Planning complex agro-ecosystems: The case of analog forestry (2016)

Authors: F. Recanati, G. Guariso, M. Saini, and Sergio Vilchez Mendoza
Location: Madre de Dios region, Peru

Madre de Dios is a region in Peru extensively affected by deforestation. The livelihood of the local communities depends on seasonal activities, which results in fluctuating annual income. The authors use mathematical tools to optimize the analog forest design to support the economy and also to preserve biodiversity in the Peruvian Amazon.

  • Recanati et al. assessed the evolution of annual income as well as the economic and ecological outcome of analog forestry implementation by using mathematical and stochastic dynamic programming
  • The results showed that the gradual planting of the same species eliminates the problem of inter-annual income fluctuations since it ensures the presence of each species every year
  • The authors describe that the maximum economic profit can be reached through the monoculture strategy while the maximum biodiversity through multi-crop planting, and propose a balance between these two approaches
  • To conclude, quantitative mathematical analyses could serve as the outcome prediction mechanisms and might advise farmers who consider turning their lands into analog forests.

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