Response and potential of agroforestry crops under global change

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The use of agroforestry crops is a promising tool for reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration through fossil fuel substitution. In particular, plantations characterised by high yields such as short rotation forestry (SRF) are becoming popular worldwide for biomass production and their role acknowledged in the Kyoto Protocol. While their contribution to climate change mitigation is being investigated, the impact of climate change itself on growth and productivity of these plantations needs particular attention, since their management might need to be modified accordingly. Besides the benefits deriving from the establishment of millions of hectares of these plantations, there is a risk of increased release into the atmosphere of volatile organic compounds (VOC) emitted in large amounts by most of the species commonly used. These hydrocarbons are known to play a crucial role in tropospheric ozone formation. This might represent a negative feedback, especially in regions already characterized by elevated ozone level. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Environmental Pollution