Tuesday, 22 October 2013
Restoring sustainable silvopasture in Chile (#journal)
The mediterranean habitats of central Chile are rich in endemic species, but threatened by land-use changes.This article suggests that restoration of the traditional espinal silvopastoral system could improve its sustainability and conservation value. Past research recommended abandoning the silvopastoral system, but ignored the value of the espinal as a classical Chilean cultural landscape. Drawing on lessons from Latin America and the Mediterranean, the authors suggest management interventions and incentives that could be developed to restore the espinal. Recommendations include sustainable production and use of biochar and bark extracts to improve espinal soils, the promotion of shrubs and the use of small mammal disturbances and rotational livestock herding to form mosaic landscapes. These techniques could lead to higher forage biomass and increased livestock weight.