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Title: An Ecological-Economic Approach to Assess Impacts of the Expansion of Eucalyptus Plantations in Agroforest Landscapes of Northern Ethiopia
Authors: Abate, Dagm
Borges, José G.
Marques, Susete
Bushenkov, Vladimir
Keywords: linear programming
Pareto frontier
gestão florestal
multicriteria optimization
Issue Date: Apr-2022
Publisher: MDPI
Citation: Dagm Abate, José G. Borges, Susete Marques, Vladimir Bushenkov. An Ecological-Economic Approach to Assess Impacts of the Expansion of Eucalyptus Plantations in Agroforest Landscapes of Northern Ethiopia. - Forests, 2022, 13(5), 686.
Abstract: The conversion of fertile croplands to Eucalyptus woodlots in Ethiopian highlands, due to its business attractiveness to smallholders, raises concerns related to food production, water resources, carbon and other ecosystem services. This study was therefore designed to examine land allocation and plantation management decisions. Our emphasis was on the analysis of tradeoffs between the economic gains obtained from harvesting Eucalyptus timber and food production, carbon and water use. For that purpose, we considered a 1987 ha agroforest landscape in the Amhara region, Northern Ethiopia. With a planning horizon covering nine one-year periods, we developed and used nine Model I single objective linear programming (LP) models, and analyzed tradeoffs between objectives (e.g., land expectation value (LEV), Carbon, volume of ending inventory (VolEI), crop production and water use) using an LP-based Pareto frontier approach. The study revealed that the objective of maximizing the total economic gain from the sale of Eucalyptus wood poles favored a complete conversion of the available cropland into Eucalyptus woodlots. To meet the minimum annual crop production/consumption/requirements of households in the study area, the land under Eucalyptus should be limited to 1772 ha, with a sequestration potential of 1.5 to 1.57 × 107 kg yr−1 of carbon in the aboveground biomass. However, this land cover limit should be decreased to 921 ha so as to limit the total annual water use (for biomass production) below the amount available from rainfall (11,000 m3 ha−1 yr−1). Moreover, the study highlighted that maximizing the harvested wood volume or LEV would come at the cost of a decreased aboveground carbon stock and volume of ending inventory and higher total water use. It also provided alternative optimal Pareto-front points, among which decision makers will be able to select their preferred targets. The current study also showed the potential for the application of Pareto frontier approaches to support the development of effective ecological/economic management strategies and the design of land use policies in an Ethiopian context.
ISSN: 1999-4907
Type: article
Appears in Collections:CIMA - Publicações - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais Com Arbitragem Científica

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