Native Trees and Shrubs for the Productive Rehabilitation of Tropical Cattle Ranching Lands

Murgueitio, E., Z. Calle, F. Uribea, A. Calle and B. Solorioc

Publication Date:

We discuss research progress and adoption of intensive silvopastoral systems in Colombia and Mexico. Intensive silvopastoral systems (ISS) are a sustainable form of agroforestry for livestock production that combines fodder shrubs planted at high densities (more than 10,000 plants ha_1), trees and palms, and improved pastures. High stocking and the natural production of milk and meat in these systems are achieved through rotational grazing with electric fencing and a permanent supply of water for the cattle. While milk and meat production and cattle reproduction are enhanced, production costs decline as external inputs are replaced by natural processes related to fertility and biological control. We also discuss the importance of the ISS with native trees for climate change adaptation and mitigation, the barriers for their adoption, and how these have been successfully addressed using payment for environmental services, special credits and technical assistance. Finally, we highlight the need for enhancing landscape connectivity by integrating SPS to conservation corridors with native species to promote biodiversity conservation and other environmental services demanded by society.

Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed Article

Forest Ecology and Management