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This research explored the potential of agroforestry to contribute to meeting greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets outlined in Scotland’s Climate Change Plan.
Agroforestry is the combination of trees and agriculture on the same plot of land, with tree density varying depending on agricultural land type, tree species, and objective. The study also examined the economic viability of adopting agroforestry.
Key findings are: (1) While all forms of agroforestry have the potential to sequester carbon, the benefits will vary depending on soil type, species, planting density, and location. The fastest rate of carbon sequestration is most likely to be achieved on highly productive lowland sites. (2) All forms of agroforestry suitable in Scotland are generally financially viable (i.e. generate positive income for farmers), though benefits depend on time period and whether farmers can ‘cash-in’ on wider ecosystem service benefits from agroforestry in the form of Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) and/or public grants.
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