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Title: Impact of Deferred Versus Continuous Sheep Grazing on Soil Compaction in the Mediterranean Montado Ecosystem
Authors: Serrano, João
Carreira, Emanuel
Shahidian, Shakib
Carvalho, Mário
Marques da Silva, J.
L. Paniagua, L.
Moral, F.
Pereira, A.
Editors: Krishna Gumma, Murali
Keywords: sheep trampling
cone index
deferred grazing
continuous grazing
Issue Date: 20-Apr-2023
Publisher: MDPI
Citation: Serrano, J.; Carreira, E.; Shahidian, S.; de Carvalho, M.; Marques da Silva, J.; Paniagua, L.L.; Moral, F.; Pereira, A. Impact of Deferred Versus Continuous Sheep Grazing on Soil Compaction in the Mediterranean Montado Ecosystem. AgriEngineering 2023, 5, 761–776.
Abstract: Deferred grazing (DG) consists in adapting the number of animals and the number of days grazed to the availability of pasture. Compared to continuous grazing (CG), which is based on a permanent and low stocking rate, DG is a management strategy that aims at optimizing the use of the resources available in the Mediterranean Montado ecosystem. This study with sheep grazing, carried out between 2019 and 2021 on a 4 ha pasture in Alentejo region of the Southern of Portugal, assesses the impact of these two grazing management systems on soil compaction as a result of animal trampling. This area of native natural grassland (a dryland pasture, mixture of grasses, legumes, and composite species) was divided into four grazing parks of 1 ha each, two under DG management and two under CG management. At the end of the study, the cone index (CI, in kPa) was measured in the topsoil layer (0–30 cm) with an electronic cone penetrometer at 48 georeferenced areas (12 in each park). The results of CI measurement showed no significant differences between treatments in all depths measured (0–10, 10–20, and 20–30 cm). These findings are encouraging from the point of view of soil conservation and sustainability, revealing good prospects for the intensification of extensive livestock production. Future work should evaluate the long-term impact and consider, at the same time, other ecosystem services and system productivity indicators.
Type: article
Appears in Collections:ERU - Publicações - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais Com Arbitragem Científica
MED - Publicações - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais Com Arbitragem Científica

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