Albizia as a solution for climate change mitigation and sustainable agriculture

PI: Rebecca Ostertag, Professor of Biology, UH Hilo
Co-PI: Joanna Norton, Tropical Conservation Biology & Environmental Science, UH Hilo
Collaborators: Bruce Mathews, Professor of Soil Science, UH Hilo
     Flint Hughes, Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry, US Forest Service

Wood-chipper truck deposits a pile of shredded tree near a horse's paddockMulching albizia in support of potential soil enrichment, climate change mitigation, and community resilience.

Project Summary
    This project will investigate the potential benefits of composted albizia (Falcataria moluccana) mulch applied to agricultural land in East Hawai‘i Island. The biomass from this fast-growing, nitrogen-fixing tree contains a large amount of carbon and nitrogen. A management approach that takes unwanted biomass from albizia trees and applies it to cropland could yield a net environmental and/or economic benefit compared with status quo farming practices, while stimulating albizia removal efforts. If this approach is found to be economically viable, climate change mitigation and/or resilience could be a byproduct of agricultural activities.