‘Solid–fluid–gas’: the state of knowledge on carbon-sequestration potential of agroforestry systems in Africa

Nair, P.K.R. and Nair, V.D., 2014. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability

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The perception that agroforestry systems have higher potential to sequester carbon than comparable single-species crop systems or pasture systems is based on solid scientific foundation. However, the estimates of carbon stock of agroforestry systems in Africa — reported to range from 1.0 to 18.0 Mg C ha1 in aboveground biomass and up to 200 Mg C ha1 in soils, and their C sequestration potential from 0.4 to 3.5 Mg C ha1 yr1 –are based on generalizations and vague or faulty assumptions and therefore are of poor scientific value. Although agroforestry initiatives are promising pathways for climate-change mitigation, rigorous scientific procedures of carbon sequestration estimations are needed for realizing their full potential.

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