The Significance of Native Plants in Agroforestry Systems


Tuesday, February 20, 2024 - 7:00pm




Cornell Botanic Gardens' Nevin Welcome Center and Zoom


Gabriel Smith, Agroforestry Educator, Cornell Cooperative Extension


Agroforestry consists of 5 practices: Silvopasture, alleycropping, forest farming, windbreaks, and riparian buffers. Agroforestry systems seek to intentionally integrate trees and shrubs into other crop and livestock systems and vice-versa, and can focus on one or all of these practices across a landscape. Increased biodiversity is a key outcome of agroforestry practices; biodiversity, and genetic diversity, help keep systems resilient to challenges of pests, disease, and climate impacts. Native plants, and/or native analogs, are important to design and plan for, as these species are often adapted to the biotic and abiotic variables of the site. So what native plants are we looking for, and how can we manage for them in an agroforestry system? Do we perceive them as commodities or indirect benefits? We will dive into commonly used native species for agroforestry in the northeast and the multiple roles they play.



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