Interactions between Trees, Crops and Animals: Experiences in a novel Bioenergy-Livestock system in the UK

Managing the interactions between trees, crops and animals is an on-going challenge for agroforestry farmers. This paper reports on interactions between trees, crops and both wild animals and livestock in the establishment years of a novel UK agroforestry system combining short rotation coppice for energy production with livestock production.

Authors: Smith J, Deremetz V, Gerrard C, Costanzo A
 
Publisher: Zenodo
 
Abstract
 
Managing the interactions between trees, crops and animals is an on-going challenge for agroforestry farmers. This paper reports on interactions between trees, crops and both wild animals and livestock in the establishment years of a novel UK agroforestry system combining short rotation coppice for energy production with livestock production. Our trials suggest that in the first six years there is no significant impact of trees on the alley crops (pasture and whole crop oat silage) in this system. Protecting the trees from livestock damage is essential in the early years; with cattle, our results show that it this is possible using a single stranded electric fence. Patterns of biodiversity varied between taxa; earthworm abundances were higher in the tree rows, which represent an undisturbed stable habitat, while the more active ground beetles were in greater abundances in the crop alleys which may reflect higher levels of prey within the crop.
 

Illustration Photo: A perfect example of eco-efficient agriculture, provided by a CIPAV silvo-pastoral system at Reserva Natural El Hatico, familia Molina Durán, near Palmira, Colombia. (credits: Neil Palmer (CIAT) / Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0))

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