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Biodiversity and silvopastoral system use change in very acid soils

Mosquera-Losada, M.R., Rodríguez-Barreira, S., López-Díaz, M.L., Fernández-Núñez, E., Rigueiro-Rodríguez, A.
Agriculture, ecosystems & environment 2009 v.131 no.3-4 pp. 315-324
silvopastoral systems, agroforestry, biodiversity, acid soils, land use change, land use, plant communities, botanical composition, temporal variation, soil fertility, nutrient management, liming, nitrogen fertilizers, organic fertilizers, forest plantations, Pinus radiata, forest trees, spatial variation, livestock, grazing, shrubs, Spain
Most biodiversity studies endeavour to put forward strategies for its short-term enhancement, seeking to understand the spatial scale. However, biodiversity preservation strategies should also take into account temporal scales, in order to fulfil the main biodiversity preservation objectives. Biodiversity variability also depends on the structural heterogeneity of the land on which this strategy is developed. Agroforestry systems have a tree component that makes this heterogeneity more important than in exclusively agronomic systems. This paper aims to evaluate the effect of different soil fertility management (application of lime and fertiliser in both organic and inorganic nitrogen forms) on tree and pasture growth, as well as on the pasture richness in a silvopastoral systems developed on a 5-year-old Pinus radiata D. Don plantation over 6 years. Temporal scale, as well as spatial biodiversity scale, should be taking into account in biodiversity studies in forests. Tree development as well as fertility soil modifications modified species richness, the relative dominance between species and the type of species. The lack of management caused an undesirable development of shrubs, main resource of forest fires development in the region. Lower tree densities than those currently used combined with authocthonous breed grazing, to reduce shrub biomass is the best option to sustain biodiversity and productivity from the area.