According to. Nair (1987) agroforestry systems may be divided into the following categories:
Ecological basis: considers environmental factors with the premise that specific ecological circumstances may be more suited for particular system types. There might be many AF systems for semi-arid and arid environments, for example.
Socio-economic basis: takes into account the management’s degree of inputs (low input, high input), intensity, or scale, as well as its commercial aims (subsistence, commercial, intermediate).
Structural basis: Taking into account the component composition, including the spatial admixture of the woody component, the vertical stratification of the component mix, and the temporal arrangement of the various components
Functional basis: This is based on the primary purpose or function of the various system components, particularly the woody components (these can be product, e.g., production of food, fodder, fuelwood and so on or protective, e.g., windbreak, shelter-belts, soil conservation and so on).
Classification of Agroforestry System on the Basis of Structural
A system’s structure can be described in terms of its constituent parts and the anticipated purpose or function of each. The kind of component used in this system, as well as how they are arranged, are crucial. As a result, AF systems may be divided into two categories based on their structural types:
- Nature of components and
- Arrangement of components.
Nature of Components :The following kinds of AF systems can be determined by the nature of their components:
- Agrisilvicultural systems
- Silvopastoral systems
- Agrosilv opastoral systems and
- Other systems.
1. Agrisilvicultural System (crops and trees including shrubs/vines and trees)
In this approach, agricultural crops, including tree crops and forest crops, are produced concurrently on the same piece of land.
This system can be divided into many types depending on the makeup of its individual parts.
- Improved fallow species in shifting cultivation
- The Taungya system
- Multispecies tree gardens
- Alley cropping (Hedgerow intercropping)
- Multipurpose trees and shrubs on farmlands
- Crop combinations with plantation crops ‘
- Agroforestry fuelwood production
- Soil conservation hedges etc.
- Riparian Buffer
2. Silvopastoral System (trees + pasture and/or animals)
The most common agroforestry method is unquestionably silvopastoral systems. Trees are incorporated with the production of feed and cattle in silvopastoral systems. Historically, silvopastoral systems comprised planting trees for shade and timber in pastures and grazing cattle on forested rangeland. The majority of rangeland grazing in hills normally consists of grazing on native herbaceous and shrubby vegetation under trees like pines, bhimals, oaks, etc. Once more, this system is divided into three groups:
- Protein bank
- Living fence of fodder trees and hedges,
- Trees and shrubs on pasture.
3. Agrosilvopastoral System (trees + crops+pasture/animals)
This system has been grouped into two subgroups:
Woody Hedgerows: For the sake of browsing, mulch, green manure, soil conservation, and other uses, different woody hedges, particularly fast-growing and coppicing fodder shrubs and trees, are planted in this system. This system’s primary goals are the production of food, fodder, and fuelwood as well as soil preservation.
Home Gardens: This is one of the first agroforestry techniques, and it is widely used in tropical south and south-east Asia regions with heavy rainfall. Although some logical control over the choice of plants and their spatial and temporal arrangement may be exerted, many types of trees, shrubs, vegetables, and other herbaceous plants are produced in dense and seemingly random configurations. A variety of animals (cows, buffaloes, bullocks, goats, sheep), as well as birds, may be found in most household gardens (chicken, duck). Pigs are also grown in several locations. To supply cattle with the daily amounts of food they need, beans and fodder are widely farmed. Waste products from houses and farms are utilised as animal and bird feed, while waste products from barns are used as crop manure.
4. Other Systems
The following systems can be included:
Apiculture with Trees: In this approach, numerous tree species that produce honey (nectar) and are regularly visited by honeybees are planted along the boundary beside a crop. The production of honey is the system’s primary goal.
Aquaforestry: In this approach, numerous fish-preferred trees and bushes are planted around the perimeter and surrounding fish ponds. Fish eat tree leaves as a source of food. This system’s main function is to produce fish and stabilize the bunds around fish ponds.
Multipurpose Wood Lots: In this system, unique, site-specific MPTS are cultivated in mixed or separate plantings for a variety of objectives, including wood production, animal feed, soil reclamation, and soil protection.
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