Dynamics of forage mass, air temperature and animal performance in a silvopastoral system of Uruguay

Abstract

This work studies the effects of forestation on forage mass and its chemical composition, as well as mean air temperature and their impact on beef cattle performance and grazing behaviour when compared to a natural grassland system. The systems comprised 100% natural grassland from the Campos biome (NG) and forested land (FL) 60% 6 y.o. Pinus taeda (500 trees per hectare) and 40% of natural grassland. We found that the crude protein composition of the pasture growing under the trees was higher, while mean air temperature was lower during the hot season. This changed the grazing pattern of the cattle, and was associated with higher average daily gain of the animals grazing in FL. We conclude that the introduction of trees in natural grasslands changed the environmental conditions, providing a better thermic and nutritive situation for growing grazing cattle that ultimately results in an increase in their productivity.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4

Change history

  • 19 February 2019

    The original article was published with incorrect affiliations and Acknowledgements section. This has been corrected in this Correction.

  • 19 February 2019

    The original article was published with incorrect affiliations and Acknowledgements section. This has been corrected in this Correction.

References

  1. Allen VG, Batello C, Berretta EJ et al (2011) An international terminology for grazing lands and grazing animals. Grass Forage Sci 66:2–28. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2494.2010.00780.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Arias RA, Mader TL, Escobar PC (2008) Factores climáticos que afectan el desempeño productivo del ganado bovino de carne y leche. Arch Med Vet 40:7–22. https://doi.org/10.4067/S0301-732X2008000100002

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Armstrong DV (1994) Heat Stress Interaction with Shade and Cooling. J Dairy Sci 77:2044–2050. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(94)77149-6

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Buxton DR, Mertens DR, Moore KJ et al (1995) Forage quality for ruminants: plant and animal considerations. Prof Anim Sci 11:121–131. https://doi.org/10.15232/S1080-7446(15)32575-4

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Cruz P (1997) Effect of shade on the carbon and nitrogen allocation in a perennial tropical grass, dichanthium aristatum. J Exp Bot 48:15–24. https://doi.org/10.1093/jxb/48.1.15

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Cubbage F, Balmelli G, Bussoni A et al (2012) Comparing silvopastoral systems and prospects in eight regions of the world. Agrofor Syst 86:303–314. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10457-012-9482-z

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Davis JM, Stamps JA (2004) The effect of natal experience on habitat preferences. Trends Ecol Evol 19:411–416. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2004.04.006

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Davis MS, Mader TL, Holt SM, Parkhurst AM (2003) Strategies to reduce feedlot cattle heat stress: effects on tympanic temperature. J Anim Sci 81:649–661

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Drescher M, Heitkönig IMA, Raats JG, Prins HHT (2006) The role of grass stems as structural foraging deterrents and their effects on the foraging behaviour of cattle. Appl Anim Behav Sci 101:10–26. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2006.01.011

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Enríquez D, Hötzel MJ, Ungerfeld R (2011) Minimising the stress of weaning of beef calves: a review. Acta Vet Scand 53:28. https://doi.org/10.1186/1751-0147-53-28

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  11. Fedrigo Ataide PF, Filho JA et al (2018) Temporary grazing exclusion promotes rapid recovery of species richness and productivity in a long-term overgrazed Campos grassland. Restor Ecol 26:677–685. https://doi.org/10.1111/rec.12635

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Feldhake CM, Belesky DP (2009) Photosynthetically active radiation use efficiency of Dactylis glomerata and Schedonorus phoenix along a hardwood tree-induced light gradient. Agrofor Syst 75:189–196. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10457-008-9175-9

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Garnier E, Roy J (1988) Modular and demographic analysis of plant leaf area in sward and woodland populations of dactylis glomerata and bromus erectus. J Ecol 76:729–743

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Gastal F, Lemaire G (2002) N uptake and distribution in crops: an agronomical and ecophysiological perspective. J Exp Bot 53:789–799. https://doi.org/10.1093/jexbot/53.370.789

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  15. Guggeri D, Meikle A, Carriquiry N et al (2014) Effect of different management systems on growth, endocrine parameters and puberty in Hereford female calves grazing Campos grassland. Livest Sci 167:455–462. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2014.06.026

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Hodgson J (1990) Grazing managment. Science into practice. Longman Ha, New York

    Google Scholar 

  17. Kyriazopoulos AP, Abraham EM, Parissi ZM et al (2012) Forage production and nutritive value of Dactylis glomerata and Trifolium subterraneum mixtures under different shading treatments. Grass Forage Sci 68:72–82. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2494.2012.00870.x

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Lopes LB, Eckstein C, Pina DS, Carnevalli RA (2016) The influence of trees on the thermal environment and behaviour of grazing heifers in Brazilian Midwest. Trop Anim Health Prod. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-016-1021-x

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  19. Martin P, Bateson PFRS (1993) Measuring behaviour. An introductory guide. 6. Recording methods, 2nd edn. Cambridge University press, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  20. MGAP/CNFR (2012) Adaptación y mitigación al cambio climático en sistemas agropecuarios del Uruguay. p 240

  21. Moreno G, Franca A, Correia MTP, Godinho S (2014) Multifunctionality and dynamics of silvopastoral systems. Options Méditerranéennes Ser A Mediterr Semin 109:421–436

    Google Scholar 

  22. Ortega-Reyes L, Provenza FD (1993) Amount of experience and age affect the development of foraging skills of goats browsing blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima). Appl Anim Behav Sci 36:169–183. https://doi.org/10.1016/0168-1591(93)90008-D

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Peri PL, Moot DJ, McNeil DL (2003) An integrated model for predicting maximum net photosynthetic rate of cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata) leaves in silvopastoral systems. Agrofor Syst 58:173–183. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1026032721425

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Renaudeau D, Collin A, Yahav S et al (2012) Adaptation to hot climate and strategies to alleviate heat stress in livestock production. Animal 6:707–728. https://doi.org/10.1017/s1751731111002448

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  25. Roguet C, Dumont B, Prache S (1998) Selection and use of feeding sites and feeding stations by herbivores: a review. Ann Zootech 47:225–244. https://doi.org/10.1051/animres:19980401

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Rovira P, Velazco J (2010) The effect of artificial or natural shade on respiration rate, behaviour and performance of grazing steers. N Zeal J Agric Res 53:347–353. https://doi.org/10.1080/00288233.2010.525785

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Savsani HH, Padodara RJ, Bhadaniya AR et al (2015) Impact of climate on feeding, production and reproduction of animals-a review. Agric Rev 36:26. https://doi.org/10.5958/0976-0741.2015.00003.3

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Young B (1983) Ruminant cold stress: effect on production. J Anim Sci 57:1601–1607

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

We wish to thank the Weyerhaeuser Company and the members of the Sociedad de Fomento Rural Basalto Ruta 31 for making this experiment feasible. We’d also like to thank the graduate students Nelson Rivas and Javier Amaya for the field evaluations and to Pablo Speranza for helping in English grammar and language corrections.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jean K. Fedrigo.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Fedrigo, J.K., Santa Cruz, R., Benítez, V. et al. Dynamics of forage mass, air temperature and animal performance in a silvopastoral system of Uruguay. Agroforest Syst 93, 2197–2204 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10457-018-0335-2

Download citation

Keywords

  • Forest
  • Natural grassland
  • Animal behavior
  • Productivity