This three-year project is sponsored by the Bundesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung (BLE). It is coordinated by the Chair of Forest Growth and Dendroecology at the University of Freiburg and the 3N Centre of Experts. Other project partners include Cranfield University (UK), the West Pomeranian University of Technology Szczecin (PL), the Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (IT), and the Institute of Agro-environmental and Forest Biology (IT).
In assessing the potentials of these two land use concepts, and of the combined management of both in an agroforestry approach, SidaTim will provide an important contribution to exploring agricultural management systems that combine an intensification of agriculture with increased ecological value. SidaTim will comprise assessments of different establishment practices of Sida, of its growth potential in different European regions and climate conditions, its suitability for new techniques of biogas production, for direct combustion, and for fiber products. We will also assess its shade tolerance, which is of importance when it is used as an intercrop between trees in agroforestry systems. The growth patterns and light profiles of valuable timber trees will be assessed via new Terrestrial Laser Scanning techniques, to model the effect of the trees on the light regime of the crops. The project objectives will be complemented by studies in C-sequestration potentials, biodiversity, Sida’s potential to invade autochthonous biocenoses, modelling of costs and benefits of different management scenarios, and by disseminating the project’s results among practitioners and decision-makers.