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Silvopasture: a sustainable livestock production system

Jose, Shibu, Dollinger, Jeanne
Agroforestry systems 2019 v.93 no.1 pp. 1-9
ecosystem services, financial economics, forage, forage production, land use, livestock, nomen novum, silvopastoral systems, sustainable agriculture, trees, tropics
Silvopasture, as an integrated land use practice that combines trees, forage and livestock, has been in existence for millennia. There are many variants of this land use in both the temperate and tropical regions of the world practiced at small and large scales. Modern silvopasture; however, is not just a new name for an old practice. It is rooted in sound ecological principles and demands skills in managing complexity. Scientific evidence of the ecological and economic benefits of silvopasture has been accumulating rapidly over the last few years and hence the objective of this thematic issue was to bring together a collection of original research and review articles that dealt with these different dimensions. There are 28 articles included in this thematic issue categorized into four groups based on their primary focus, (1) forage production and quality (2) livestock performance (3) environmental benefits, and (4) challenges in designing and developing silvopasture. The information presented has deepened our understanding of some of the biophysical and socioeconomic dimensions of silvopastoral systems; however, it also has revealed some of the research gaps. Addressing these research gaps will help improve not only the economic and environmental sustainability of these systems, but their social acceptability as well.