Tufts OpenCourseware
Authors: Kathleen Merrigan, Ph.D., William Lockeretz, Ph.D.


Temperate Agroforestry Systems. Agroforestry in North America and its role in farming systems. P.A. Williams et al. (1997).

Key Questions


  • What are some of the key features of the traditional agroecosystems that existed before the European settlers arrived? Do they share anything in common with the present day agroforestry systems?
  • Why are farm woodlots called 'cash reserves'?
  • What are the reasons for reduction in farms maintaining woodlots?
  • What are the advantages of agroforestry systems?
  • What are the forces driving agroforestry?
  • What are the advantages of intercropping in the initial years of orchard establishment?
  • What is an ecological trap?
  • What are the advantages of windbreaks?
  • What is the relationship between the height of the windbreaks and wind speed reduction?
  • What characteristics of a windbreak system influence reduction in wind speed?
  • What factors are to be considered when choosing crops for an alley cropping system?