Tree seedling establishment in living fences: a low-cost agroforestry management practice for the tropics
Source: Agroforestry Systems, Volume 77, Number 1, September 2009 , pp. 1-8(8)
Abstract:Establishing trees in pastures can have production and conservation benefits, but is complicated by the presence of livestock. The need to protect seedlings from livestock increases tree establishment costs, which in turn, can deter landowners from planting trees. Living fences are a ubiquitous feature of pasture landscapes in the tropics that could help protect newly planted trees by preventing livestock trampling and browsing. This study quantified the effectiveness of a living fence in protecting tree seedlings during the first 2 years after planting. The four native tree species evaluated were: Cedrela odorata L., Pachira quinata (Jacq.) W.S. Alverson, Samanea saman (Jacq.) Merr., and Tabebuia rosea (Bertol.) A. DC. Results show that the living fence provided protection from livestock except in cases where tree species were highly palatable as forage (i.e. P. quinata). Trees planted into the living fence generally had greater survival (62 vs. 28%), relative growth (10.3 times initial height vs. 5.8 times initial height), and final height (191 cm vs. 108 cm) compared to those planted in open pasture after 2 years. However, survival and growth of trees planted into the fence remained lower than that observed at a nearby plantation with no livestock, regular weeding and no living fences. This study indicates that use of living fences as a protective barrier could be an effective low-cost approach for establishing trees in tropical pasture landscapes.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Department of Agricultural, Food, and Nutritional Sciences, University of Alberta, 4-10 Ag/For Building, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2P5, Canada 2: Department of Agricultural, Food, and Nutritional Sciences, University of Alberta, 4-10 Ag/For Building, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2P5, Canada, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Publication date: September 1, 2009