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A Role for Agroforestry in Forest Restoration in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley

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Agroforestry options are explored for restoring important functions and values of bottomland hardwood (BLH) forests in the lower Mississippi River Alluvial Valley (LMAV). Agroforestry practices can augment the size and quality of BLH habitat, provide corridors between BLH areas, and enable restoration of natural hydrologic patterns and water quality. Agroforestry practices are designed primarily to benefit agriculture, which may appeal to farmers in the region. Profit potential from some agroforestry practices is currently competitive with agricultural crops and production forestry on marginal agricultural lands in the LMAV. Lack of experience with agroforestry in this region hinders adoption, but emerging markets for biofuels and ecosystem services could enhance future prospects. Concepts are presented for how agroforestry can be located and designed for restoring BLH forest functions and values in the LMAV and thereby contribute to achieving goals for ecological restoration.
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Keywords: agroforestry; bottomland hardwoods; ecosystem services; forest restoration; wildlife

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2012

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