentations, practical instructions, description of assignment and additional materials are available in Brightspace.