Temperate Agroforestry Systems edited by Andrew M. Gordon
and Steven M. Newman. 1997. CAB International, New York.
269 p. Costs about $54 through:
198 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016-4314
Temperature Agroforestry Systems is an important new addition
to the agroforestry literature in temperate climates. In fact, most of the
existing literature on agrofoestry in temperate climates is contained
in conference proceedings and bulletins. Thus, a text that compiles
agroforestry systems in one place will assist agroforesters, land managers,
and farmers gain access to information and ideas on this topic. Six of the
eight chapters summarize agroforestry practices in temperate regions of:
North America, New Zealand, Australia, China, Europe, and Argentina.
Black and white photos of numerous agroforestry systems further enhance
the text and accompanying tables.
The history and practice of agroforesty in China is particular interesting,
as evidenced by the following excerpt:
"As one of the ancient civilized nations, China has practiced
agroforestry for many centuries. For example, during the Han
Dynasty (206 BC to AD 220), administrators recommended that
forests by developed to accomodate livestock husbandry and crops,
according to varying site conditions. Qi Min Yao Shu reported that
during the sixth century, the Chinese scholar tree (Sophora japonica)
was planted with hemp for the purpose of increasing hemp growth
and to improve the form of trees for future road-side plantations.
Hemp was also planted with paper mulberry (Broussonetia papyrifera)
in order to prevent the latter from freezing during the winter period.
In the late Ming Dynasty (AD 1640) Hsu uang Chi reported in his
famous book Nongzheng Quanshu (Encyclopedia on Agriculture)
that chestnut (Castanea spp.) was often alleycropped with soybean
(Glycine max) in order to make the former grow upright. It has also
been reiterated in an ancient agricultural book from the Tang Dynasty
(ninth to tenth century AD) that tea (Thea sinensis) could be grown
under mulberry (Morus spp.) or bamboo (Gramineae) due to the
fact that tea is a shade-loving species."
"During the Ming Dynasty, shifting cultivation was also practiced
extensively. For example, Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata)
plantations were prepared by planting sesame (Sesamum spp.) for
weed control in the preceding year; this was then followed by
intercropping the fir with millet (Setaria italica) or wheat
(Triticum spp.) in sucessive years. However, it was earlier, in the
Yung Dynasty (thirteenth to fourteenth century) that the first
ecological and biological interactions among trees and associated
intercrops was observed. It was reported, for example, that proso
millet grown under mulberry could promote the growth of both
trees and crops, but that foxtail millet could have a negative effect
by stimulating the occurence of pests. In addition, short crops such
as soybean, sesame, and melons (Cucumis spp.) were desirable crops
for intercropping with mulberry, but tall crops such as sorghum
(Sorghum spp.) were not suitable as intercropping species. It was
also discovered that elms (Ulmus pumila) and Chinese tallow tree
(Sapium seligerum) were not suitable candidates for intercropping
because the dense crown lead to serious shading."
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