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Designing silvopastoral systems for the Amazon: a framework for the evaluation of native species

Dablin, Lucy Jayne; (2020) Designing silvopastoral systems for the Amazon: a framework for the evaluation of native species. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The integration of trees into pastures, termed silvopasture systems, could make livestock farming more economically and environmentally sustainable. A framework to assess the forage potential of native tree species would assist in developing regionally appropriate silvopasture for pastures in the Amazon. Five tree species of with reported silvopastoral potential, Senegalia loretensis, Ceiba pentandra, Erythrina berteroana, Inga edulis and Leucaena leucocephala, were selected to investigate their potential use in a silvopastoral system. A 26-month field experiment planted 900 trees of the five species to assess tree mortality, biomass production and palatability for cattle. Five monospecific replicates of each species and a control with no trees planted were installed on a Brachiaria brizantha pasture in Madre de Dios, Peru. After 18 months, S. loretensis and C. pentandra showed double the rate of mortality compared to the other species and were deemed inappropriate for continued consideration. Destructive harvests of the remaining three species showed that total biomass production and hence carbon storage was greater for I. edulis (7.2 Mg dry mass ha-1) than E. berteroana (4.4 Mg dry mass ha-1) or L. leucocephala (4.3 Mg dry mass ha-1) at 24 months. These biomass gains were not at the expense of grass: edible biomass within the reach of cattle was 1.5 Mg ha-1 in the no tree control, whereas E. berteroana produced 2.3 Mg ha-1, I. edulis 2.3 Mg ha-1 and L. leucocephala 2.2 Mg ha-1. Cattle were introduced into each treatment to assess palatability. Cattle consumed 99% of E. berteroana, 75% of I. edulis and 80% of L. leucocephala. E. berteroana had a mortality six times greater than other species, but all species have silvopastoral potential. This evaluation of tree species supports regionally appropriate silvopastoral systems and shows that silvopasture can increase productivity on existing cleared land and can contribute to mitigating climate change.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Designing silvopastoral systems for the Amazon: a framework for the evaluation of native species
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2020. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10104714
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