story to find out more.
An Indigo Bunting
(male) is just one of the songbirds common in agroforestry areas. Click the
image for more information about it.
Agroforestry and Wildlife Management Go Together
in Floodplains By Jim Core December 8,
A research program to reforest Missouri floodplains once dominated by
oaks and other native trees is developing agroforestry practices that minimize
the impact of flooding while also generating income and improving wildlife
The Agricultural Research
Service and the University of Missouri (UM)
Center for Agroforestry are
working together on the project, part of the university's Agroforestry Family
Farm and Floodplain Program. Agroforestry involves producing animal forage,
crops and lumber on the same land at the same time.
Brauer, research leader at the ARS
Bumpers Small Farm Research Center in Booneville, Ark., and
Burner, an agronomist at the Booneville center, provide support and serve
as advisors to the program, which is partially funded by ARS.
UM's Center for Agroforestry brings together different departments in
its College of Agriculture, Food and
Natural Resources, as well as various government agencies, to demonstrate
agroforestry's ability to generate income, improve the environment, lessen the
impact of periodic flooding and create and improve wildlife habitat.
For instance, Mickey Heitmeyer and Leigh Fredrickson, wetland
biologists with UM's
Wildlife Department, are studying the role of different types, sizes and
locations of agroforestry and native bottomland forest patches in maintaining
wildlife communities in an area along the Mississippi River in southeastern
If conservationists want to protect the yellow warbler songbird, for
example, Heitmeyer and Frederickson found it's best for farmers to provide them
habitat in abandoned channels on the river side of mainstream levees along the
Mississippi River. The researchers used the plots to determine how songbirds
select breeding territories and react to different agroforestry systems. They
found certain songbirds were common in agroforestry areas, and they seemed to
have a preference for young forests.
If, however, bats are to be protected, the researchers found that
conservationists should focus on those areas inside levees where trees that
provide greater forest cover are grown.
about the research in the December 2004 issue of Agricultural Research
ARS is the U. S. Department of
Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.