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Win-win opportunities combining high yields with high multi-taxa biodiversity in tropical agroforestry


Abstract

Resolving ecological-economic trade-offs between biodiversity and yields is a key challenge when addressing the biodiversity crisis in tropical agricultural landscapes. Here, we focused on the relation between seven different taxa (trees, herbaceous plants, birds, amphibians, reptiles, butterflies, and ants) and yields in vanilla agroforests in Madagascar. Agroforests established in forests supported overall 23% fewer species and 47% fewer endemic species than old-growth forests, and 14% fewer endemic species than forest fragments. In contrast, agroforests established on fallows had overall 12% more species and 38% more endemic species than fallows. While yields increased with vanilla vine density and length, non-yield related variables largely determined biodiversity. Nonetheless, trade-offs existed between yields and butterflies as well as reptiles. Vanilla yields were generally unrelated to richness of trees, herbaceous plants, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and ants, opening up possibilities for conservation outside of protected areas and restoring degraded land to benefit farmers and biodiversity alike.

Abstract

Resolving ecological-economic trade-offs between biodiversity and yields is a key challenge when addressing the biodiversity crisis in tropical agricultural landscapes. Here, we focused on the relation between seven different taxa (trees, herbaceous plants, birds, amphibians, reptiles, butterflies, and ants) and yields in vanilla agroforests in Madagascar. Agroforests established in forests supported overall 23% fewer species and 47% fewer endemic species than old-growth forests, and 14% fewer endemic species than forest fragments. In contrast, agroforests established on fallows had overall 12% more species and 38% more endemic species than fallows. While yields increased with vanilla vine density and length, non-yield related variables largely determined biodiversity. Nonetheless, trade-offs existed between yields and butterflies as well as reptiles. Vanilla yields were generally unrelated to richness of trees, herbaceous plants, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and ants, opening up possibilities for conservation outside of protected areas and restoring degraded land to benefit farmers and biodiversity alike.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > General Chemistry
Life Sciences > General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
Health Sciences > Multidisciplinary
Physical Sciences > General Physics and Astronomy
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Physics and Astronomy, General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology, General Chemistry, Multidisciplinary
Language:English
Date:26 July 2022
Deposited On:22 Dec 2022 14:46
Last Modified:27 Feb 2024 02:53
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2041-1723
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-30866-8
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)