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To assess the productivity, ecological benefits, problems and costs of silvopastoral agroforestry (extension to NF0201) - AF0101

AF0101. To assess the productivity, ecological benefits, problems and costs of silvopastoral agroforestry.

Agroforestry systems offer considerable potential as a flexible alternative form of land use consistent with EU policy on environmental protection and rural development. In addition, such systems are likely to be economically viable. This study will investigate the potential of silvopastoral land use systems in relation to agricultural output, production of high quality timber and environmental impact. Standard datasets will be obtained, containing seasonal information on: animal production, including calculation of stock carried and growth rates; tree growth (height and stem diameter); tree form (pruned material, full canopy structure); pasture production; foliar nutrient content and quality; and standard meteorological data. Information will also be collected throughout the grazing season on Fraxinus, Acer and Larix. Soil assessments will be conducted to determine the spatial and temporal distribution of water and nutrients; sampling will be carried out in grass and tree root zones and at varying positions from trees. Results of the soil studies will be related to previous data on the effects of microclimate. A survey will also be conducted on attitudes to agroforestry of farmers in England and Wales. It is anticipated that this study will add to current knowledge of the interactions between roots and aerial parts of contrasting species of trees, together with the effects of agroforestry on sward composition, production, soil moisture and nutrient content and microclimate. The work will also provide a platform for many linked studies relating to the impact of silvopastoral systems on the native fauna.

Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1996

To: 1997

Cost: £135,000
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Institute of Grassland and Environment Research (IGER)
Fields of Study
Farm Woodlands