Agroforestry: a refuge for tropical biodiversity?

Agroforestry: a refuge for tropical biodiversity?


This paper provides a literature review on the role of agroforestry in conserving biodiversity within human-dominated landscapes.

Conclusions & Takeaways

They find that, on average, agroforesty systems hold 60% of the species richness of forest values, though these values differ by taxa (i.e., bats are high in species richness and plants are lower). Agroforestry systems maintain landscape heterogeneity by increasing species diversity across the landscape and providing corridors by which animals can migrate between reserves now and into the future with climate change. Trees in agroforests reduce extractive pressure on reserves, thus decreasing deforestation rates. Agroforests that are less intensively managed and have high canopy cover are more similar to forest reserves than those that are intesnively managed with open canopies.


Bhagwat SA, Willis KJ, H. Birks JB, Whittaker RJ. Agroforestry: a refuge for tropical biodiversity?. Trends in Ecology & Evolution. 2008;23:261–267. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2008.01.005.


  • Biodiversity Research Group, Oxford University Centre for the Environment, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  • Department of Biology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway