Challenges on the conservation of traditional orchards: Tree damage as an indicator of sustainable grazing.

Lopez Sanchez, Aida and Perea Garcia-calvo, Ramón and Roig Gomez, Sonia and Isselstein, Johannes and Schmitz, Anjia (2020). Challenges on the conservation of traditional orchards: Tree damage as an indicator of sustainable grazing.. "Journa of Environmental Management", v. 257 ; pp. 814-828. ISSN 0301-4797. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2019.110010.

Description

Title: Challenges on the conservation of traditional orchards: Tree damage as an indicator of sustainable grazing.
Author/s:
  • Lopez Sanchez, Aida
  • Perea Garcia-calvo, Ramón
  • Roig Gomez, Sonia
  • Isselstein, Johannes
  • Schmitz, Anjia
Item Type: Article
Título de Revista/Publicación: Journa of Environmental Management
Date: 1 March 2020
ISSN: 0301-4797
Volume: 257
Subjects:
Freetext Keywords: Agroforestry; Trunk debarking; Crown damage; Streuobstwiesen; Individual tree-protection; Animal grazing
Faculty: E.T.S.I. Montes, Forestal y del Medio Natural (UPM)
Department: Sistemas y Recursos Naturales
Creative Commons Licenses: Recognition - No derivative works - Non commercial

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Abstract

Traditional orchard meadows are among the most valuable cultural and agricultural systems for nature conservation in Europe. They comprise scattered fruit trees over a highly diverse herbaceous layer and provide a wide range of ecosystem services. However, they are strongly endangered due to farmland intensification and abandonment. Livestock grazing is known to promote grassland diversity but it may also cause tree damage through debarking. In this study, we evaluated the effect of different grazers (cattle, horse and sheep) on fruit trees in 42 traditional orchards of the Rhenish uplands (Germany). Overall, we found that 70% of the study trees showed debarking damage, although most of them (40%) were slightly damaged (1–10% of the trunk debarked). Most debarked trees showed accumulated damage over time, and only 8% of the study trees were damaged during the last year. The probability of strong debarking (>50% of the trunk damaged) was higher in orchards grazed by cattle and horses than on those grazed by sheep (5.3 and 3.7-fold difference, respectively). Importantly, unsustainable levels of cumulative debarking caused a decay of crown development, which may strongly affect fruit production. Additionally, lower tree densities favored higher levels of debarking intensity but did not affect the probability of occurrence. Individual tree-protection was an effective practice in decreasing trunk debarking (95% reduction in tree damage occurrence). The impact of grazing animals on trees might represent a useful indicator to assess the sustainability of each grazing system and should be taken into account in future agriculture and conservation policies.

Funding Projects

TypeCodeAcronymLeaderTitle
Government of SpainUnspecifiedUnspecifiedUnspecifiedUnspecified

More information

Item ID: 67910
DC Identifier: https://oa.upm.es/67910/
OAI Identifier: oai:oa.upm.es:67910
DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2019.110010
Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301479719317281?via%3Dihub
Deposited by: Memoria Investigacion
Deposited on: 29 Jul 2021 09:38
Last Modified: 29 Jul 2021 09:38
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