The Quesungual Slash and Mulch Agroforestry System (QSMAS): provider of ecological services

The QSMAS presents a sustainable alternative to the traditional practices of central America. Aracely Castro explains that QSMAS can provide Ecosystem Services (ES). Benefits that people get from the nature is the definition of ES. In the sub-humid tropics of central America, traditional agroforestry systems imply slash and burn of plots, followed by 1 to 3 years of cropping. Then, the land needs at least 7 years to regenerate (fallow). In contrast, the QSMAS cycle is made of slash and mulch during nearly 12 years of cropping. Then, the land needs also 7 years to regenerate. This smallholders production system combines basic management principles to improve the use and conservation of vegetation, soil, and water (increase infiltration and decreased runoff). It improves resilience, productivity, and sustainability. It reduces shifting cultivation in drought-prone hillsides of the sub-humid tropics. Last but not least, it acts favourably on the global warming potential (GWP) through improved C accumulation and low methane emission.


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