TP7: Land equivalent ratio

Impact of agroforestry management on the land equivalent ratio

Summary

The Department of Soil Protection and Recultivation at BTU Cottbus–Senftenberg has a long-term experience in investigating agroforestry systems and short rotation plantations. Research and development were focused since 1995 on the establishment, management and bio-economical assessment of newly designed agroforestry systems in cooperation with regional farm companies. Alley-cropping systems have been established within several national (AgroForstEnergy, INKA BB, AUFWERTEN) and international (AGFORWARD, MFC4Climag) research projects, one of which has been a subject at Expo2015 in Milan. The main objective of this project part is to assess tree and crop interactions in agroforestry systems and the effects on yield components by adapting the Yield-SAFE model. For this purpose a database of main parameters such as soil characteristics (soil type, texture, depth, nutrient availability), tree data (stem diameter, number of shoots, leaf area index), tree management (planting density, rotation period, harvest index), crop parameters and climatic conditions will be created. A promising indicator of successful plant growth in agroforestry is the so called Land Equivalent Ratio LER, which is in focus of TP7. The management and the investigation protocol of the core plots in Forst, Reiffenhausen, Dornburg, Wendhausen and Mariensee will be carried out in agreement with the partners of the SIGNAL consortium. Regarding the modelling, the following tasks are involved:

  1. including the plant growth, interactions and resource allocation in the Yield-SAFE model;
  2. predicting the yield and quality of the agroforestry system;
  3. integration of specific tree behavior (re-sprouting after harvest, tree rotations management);
  4. extending the model to nutrient aspects of trees and its effect on tree growth;
  5. validating Yield-SAFE using data from the core plots.

The outcome of this project part will contribute to:

  1. upscaling the modelling of agroforestry systems to several fields;
  2. creating a toolset for quantitative assessment of LER of alley cropping systems, allowing system optimization and identification of conflicting objectives;
  3. identification of adaptation requirements of alley cropping systems to site-specific characteristics.

Contact

apl. Prof. Dr. agr. habil. Dirk Freese

Brandenburgische Technische Universität, Fachgebiet Bodenschutz und Rekultivierung
Konrad-Wachsmann-Allee 6, 03046 Cottbus, Germany

Phone: +49 (0)355/ 69 4238
Fax.: +49 (0)355/ 69 2323
Email: freese@tu-cottbus.de

M.Sc. Diana-Maria Seserman

Brandenburgische Technische Universität, Fachgebiet Bodenschutz und Rekultivierung
Konrad-Wachsmann-Allee 6, 03046 Cottbus, Germany

Phone: +49 (0) 355/ 69 4329
Email: seserman@b-tu.de