A Working Classification of Slash-And-Burn Agricultural Systems.

TitleA Working Classification of Slash-And-Burn Agricultural Systems.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1996
AuthorsFujisaka S, Hurtado L, Uribe R
JournalAgroforestry Systems
Keywordsfallow, geographic distribution, literature search, shifting cultivation, vegetative cover
AbstractSlash-and-burn agricultural systems have received a great deal of attention given their observed or hypothesized role in tropical deforestation, biodiversity loss, and contribution to global warming. These agricultural systems are varied; and such diversity has led to confusion in making cross-site comparisons. One hundred and three publications describing 136 cases were reviewed in order to develop a scheme to classify slash-and-burn systems. Four variables — initial vegetative cover, type of user, final cover, and fallow length — were used to describe each case. Nine groups representing the same or similar combinations of values were identified. Groups were keyed for placement of each case on a global map indicating geographic distribution. The method provides a way to establish similarities or differences among slash-and-burn cases (or representativeness of cases) to the degree that available literature represents what exists in the field. Researchers are invited to provide descriptors of additional cases, respective references, and case locations in order to improve and test the utility of the method and to simultaneously expand the resulting database