Trees play a vital role in terrestrial ecosystems and forests provide a wide range products and services to the rural and urban people that live in and around them. When forests are cleared for development or agriculture, the benefits they provide can be sustained by incorporating trees into the agricultural systems and landscapes that replace them. This practice is called Agroforestry. It is a sustainable land use practice utilized around the world since the earliest human development.
Since 1999, UVI-Agriculture Experiment Station’s (AES) research in Agroforestry has focused on Virgin Islands native tree species and forests. There are a wide range of reasons for utilizing native trees from conservation, to their adaptation to local conditions to their cultural importance. We observed few native trees in production in the territory and determined little information was available on how to grow them from seed. This research aims to improve the quality and quantity of available native tree and forest data and thereby facilitate increased production.
Today, AES Agroforestry research has expanded into three primary areas. Each is briefly described below. Click on the titles for more detailed information.