Assessing the effect of Faidherbia albida based land use systems on barley yield at field and regional scale in the highlands of Tigray, Northern Ethiopia

K.M. Hadgu, L. Kooistra, W.A.H. Rossing, A.H.C. van Bruggen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Implications of changes in traditional Faidherbia albida based land use systems on productivity were investigated in Tigray, northern Ethiopia. The relation between F. albida based-land use systems and crop productivity was explored in 77 fields and 81 farms at field and regional scales, respectively. Barley yield and soil fertility increased when field locations were closer to a F. albida trunk in the F. albida alone (AA) and F. albida + livestock (AL) land use systems. However, the F. albida + Eucalyptus camaldulensis (AE) land use system showed a decreasing trend in barley yield and soil fertility as distance from a F. albida trunk decreased. At regional scales, higher F. albida tree density per farm and sparsely cultivated land use types were associated with increased potential ecosystem services (barley yield). This study suggests that local biodiversity components (e.g. F. albida trees) can increase crop yield and soil fertility significantly when grown within and around farm lands. This study contributes to the knowledge on agricultural productivity enhancement by developing an approach to scaling up from farm to regional level
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-350
JournalFood Security
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009



  • tree-crop interactions
  • nitrogen mineralization
  • eucalyptus-tereticornis
  • agroforestry practices
  • acacia-albida
  • maize
  • conservation
  • biodiversity
  • growth
  • opportunities

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